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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports The Arizona Diamondbacks don’t figure to make many changes to their roster that failed to make the playoffs in 2013. Outside of some changes to their pitching staff, and perhaps some depth additions ...
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports The Arizona Diamondbacks don’t figure to make many changes to their roster that failed to make the playoffs in 2013. Outside of some changes to their pitching staff, and perhaps some depth additions from their lineup, they’re not necessarily in a position where they have to. At the same time, though, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the Diamondbacks go out and pursue a power bat to add to the mix. This addition could come on the trade market, but there is at least one slugger available in free agency that does present some intrigue for the organization. That hitter is Nelson Cruz. Cruz came off of a 50-game ban for performance enhancing drugs to appear in the American League play in game, which the Texas Rangers lost. The 33-year-old will hit the open market this winter, and the Rangers could decide to move on and explore other options this offseason, though they may negotiate to a certain degree. Which presents an opportunity for the Diamondbacks to add a necessary power bat to their lineup. Though he’s had a bit of trouble staying healthy, Cruz has eclipsed at least 20 home runs in each of the last five seasons, including 27 this year, when he only played in 109 games. The Diamondbacks need that kind of presence in their lineup. They need to get someone in the mix that can protect Paul Goldschmidt. Cruz presents just that. He’s a threat every time he steps to the plate, and could help to improve this offense a great deal, with his own skill set and by opening up Goldschmidt for even more success. Again, the Diamondbacks aren’t in need of major changes. They’re a team that is right on the cusp of getting into the playoffs and making some noise, at least on paper. But adding a power bat is something that should be at the top of their offseason list. As long as the price is right, Cruz seems like a good option to explore.
about 5 hours ago
Statistics Rk W L ERA G IP H R ER HR BB SO WP WHIP 1 Patrick Corbin 14 8 3.41 32 208.1 189 81 79 19 54 178 13 1.166 2 Wade Miley 10 10 3.55 33 202.2 201 88 80 21 66 147 13 1.317...
Statistics Rk W L ERA G IP H R ER HR BB SO WP WHIP 1 Patrick Corbin 14 8 3.41 32 208.1 189 81 79 19 54 178 13 1.166 2 Wade Miley 10 10 3.55 33 202.2 201 88 80 21 66 147 13 1.317 3 Trevor Cahill 7 10 4.10 25 142.2 141 70 65 13 64 100 17 1.437 4 Randall Delgado 5 7 4.17 19 114.1 112 57 53 23 23 76 3 1.181 5 Brandon McCarthy 5 11 4.53 22 135.0 161 71 68 13 21 76 1 1.348 6 Tyler Skaggs 2 3 5.12 7 38.2 38 23 22 7 15 36 2 1.371 7 Ian Kennedy 3 8 5.23 21 124.0 128 79 72 18 48 108 9 1.419 8 David Holmberg 0 0 7.36 1 3.2 6 3 3 0 3 0 0 2.455 9 Zeke Spruill 0 2 7.71 2 7.0 13 10 6 3 2 4 0 2.143 Team Total 46 59 4.13 162 976.1 989 482 448 117 296 725 58 1.316 [Stats exclude all relief appearances] Trevor Cahill This is a borderline equals, Cahill's ERA increasing by 0.21 runs, with FIP up about double that. However, this was largely due to one really bad June: he had a 9.85 ERA and the only one of the six starts he didn't lose was limited by a comebacker to one inning. Over the rest of the season, his ERA was 2.80 in 19 starts (and one emergency relief performance), with a mechanical tweak apparently helping significantly after his return from the DL. Cahill adjusted his arm-slot, raising his delivery - you can see the difference in this picture, comparing Cahill pitching to St. Buster on June 8 and August 31. That helped re-establish his sinker, and generate more ground balls. Patrick Corbin A remarkable blossoming by Corbin, who came in to spring training as merely one of three candidates for the fifth starting spot. He won that, pitched like a legitimate Cy Young candidate in the first half, absolutely deserving his All-Star selection, and even though he seemed to run out of gas in the second half of the year, still had the best ERA of any Diamondbacks' starting pitcher. I was concerned by his last seven starts, over which time opponents hit Corbin at a .346 clip, and he had an ERA of 8.00, even though his innings total wasn't excessively up over 2012. Hopefully that was simply the increased effort of the majors, and he'll be better equipped to go all the way next year. Randall Delgado After a disappointing spring training, Delgado went to Reno, but was brought into the rotation as a hold-over while Ian Kennedy was suspended in late June. The loss of Cahill to the DL extended his stay, and with the exception of one glaring issue, Delgado pitched well, holding opposing hitters to an on-base percentage below .300. The problem, of course, was the long-ball, with an overall rate of 1.86 per nine innings, among the highest in all baseball. It seems to be a locational issue, and when he misses his spots, hitters are able to take advantage. However, worth remembering he's only 23: at that age, Miley, for example, was mostly in high-A ball. David Holmberg Holmberg's arrival was highly-anticipated, rated by John Sickels as the #5 prospect in our system before the season began. He got his chance on August 27, being promoted from Double-A Mobile to make a spot start in place of Cahill, after the latter had to work multiple innings out of the bullpen, but it wasn't a debut to remember. While the Diamondbacks won, Holmberg was charged with three runs on six hits and three walks in just 3.2 innings, without recording a strikeout. He'll still get his chance, but this season wasn't it. Ian Kennedy Our Opening Day starter got the win there, holding the St. Louis line-up to two runs over seven innings. However, his remaining 20 appearances as a Diamondbacks would yield only two more victories, and by Game Score that first performance was also his best for Arizona. The rest included a reprise against the Cardinals, who smacked Kennedy around for 10 ER - one of only five D-backs starters ever to allow that many in a
about 6 hours ago
DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers are heading back to California with the help of Max Scherzer and some fans in right field. During a relief outing to remember, Scherzer escaped a major jam one inning after two fans reached out to try to ree...
DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers are heading back to California with the help of Max Scherzer and some fans in right field. During a relief outing to remember, Scherzer escaped a major jam one inning after two fans reached out to try to reel in Victor Martinez's disputed home run, and the Tigers rallied past the Oakland Athletics 8-6 on Tuesday to force a decisive fifth game in their AL division series.
about 7 hours ago
On Tuesday afternoon at Camelback Ranch, Minnesota Twins right-hander Alex Meyer fired a 98 mph fastball to Oakland A's shortstop Addison Russell, officially kicking off the Arizona Fall League season. There were probably fewer than 500 ...
On Tuesday afternoon at Camelback Ranch, Minnesota Twins right-hander Alex Meyer fired a 98 mph fastball to Oakland A's shortstop Addison Russell, officially kicking off the Arizona Fall League season. There were probably fewer than 500 people in the house.
about 16 hours ago
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- From worst to first, and now back in the AL championship series. Shane Victorino's infield single snapped a seventh-inning tie and journeyman Craig Breslow gave Boston a huge boost out of the bullpen, sending the ...
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- From worst to first, and now back in the AL championship series. Shane Victorino's infield single snapped a seventh-inning tie and journeyman Craig Breslow gave Boston a huge boost out of the bullpen, sending the Red Sox into the ALCS with a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night. Koji Uehara got the final four outs -- one night after giving up a game-winning homer -- and Boston rebounded to take the best-of-five playoff 3-1.
about 17 hours ago
How would you rate Kevin Towers’s 2013 trades? Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports While the 2013 season has been done for over a week for the Arizona Diamondbacks, we at VenomStrikes would like to offer some evaluation of the...
How would you rate Kevin Towers’s 2013 trades? Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports While the 2013 season has been done for over a week for the Arizona Diamondbacks, we at VenomStrikes would like to offer some evaluation of the just-concluded campaign and what to expect as we await the start of Spring Training. Today, I would like to begin a two part piece I like to call, “The Kevin Towers Chronicles” which will look back at the major moves made by the D-Backs’ general manager over the past year. Today, I will focus on the trades as there were four big ones that impacted the organization not just for 2013 but for several years in the future. I will not include the Matt Reynolds for Ryan Wheeler swap as we may not see Reynolds again after some superb work and Wheeler seems destined to stay at Triple A. What follows is an honest appraisal, at least in this author’s opinion, of the work the GM did over the last 12 months. Some may read it and think I am defending Kevin Towers while others may think I am not being fair enough to him. Again, this is just my opinion. I want you the reader to come away from this saying that whether you agree or disagree with me, at least I gave a fair evaluation with some logical reasoning. Perhaps The Man himself should read this and decide for himself if I am fair or not. Chris Young for Heath Bell and Cliff Pennington For most observers, receiving Bell was a head-scratcher. He had a miserable 2012 with the Miami Marlins and even though some of the contract was being paid by the Fish, the D-Backs already had a 35-year old closer on the roster in J.J. Putz.  Young and his $8.5 million dollar contract was being phased out in Arizona in favor of Adam Eaton while Pennington was in the same boat with the Oakland A’s. Who won in 2013 - While a 4.11 ERA is anything but good, Bell was called upon to fill the closer’s role when Putz went down with an injury.  He registered 15 saves in but also surrendered 12 home runs in 65 2/3innings pitched.  Pennington while not a big offensive threat, hit 30 points higher than in 2012 and had some key game-winning hits. Young had a typical Young season: 12 home runs and 40 RBI’s with a line of .200/.280/.379. He has not seen any time yet in the Divisional series. Edge: D-Backs. Beyond 2013 - Bell is under contract for another year but also has a team option that becomes guaranteed for 2015 if he meets certain performance criteria. The price: $9 million. Pennington is under contract for one more year at a reasonable $3.25 million. Young’s contract is for $11 million for 2014 with a $1.5 million buyout that Oakland is sure to exercise. Edge: Even – D-Backs get more performance, Oakland saves more money. Trevor Bauer for Didi Gregorius Other players  were involved in this three team deal, namely Tony Sipp, Bryan Shaw and Matt Albers. For brevity’s sake, I wanted to limit this part to the two main players. The D-Backs gave Bauer a $3.4 million bonus as the third pick in the 2011 draft. For that type of money, you would think the organization was comfortable with the pitcher, quirks and all. Apparently, something changed over the next year as Bauer began to rub many in the organization, the most high-profile being Miguel Montero, the wrong way. Remember that the kid was only 22 at the time and had, and still has a world of talent. For that type of investment, it was much too quick to pull the trigger on a deal for Gregorius, who was the #2 shortstop in Cincinnati’s organization (behind Billy Hamilton) to whom the Indians sent Shin-Soo Choo. Who won in 2013 - Gregorius ended up as the starting shortstop for the D-Backs for most of the season. He got off to a sizzling start with the bat (.319/.374/.521) through May and then settled back to a soft bat, good glove player that scouts had been predicting.  Gregorius has excellent range and a strong arm although at times, it appeared his throws were low. Ba
