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Sunday, April 22, 2018

‘Family’ and sense of ‘brotherhood’ has Diamondbacks picking up right where they left off

Ever since Lovullo came aboard, the former bench coach for the Red Sox made it a point to establish core principles with the Diamondbacks revolving around trust, unity and an unbreakable bond of team-wide belief. That’s what carried them through their 93-69 season a year ago, and it’s what helped put them in position to try and become the first NL club since the 2003 Giants to win their first seven series to open a season.
They couldn’t do it without talent, and the Diamondbacks have plenty of that judging from the win column. But glossy statistics and next-level analytics isn’t what fuels this franchise. It’s the intangibles and an invisible but undeniable force.

Kumbaya !

Jack Sommers Posted: April 22, 2018 at 09:39 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: diamondbacks

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   1. Bhaakon Posted: April 22, 2018 at 11:44 PM (#5658291)
It’s the intangibles and an invisible but undeniable force.

Does the PED protocol cover midichlorians?
   2. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 22, 2018 at 11:50 PM (#5658292)
How much of this roster was put together by Dave Stewart? Not none of it, right?
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 22, 2018 at 11:57 PM (#5658293)
It’s the intangibles and an invisible but undeniable force.
Oh, F F'ing FS.
   4. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 23, 2018 at 12:46 AM (#5658295)
It’s the intangibles and an invisible but undeniable force.

And guys hitting and catching the ball really well. That may have some bearing on it. Oh and pitching well. If you pitch well, those intangibles look after themselves.
   5. Leroy Kincaid Posted: April 23, 2018 at 06:29 AM (#5658304)
And guys hitting and catching the ball really well. That may have some bearing on it. Oh and pitching well. If you pitch well, those intangibles look after themselves.

To be fair, I think the point is that this "force" is a cause of all the tangible stuff. I suspect these "intangible" and "chemistry" arguments are un-falsifiable and that's why they're trotted out so often.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 23, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5658428)
Lovullo seems to have an invisible touch, yeah...he seems to have an invisible touch, oh-oh-oh!
   7. Itchy Row Posted: April 23, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5658436)
"Invisible" is just another name for "The Clear."
   8. Panik on the streets of Flushing! (Trout! Trout!) Posted: April 23, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5658438)
Lovullo seems to have an invisible touch, yeah...he seems to have an invisible touch, oh-oh-oh!

Intangibles are basically a land of confusion.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: April 23, 2018 at 11:25 AM (#5658443)
Kid, I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other.... (etc)
   10. Walt Davis Posted: April 23, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5658669)
Shoewiz or others could answer this better than I but nobody's taken a whack at it. Most of the key roster spots were acquired under Stewart/LaRussa I believe -- Goldschmidt, Ahmed, Peralta, Pollock, Owings, maybe the entire rotation (Greinke, Ray, Corbin surely). Bullpens and benches turn over all the time of course. They're not a particularly young team, most are in their prime-ish years of 27-31. Almost everybody has at least 3 years service time.

Their biggest transaction this year was trading for Steven Souza (hurt I assume). The year before that it was trading away Segura and Haniger for Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte -- not a great trade, not a terrible trade.

But the offseason before that, Stewart had the very expensive signing of Greinke, the terrible trade for Shelby Miller and the (turned out to be) very good trade for Segura that his successors almost immediately un-did. And it's not as if too many of the guys leading the charge were major Stewart acquisitions.

Hmmm... I suppose Goldschmidt might pre-date Stewart.
   11. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: April 23, 2018 at 05:13 PM (#5658671)
I had an irrational soft spot for Lovullo as a minor league manager - he just "seemed" like he knew how to manage people and games.
Another name to file away who gave me a similiar, intangible vibe ... Charlie Montoyo (also a KPAST middle infielder like Torey).
   12. Itchy Row Posted: April 23, 2018 at 05:18 PM (#5658674)
Lovullo's dad managed Junior Samples and Lisa Todd to some of the best performances of their careers.
   13. perros Posted: April 23, 2018 at 05:38 PM (#5658685)
To be fair, I think the point is that this "force" is a cause of all the tangible stuff. I suspect these "intangible" and "chemistry" arguments are un-falsifiable and that's why they're trotted out so often.

