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 ShotEpisode 37 of The Pool Shot: The guys talk about no-win situations and, on a completely unrelated note, the D-backs rotation. The surprising move of Randall Delgado to the rotation in lieu of an Aaron Blair promotion, sizing up the team's internal options for next year, and working through the ways in which the rotation can be upgraded. Subscribe on iTunes!
Midseason Top 10 Prospects
It's here: the Inside the 'Zona Midseason Top 10 Prospects List, including recent trade additions and 2015 draftees.
- Diminished Plate Discipline is Undoing Nick Ahmed
- As Hitters Figure Out Daniel Hudson, a Challenging Puzzle Looms
- Reed Traded; the Kevin Towers Closer Era Ends
- Roundup: Coming Around on Saltalamacchia; David Peralta Getting Noticed; Goldy Something Else
- D-backs Changing Robbie Ray for the Worse
- Westbrook, Diaz and Others Gaining Momentum in the Minors
- Jake Lamb Should be Playing Against (Some) Lefties
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- Yeah, that's right: I'm quoting myself. https://t.co/ID790Xzd9l, 12 hours ago
- RT @OutfieldGrass24: You just witnessed the end of Keith Hessler's major league career. Tragic. These things are so fragile., 14 hours ago
- Said the British 245 years ago ;) https://t.co/X24Z1zpVgV, 17 hours ago
- RT @EdwardFShore: @ryanpmorrison ...and after TWO Tommy John surgeries. Seriously. We don't talk enough about how remarkable that is. @DHuddy41 is a dude., Sep 02
- Daniel Hudson's "100 mph fastball" in Game 1 was tracked by PITCHf/x at 99.6 mph, rounded up. Still -- fastest tracked pitch of his career., Sep 02
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- RT @LookoutLanding: Franklin Gutierrez's august August http://t.co/i7iCoDsSXt http://t.co/TeUpo4PWX4, 16 mins ago
- Welcome to Los Angeles, where you might beg to go back to Rancho. Okay, it's not *that* bad, but close. https://t.co/QOipzMIiUq, 1 hour ago
- RT @CJWittJr: First piece via @BleacherReport http://t.co/uEyio3j9GJ, 2 hours ago
- RT @RenoAces_PR: Final line for @Aces right-hander @ArchieBradley7: 7 IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 7K. 95 pitches and 68 strikes for Archie in a no-decision., 13 hours ago
- You just witnessed the end of Keith Hessler's major league career. Tragic. These things are so fragile., 14 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).