about 18 hours ago
DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers are heading back to California with the help of Max Scherzer and some fans in right field. During a relief outing to remember, Scherzer escaped a major jam one inning after two fans reached out to try to ree...
DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers are heading back to California with the help of Max Scherzer and some fans in right field. During a relief outing to remember, Scherzer escaped a major jam one inning after two fans reached out to try to reel in Victor Martinez's disputed home run, and the Tigers rallied past the Oakland Athletics 8-6 on Tuesday to force a decisive fifth game in their AL division series.
about 20 hours ago
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports After Monday night’s unofficial announcement of the firing of pitching coach Charles Nagy, the Arizona Diamondbacks came out on Tuesday with the disclosure of not only Nagy’s departur...
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports After Monday night’s unofficial announcement of the firing of pitching coach Charles Nagy, the Arizona Diamondbacks came out on Tuesday with the disclosure of not only Nagy’s departure, but of first-base coach Steve Sax‘s as well. Sax replaced Eric Young Jr. as the first-base coach just before this season and intended to focus on Arizona’s struggling base-running game. However, it did not go as planned. The D-backs’ success on the base paths went from 65 percent in 2012 to 60 percent in 2013, the worst in all of baseball. The 53-year-old is better known for his playing career than his coaching abilities. In his fourteen seasons, he won two World Series championships as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers and was the 1982 NL Rookie of the Year. He was also a five-time All-Star, both with the Dodgers and New York Yankees. The D-Backs did confirm members of the coaching staff who will be retained through their official statement: “The Arizona Diamondbacks announced the following members of the coaching staff have been asked to return for the 2014 season: Kirk Gibson, Don Baylor, Glenn Sherlock, Alan Trammell, Turner Ward and Matt Williams. Gibson, whose 290 wins rank third all-time in franchise history, will return for his fifth season with the D-backs, while Sherlock, the longest-tenured coach on the staff, will be back for his 17th season, Williams his fifth, Baylor and Trammell their fourth and Ward his second…” Another One Bites The Dust: Steve Sax Has Been Fired - Venom Strikes - Venom Strikes - An Arizona Diamondbacks Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More
1 day ago
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table.oldschool { border-width: 1px; border-spacing: 2px; border-style: outset; border-color: gray; border-collapse: separate; background-color: white; } table.oldschool th { border-width: 1px; padding: 3px; border-style: inset; border-color: gray; background-color: white; -moz-border-radius: ; } table.oldschool td { border-width: 1px; padding: 3px; border-style: inset; border-color: gray; background-color: white; -moz-border-radius: ; } table.newschool { border-width: 0px; border-spacing: 2px; border-style: outset; border-color: gray; border-collapse: separate; background-color: white; } table.newschool th { border-width: 0px; padding: 3px; border-style: inset; border-color: gray; background-color: white; -moz-border-radius: ; } table.newschool td { border-width: 0px; padding: 3px; border-style: inset; border-color: gray; background-color: white; -moz-border-radius: ; } Dan StrailyRHP, 10-8, 3.96 Doug FisterLHP, 14-9, 3.67 2:07pm Arizona time, TBS. Oakland leads 2-1.Oakland have the chance to clinch on the road, having taken the advantage in the series yesterday, using a trio of home-runs to defeat AL earned-run average champion, Anibal Sanchez. That was particularly impressive, since Sanchez allowed only nine long-balls all season, in 182 innings of work - he gave up more yesterday afternoon, than over the entire months of June and July combined. There was a bit of a yelling match between A's closer Grant Balfour and the Tigers' Victor Martinez in the ninth, but given the "win or die" nature of the game for Detroit, I doubt there'll be any significant carry-over. Jake PeavyRHP, 12-5, 4.17 Jeremy HellicksonRHP, 12-10. 5.17 5:37pm Arizona time. TBS. Red Sox lead 2-1. Ah, AL baseball. In which a nine-inning game that ends 5-4, can still take four hours and 19 minutes - as a yardstick, our 16-inning marathon against the Pirates, lasted only 20 minutes longer than that. Still, there was no shortage of late drama, the Rays pulling ahead in the eighth, blowing the lead in the ninth, only to win it on a walkoff homer by backup catcher Jose Lobaton. The win was the third straight elimination game victory for Tampa, following the play-in and AL wild-card contests, but they still need to keep going, and must win this evening to force a decisive Game 5 back in Boston on Thursday afternoon.
