The last week started with difficulty for Arizona, as they dropped two ugly games to Los Angeles before winning three of their next four. The offense over the weekend was particularly inspiring; as I noted in the ESPN Power Rankings this week, Goldy finally killed that 22-game HR drought (the third-longest of his career) on Sunday. In consecutive wins against Colorado on Saturday and Sunday, Arizona put up 17 runs on 28 hits. While the success probably had little to do with the lineup, I personally really liked starting the top of the order with Adam Eaton, Aaron Hill, and Paul Goldschmidt. I hope that continues.
Plenty to recommend this week:
- At FanGraphs, Eno Sarris wrote about Brandon McCarthy, McCarthy’s use of information, and his search for a changeup. Required reading for all D-backs fans. Seriously.
- In a blog post on Saturday, ESPN’s Buster Olney listed the “total pitches seen” by each team. The D-backs came in 6th with 22,013, which was 1,684 less than the Red Sox in the top spot (who were themselves over 1k more than the second spot), and 1,621 more than the Brewers in the bottom spot. As the D-backs close in on the record for extra innings in a season, you wonder if the 30-40 more innings than the average team has something to do with that — but at one point, Paul Goldschmidt was leading the NL in pitches seen per plate appearance, and the D-backs have a few other guys who are selective at the plate, especially Martin Prado.
- At AZ Snakepit, Jim McLennan did a tremendous job framing what figures to be the most pressing question to the D-backs’ offseason: does the team need a slugger? If so, who gets replaced? I think the latter question is extremely difficult. Jim also reminded all of us taking potshots at the team that the game is a lot more difficult than it may seem to observers sometimes. Great work as always.
- Thomas Lynch at Venom Strikes asked the other question that is likely to dominate the offseason: Gregorius or Owings? That’s a question Jeff and I will try to address after the season has concluded.
- Don’t miss Nick Piecoro’s most recent notebooks, covering Eaton’s arm and Hudson’s future role; a Patrick Corbin update; and a look at Matt Davidson’s recent adjustments and Goldy’s MVP chances. A month ago, I looked at the NL MVP race and guessed what would have to happen over the remainder of the season for Goldy to win the MVP. Basically, he needed the D-backs to stay in it through the end of September, for McCutchen to fade, and for other pitchers to make Clayton Kershaw a less obvious candidate. Since then, the D-backs have faded, Goldy’s own performance has declined a bit (Sunday notwithstanding), McCutchen has come on strong and Harvey got hurt (and Wainwright’s stats fell off). This is a long way of saying that I don’t think Goldy’s a likely MVP anymore. If his chances in mid-August were in the 30% range, they’re in the 3% range now. But I do think Goldy has a great shot at finishing ahead of guys like Yadier Molina and Joey Votto, maybe third overall.
The Pool Shot
Offseason Report Card
• Zack Greinke signing
• Shelby Miller and Gabe Speier for Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson and Aaron Blair
• Jean Segura and Tyler Wagner for Chase Anderson, Aaron Hill, Isan Diaz and cash
• Jeremy Hellickson for Sam McWilliams
• Chris Herrmann for Daniel Palka
• Tyler Clippard signing
- Robbie Ray Breaking Balls
- Damn Daniel: Hudson Shoeing a New Approach Against Righties
- One Weird Trick to Fix Nick Ahmed!
- D-backs 40 Man Roster Weighted Toward Trades, In a Good Way
- Were the Projections Right About the D-backs All Along?
- Move Paul Goldschmidt in the Batting Order: Up, Not Down
- Why Nick Ahmed is Better Hitting Ninth
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- RT @nickpiecoro: Hale said Nick Ahmed seems to be OK, other than the seam marks on his chin., 16 hours ago
- RT @SteveGilbertMLB: #Dbacks mgr Chip Hale says if #Pirates Caminero can't control those pitches he shouldn't be in big leagues., 16 hours ago
- Early August, 2014, at FanGraphs. Not that you need help remembering. https://t.co/aHsclk2xFR, 16 hours ago
- Tried to walk it off, but: that's just fucked up, @Pirates. Fucked up., 16 hours ago
- This Pirates team can hit... I read in the ESPN Power Rankings this week that they were 4th in MLB in OPS (but 3rd in NL Central)., 19 hours ago
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- Puig pimped the shit out of that single. #notsurprised, 15 hours ago
- At a dodger game texting about the #Dbacks. #priorities https://t.co/SG5vTEt1DQ, 16 hours ago
- As Chafin's ERA goes over seven, gotta think Daniel Gibson's looking more attractive. #Dbacks, 17 hours ago
- RT @Dbacks: In May, the #Dbacks lead the National League in average, hits & triples and rank 2nd in doubles & OPS. https://t.co/yrmAKvw8aK, 20 hours ago
- RT @nickpiecoro: Chip Hale said David Peralta has started swinging, could play in extended spring training games soon. Aiming for possible return next week., 22 hours ago
FanGraphs Stats Glossary
Nick Piecoro Author Page
Cot's Baseball Contracts
BP Base Running Stats
Previously on The Pool Shot, the guys explained some of their favorite advanced stats. Hitting, including wRC+, HHAV and batted ball; pitching (38:00), including FIP, xFIP and SIERA; and baserunning and defense, including UBR, UZR and DRS (58:00).