Saturday, March 22, 2014
Joe Bonham had better range.
The Dodgers and Diamondbacks are opening the 2014 regular season in Australia on Saturday, which means Mark Trumbo is playing his first game with his new team. Arizona acquired him in a trade with the Angels over the winter.
Because Paul Goldschmidt is entrenched at first base, Trumbo will play left field full-time for the D-Backs. He played there briefly a few years ago, only 75 games plus one more in the minors. His inexperience showed on Scott Van Slyke’s second inning double:
...Missed it by that much. To make things worse, Trumbo grounded out to end the first inning with two men on base. Not the best first impression.
Posted: March 22, 2014 at 10:40 AM | 27 comment(s)
Friday, March 14, 2014
Makes about as much sense as Plunkblog.
Mediocrity has made the Diamondbacks angry.
Their rattle is louder. After consecutive .500 records, they overhauled their roster and have conducted Camp Tougher Meaner. Their new edge, while understandable, took a forked tongue in the road Wednesday night at Salt River Fields when Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley hit Rockies shortstop Troy Tulo- witzki with a fastball in the left calf near his fibula.
...The Rockies’ season could have been over before it started. And for what? Machismo gone wild?
Tulowitzki was hit after Tommy Kahnle smacked Arizona slugger Mark Trumbo in the back. Asked whether he thought Miley meant to hit him, Tulowitzki declined comment. Rockies manager Walt Weiss couldn’t mask his disappointment, saying “you never want to see one of your guys hit.”
The idea of retaliation is unfathomable in a Cactus League game. And yet the Rockies were privately convinced that Miley’s pitch was on purpose. Why?
Arizona general manager Kevin Towers said before spring training that he wants his pitchers to hit more batters this season. “I think come spring training, it will be duly noted that it’s going to be an eye for an eye and we’re going to protect one another,” Towers told MLB.com. “If not, if you have options, there’s ways to get you out of here, and if you don’t follow suit or you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you probably don’t belong in a Diamondbacks uniform.”
Frontier justice has a place in baseball. But it requires context. A cleats-up slide. Admiration of a home run like it’s a first born. Bad blood. None of these factors existed Wednesday.
Why would Hernandez, a guy with no chance of making the team, throw at Trumbo with a runner at first base? A big inning only accelerates his exit to the minors.
Trumbo wears it, then Tulo takes one. The Diamondbacks, because of their public stance on this issue, lose benefit of the doubt. Every time they hit a guy, opponents will believe there is intent. Speaking with Arizona reporters Thursday, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson denied it.
“It’s part of the game. It can happen in spring or during the regular season,” Gibson said. “I think one of the things we’ve focused on is using all quadrants of the plate. We’re not out there intentionally trying to hurt anybody. Nobody wants their guy to get hit and neither do we, but it’s part of the game.”
Posted: March 14, 2014 at 05:30 AM | 22 comment(s)
Sunday, February 09, 2014
Wow! The most multi-something or another Kirk since Rahsaan Roland!
Kirk Gibson is in a happy place.
He’s a baseball icon, immortalized by one of the most famous at-bats in history. He’s been a Most Valuable Player and a World Series champion. He loves his sport, his job and the 2014 Diamondbacks, a team that could make good on his vow to bring another championship to Arizona.
And what if it never happened? What if Gibson stuck with football?
“I would’ve been a top-five pick,” said Gibson, an All-American wide receiver at Michigan State. “I was big, fast and I caught everything.”
...Gibson is also a different cat. And after a great junior season at Michigan State in 1977, he decided to try baseball, “just to enhance my leverage in the NFL,” even though he hadn’t played since high school.
“But I struggled,” Gibson said. “I felt football was so much easier. The thing about baseball is, when you get mad, you have to stay focused. In football, you go and drill somebody and, for whatever reason, it makes you feel better. If the play is going in the other direction, you can smoke some guy and feel better about things.
“Baseball was different. I had to make sure I didn’t throw my helmet into the stands and kill somebody. I did that a lot.”
Posted: February 09, 2014 at 07:33 AM | 59 comment(s)
Friday, February 07, 2014
Bronson Arroyo has signed a two-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Arroyo will get $9.5 million the next two seasons with a third-year option worth $11 million and $4.5 million buyout, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.
Arroyo turns 37 on Feb. 24. He went 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA in 202 innings for the Reds last year. He’s thrown at least 199 innings every year since 2005.
He was 105-94 with an 4.05 ERA in his eight seasons with the Reds. The club did not make a qualifying offer of $14.1 million to Arroyo after the season. That means they will not receive a draft pick in compensation.
Thanks to Petitclerk.
Posted: February 07, 2014 at 07:43 PM | 45 comment(s)
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Masaography at its finest.
Here’s what we officially know about the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes: Very little.
Five teams have reportedly submitted formal offers for the highly-coveted Japanese righthander. The Yankees and Dodgers are viewed as the front runners in that group with the Cubs, Diamondbacks and White Sox bringing up the rear (likely in that order).