1 day ago
There has been considerable discussion over the last year or so regarding the Diamondbacks GM, Kevin Towers. Until this offseason however, KT managed to mostly get a pass as his moves, some questionable, some genius, some lucky, produced...
There has been considerable discussion over the last year or so regarding the Diamondbacks GM, Kevin Towers. Until this offseason however, KT managed to mostly get a pass as his moves, some questionable, some genius, some lucky, produced results. Towers was further insulated from much in the way of criticism because the Diamondbacks were a team loaded with young, projectable talent. Some of the talent, like Justin Upton, was young, but already a bit veteran savvy. The farm system was stacked with highly regarded pitching prospects, many knocking on the door to the bigs. The future of the franchise looked stunningly bright. By 2014 the Diamondbacks would be fielding a team headlined by all-stars Upton, Montero, Goldschmidt, and Young. The rotation was going to have a potent 1-2 punch of Bauer and Skaggs, with Hudson, Miley, and Cahill filling out the rotation. The bullpen was going to be a shut-down bullpen that could shorten any game to 6 innings by relying on Ziegler, Hernandez, and Putz. In short, the D'backs were to be the powerhouse NL West team of the future. But then somewhere in late July or early August of the 2012 season, KT's grace period came to an end. Not only had the Diamondbacks begun to struggle, but they very rapidly dropped from fringe contender for the NL West to an outsider looking in. Granted, because of the second wild card, they were not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs until mid-September, but it was as early as the second week in August that the season began to look as though it was over. To be fair to Towers, it was not entirely his doing. Injuries plagued the Diamondbacks in 2012. Chris Young, who had started off on an absolute tear was injured early in the season. He would wind up missing more than a third of the season due to injury, and was still hurt when he first came back. Justin Upton suffered an injury to his thumb which altered his swing and sapped his power. Henry Blanco broke his thumb against the San Francisco Giants. Daniel Hudson went down in the first month, and was lost to Tommy John surgery. Joe Saunders was hurt. Takashi Saito never seemed to be able to get his entire body healthy all at once. But, all good teams are equipped to weather injury. In this department, the Diamondbacks did not fare so well. With the bloom off the rose, Kevin Towers entered the 2012-13 offseason a bit exposed. Minor tweaks to a last place finishing, 65-win 2010 team had resulted in a 94 wins NL West Division Champion 2011. A few more tweaks, including spending money on questionable acquisition Jason Kubel to play left field, and the trade of highly-regarded prospect Jarrod Parker along with flame-throwing youngster Ryan Cook to Oakland for young inning-eating (but substantially more expensive) Trevor Cahill created a 2012 team that was older, more experienced, substantially more expensive, with a larger Kevin Towers thumbprint that very meekly limped to an 81-81 record, finishing 3rd in the NL West after having been out of meaningful contention the final 6 weeks of the season. Where the 2011-12 offseason was headlined by a marquis first baseman and closers, the 2012-13 offseason was headlined by top-flight outfield talent including Josh Hamilton, B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher, and Torii Hunter. There was no secret that this crop of outfielders was going to command top dollar as four of the five had turned down qualifying offers of approximately $13.5 million and were thus tied to draft pick compensation. Starting pitching also lined up as a premium target with Zack Greinke considered the only elite pitcher before a significant drop-off to Annibal Sanchez and Kyle Lohse, followed by high-risk/high-reward candidates like Jeremy Guthrie and Dan Haren. The Diamondbacks have rarely been in a position where the elite free agent market directly affected the team. With the exception of Miguel Montero's extension after the 2011 season, the D'backs by-and-large have developed or traded fo
1 day ago