It has been a miserable season for the Diamondbacks. That’s been the case from the get-go – a horrendous start to the season dashed our hopes. Mercifully, the regular season ends in the three weeks. With an oddball cast of regulars and a suspect starting rotation, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to continue watching the D-backs. Take Sunday’s game for example. Arizona’s lineup featured one hitter (Chris Owings) with a slugging percentage over .400, and the starting pitcher, Trevor Cahill, is sporting an ERA over five. And Sunday wasn’t an anomaly. It’s been particularly gruesome ever since Paul Goldschmidt broke his hand.
Despite all the pain from injuries and bad baseball, there are a few pieces on the roster still worth your time. For the last few months, the team has been evaluating its assets in preparation for 2015. It’s like building a puzzle– it’s important to recognize what pieces are in place and what pieces are missing. Since there are three weeks left, I’ve got three things to watch for:
Ryan covered Hudson’s debut last week, but I wanted to harp on it a bit more. Daniel Hudson threw his first major league pitch since Jun 26, 2012. Ryan Roberts and Mike Zagurski were in that game. Boy do I miss Mike Zagurski. Martin Prado played in the game too, but as a member of the Braves. Hudson’s recovery from two consecutive torn UCLs is inspiring. The word perseverance comes to mind. Unfortunately, major league hitters aren’t interested in heartwarming stories; Hudson needs to prove that he can be a successful relief pitcher. No one is going to question the quality of his stuff, but with a revamped throwing motion, he could be a work in progress.
While A.J. Pollock was injured, Ender Inciarte proved that he deserves some consideration for starting center fielder in 2015. After an incredibly slow start, Ender has posted a respectable .266/.307/.340 slash rate at the plate. It’s not great, but his stellar defense makes it palatable. He’s been worth 2 WAR in 98 games and there’s room for improvement. He’s only 23 years old. If he develops into an average offensive center fielder, the defense could make him a valuable player.
It will be equally interesting to see if A.J. Pollock can continue hitting the way he did before he broke his hand. In his first 51 games of the season, he was batting .316 and was worth more than 2.5 wins above replacement. His BABIP (.374) suggests that his numbers may be partially due to good luck, but newfound power is something to keep an eye on. Pollock is slugging .547. The only center fielders this year with a slugging percentage over .500 are Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen. I hear they’re pretty good. Even if Pollock’s slugging percentage drops to the .450 range, he could be a four or five win player.
Jake Lamb needs to show that he’s the reason the Diamondbacks felt comfortable trading Martin Prado. He’s been given a whale of an opportunity and has responded by floundering at the plate since his call-up. An OBP of .250 and .304 slugging percentage isn’t going to cut it. A 35.5 strikeout rate is not acceptable either. He’s only played twenty games, so there’s time to turn it around. But with only three weeks, he needs to do something sooner rather than later. Brandon Drury, who was acquired in the infamous Justin Upton trade, is another promising third base prospect. His solid play this year culminated in a promotion to Double A. If Lamb doesn’t start producing quickly, Drury might be named the third basemen of the future.
Powered by: Web Designers
- Congrats to @OutfieldGrass24 on a beautiful life, wedding and wife. He deserves all of it (they both do). And I cou… https://t.co/JzJtQ7TgdJ, Jul 23
- Best part of Peralta’s 108 mph fliner over the fence, IMHO: that he got that much leverage despite scooping it out… https://t.co/ivBrl76adF, Apr 08
- RT @OutfieldGrass24: If you're bored of watching Patrick Corbin get dudes out, you can check out my latest for @TheAthleticAZ. https://t.co/k1DymgY7zO, Apr 04
- Of course, they may have overtaken the league lead for outs on the bases just now, also... But in 2017, Arizona ha… https://t.co/38MBrr2D4b, Apr 04
- Prior to the games today, there had only been 5 steals of 3rd this season (and no CS) in the National League. The… https://t.co/gVVL84vPQ5, Apr 04
Powered by: Web Designers
- RT @cdgoldstein: I scheduled it late and forgot to promote it yesterday. Got a few questions in the queue but could use some more. C… https://t.co/38ul8wIsAD, 3 hours ago
- RT @BillyBall: Great card and more importantly a really great and fun book by @dianagram. They have done a killer job on research… https://t.co/QgcHl7umwl, 17 hours ago
- RT @baseballandthe2: The @Dbacks and @RaysBaseball were born 25 years ago on 3/9/95 when #MLB owners admitted the 2 new teams by a vote… https://t.co/1rzp6ax8wv, Mar 09
- #Dbacks' 2018 1st round pick Matt McLain hit .203/.276/.355 as a freshman at UCLA last year. This season? A tidy li… https://t.co/yM48j1ebrr, Mar 07
- RT @OutfieldGrass24: Who's that under the radar player who you are banking on to break out this baseball season? Someone who's not regularly in the headlines?, Mar 06