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 19 of The Pool Shot: Armed with information from their trip to Arizona, the guys tackle great topics from @youknow_OJ (players who changed our minds), @coldblueAZ (Drury's psyche), @brandonharaway (what comes next with Tomas off 3B), @TylerNickelASU (likely D-backs rotation). At 1:13:30, they have a ton of fun with a topic posed by two people (@jgonzol16 and @PB_HR): should the team consider a 6-man rotation? They then circle back to topics from @Ascend_Descend (likely trade candidates) and @coldblueAZ (Hill's production in 2015). Many thanks to these guys, and to those who sent ones we thought would fit better next week -- send them to @thepoolshot! Subscribe on iTunes!
- Real D-backs Defensive Shifts, Really
- Andrew Chafin Leading Race to Be Only Real Bullpen Lefty
- Spring Notes from D-backs Minor League Camp
- Roundup: Roster in Focus; Tomas Contract Discussions; Six Man Rotation?
- Robbie Ray’s New Breaking Pitch Much Different, Much More Consistent
- Working the Count: Forget About It (And Don’t Feel Guilty)
- Spring Notes From D-backs MLB Camp
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- RT @SandwichWingman: Episode 11: Corned beef, and the John B. Keane essays "Humble Pie," "Foul Talk" and "Fear." Happy St. Patrick's Day! http://t.co/vyWfPk2W3W, Mar 26
- RT @deegmatio: If a man's wit be wandering; let him study the mathematics., Feb 26
- RT @mlbdepthcharts: Thanks for your help! For now, I'll go w/ Lamb at 3B, Tomas in LF. Tomas could still heat up at the plate ... http://t.co/z9aaXakjLM #Dbacks, Mar 25
- Andrew Chafin stands as the best lefty relief option, and he might be great. http://t.co/S2sHU2sY3s, Mar 25
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- Considering faceless fire is chasing this guy, I feel he should be walking with a bit more urgency. http://t.co/RGOzzacqtJ, 2 hours ago
- Dank and bitter! Excellent! - Drinking an East to West IPA by @bpbrewing/@COEDOBREWERY - http://t.co/NQ1ScB2huR #photo, 3 hours ago
- Iced coffee = the coffee left in the Chemex from this morning at room temp + two cubes. Am I doing it right?, 5 hours ago
- RT @DeschutesBeer: Headed out camping this warm #weekend? Be sure to "Toasten the Mallo"...here's how! #Smores #blackbutteporter http://t.co/tHGyEmLxy1, 5 hours ago
- ICYMI, the #Dbacks have promised to shift more in 2015 and we've already got some proof: http://t.co/MvPvG7w7uM, 5 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).