Now let’s get into the tea leaf reading:
(1) Living near a large Japanese community is apparently important to Tanaka (or at least his wife) according to multiple reports.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, New York City tops the list of the ten places with the largest number of Asians, coming in at 1,134,919. Los Angeles is second with 483,585 and Chicago is seventh with 166,770. No city in Arizona makes the list.
Seattle, by the way, is 11th with 100,727. That’s important because the Mariners are viewed as a potential dark horse candidate to land Tanaka.
(2) Some have speculated that Tanaka may want to go to a team where he would be the lone Japanese star.
The Yankees currently have starter Hiroki Kuroda and outfielder Ichiro Suzuki (who could be traded) on the roster. Reliever Kyuji Fujikawa is on the Cubs’ roster, though it’s difficult to see him challenging for serious attention.
The White Sox, Diamondbacks and Dodgers don’t have any Japanese players on their 40-man roster (LA’s Hyun-Jin Ryu is Korean).
Posted: January 21, 2014 at 10:19 AM | 71 comment(s)
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Or as Mitch Williams squirmed out last night: “Trumbo is a better all-around hitter than Goldschmidt.”
“With him and Goldy, you’ve got two of the more prolific right-handed hitters in the game right now,” Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers said. “In this ballpark, they’ll hit balls out of the ballpark even when they miss. Both are the type of right-handed bats that in the bigger ballparks like Petco, LA and San Francisco, those parks will be hard to hold them.”
Trumbo, who has bounced among first, third and the outfield in his career, does not arrive with a good defensive reputation, but he said he’s looking forward to the opportunity to focus on one position, left field.
Towers said the club is confident he won’t be a liability.
“I believe this guy is going to turn himself into a solid-average defender out there,” he said. “Only time will tell, but I wouldn’t bet against him. If we had that huge of concerns, it probably would have been difficult for us to make the deal. But there was a comfort level from our group, as evaluators, that he’d be able to handle it, and we felt the offense that he brought was a real plus.”
Trumbo says he “absolutely enjoys it” when others doubt his ability.
“I think you’ve got to have something that motivates you,” he said. “There’s no shortage of things that people seem to pick out that I do or don’t do. I think it’s good to play with a chip on your shoulder. To the guys out there that have those things to say, you can keep it up and we’ll turn it into something positive.”
Posted: December 19, 2013 at 07:54 AM | 14 comment(s)
Friday, December 06, 2013
Corey Myers is 33 years old (dumps RC’s).
TOP 10 PROSPECTS
1. Archie Bradley, rhp
2. Braden Shipley, rhp
3. Chris Owings, ss
4. Matt Davidson, 3b
5. Aaron Blair, rhp
6. Jose Martinez, rhp
7. Stryker Trahan, c
8. Matt Stites, rhp
9. Brandon Drury, 3b
10. Jake Lamb, 3b
While the major league team treaded water, the farm system provided a few success stories. Rookies Gregorius and A.J. Pollock, who put up a .730 OPS and played strong defense in center field, provided solid contributions. Double-A Mobile, led by top prospect Archie Bradley and first-year manager Andy Green, narrowly missed a third straight Southern League championship, losing in the league finals.
Low Class A South Bend reached the Midwest League finals, buoyed in part by the organization’s top two draft picks, college righthanders Braden Shipley and Aaron Blair. And while Triple-A Reno struggled, winning just 60 games, Aces shortstop Chris Owings took a big step forward, winning both the MVP and top rookie honors in the Pacific Coast League before making his major league debut in September.
Posted: December 06, 2013 at 06:22 AM | 2 comment(s)
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Win a game without RBIs! Oh, the comments…
Paul Goldschmidt had an incredible year, and I was lucky enough to see it all unfold right before my eyes. I saw the enormous hits he delivered late in games. I saw just how difficult of an out he was for opposing pitchers. I saw how well he played defensively. And I saw firsthand just how good of a person he is and can vouch that all the nice things you hear about him are 100 percent true.
But I did not give Goldschmidt my National League MVP vote. I understand this is not a popular decision around here. There are certain realities you have to accept in this job. One of them is that you’re never going to please everyone. Today is a day to keep that in mind.
Voting for these awards isn’t easy for beat writers when the players we cover are among the candidates. If you give them your vote, you risk looking like a homer nationally. If you don’t, you catch heat not only from the local fans but also within the clubhouse you cover. What you try to do – the only thing you can do – is make what you believe is the best choice. You don’t make your selection based on the team you cover or based on what other’s reactions might be. You make your selection based on your convictions.
...Goldschmidt was a terrific first baseman, among the best in the league, but, to me, the value of a good defensive center fielder far outweighs that of a good first baseman. Add in McCutchen’s base-running advantage and, in my eyes, that more than made up for the small advantage Goldschmidt had at the plate.
I don’t so much care that McCutchen played on a playoff team or that he helped the Pirates reach the postseason for the first time in 21 years. It certainly makes for a better story, but value shouldn’t depend on the players surrounding you.
Neither should greatness be dependent on those who are watching it. I was lucky enough to cover Goldschmidt this season. But I shouldn’t allow that to cloud my objectivity. I might not have been able to see McCutchen nearly as often, but, best I can tell, he was just a little bit more valuable.
Posted: November 16, 2013 at 11:04 AM | 17 comment(s)
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