I suppose you can manage a baseball team (or your life) like a science experiment, but that's not what most successful people do, I don't think.

La Russa maybe.

If you want to quantify people skills, you probably can.
   14. Internet Commenter Posted: April 23, 2018 at 05:43 PM (#5658688)
Shoewiz or others could answer this better than I but nobody's taken a whack at it. Most of the key roster spots were acquired under Stewart/LaRussa I believe

Not really. LaRussa was hired in May 2014 and Stewart in September 2014. Hazen was hired in October 2016. As far as I'm aware, these are the guys LaRussa/Stewart acquired who are currently on the 25 or DL:

- Godley
- Greinke
- Koch
- Miller
- Ray
   15. Walt Davis Posted: April 23, 2018 at 08:27 PM (#5658753)
Fair enough, I should have said "acquired or already in the system." (Plus I always think they were there longer than they were.) The point is more that the current roster is pretty close to the roster they had when Stewart/LaRussa were fired, within the confines of standard pen/bench turnover. I may have missed something but it seems the major moves of the new FO were trading Segura and acquiring Souza. With the injuries to Walker and Souza, those aren't paying off well yet.

Of the 9 "starters" listed for the 2014 DBacks at b-r, only Goldschmidt is still around. Montero, Aaron Hill, Didi, Prado, Trumbo, Inciarte and Parra were all either traded or let go as FA, I think all by Stewart/LaRussa (not going to check on all of them, most were traded). Peralta, Owings, Pollock, Ahmed and Lamb are the bench players in 2014 who became starters/key bench players on the 2015-16 DBacks. However, no other position players added in 2015 or 2016 are currently playing an important role I don't think, so they didn't really add new blood (other than Segura who was later traded away).

On the pitching side, I'm not sure there are any holdovers from 2014 other than the injured Randall Delgado. The 2015 DBacks rotation was completely different than the 2014 rotation except for Chase Anderson (part of the later Segura trade). There were some bullpen holdovers. The 2016 staff featured Greinke, Corbin, Ray, Bradley, (Miller) and Godley.

So while they didn't acquire all of the players, LaRussa and Stewart overhauled the 2014 roster both in terms of the players and the playing time. They put together pretty much a completely new rotation. A good chunk of the key players on the 2015-2016 rosters remain key contributors on the 2018 DBacks. Other than the strong possibility that they would have done something dumb like traded Peralta, Pollock and Corbin for Adam Wainwright and signed Arrieta for 7/$175, the 2018 DBacks probably wouldn't look a lot different under LaRussa/Stewart than they currently do, at least at the ML level.

Which is not to claim that a OOTP AI GM or the loudmouth at the end of the bar couldn't have done as good a job. But it is the case that many of the key players on the 2018 DBacks were key players on the 2015-16 DBacks as assembled by LaRussa/Stewart.
   16. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 23, 2018 at 08:47 PM (#5658762)
And they were, I think, dismissed having been given less of a chance to succeed than a front office with the analytics seal of approval would have been had it made the same moves and gotten the same results. Stewart was expected to be a terrible GM, but he didn't really do anything to prove himself one. All kinds of GMs make a bad move here and there while still being good overall, and Stewart may have been, in retrospect.

Similarly, I seem to recall that the last good Diamonbondbacks team was assembled and/or left in place by the GM (Josh Byrnes) previous to the one who got the credit for it.
   17. Jack Sommers Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5659251)
Hey Walt, I wasn't around yesterday and busy this morning so just saw this.

For the most part Hazen has made moves "around the edges", as opposed to making a lot of major trades and signing, but there are a lot of edges.

1.) Bullpens: are often overlooked, however considering bullpens throw over 1/3 the innings, they shouldn't be. There was pretty heavy turnover in the bullpen from 2016 to 2017, essentially completely remade, and then he churned some more in 2018. So it's safe to say that the bullpen looks completely different from the Stewart/Larussa era.

2.) Catching: The catching was mostly done by Mathis and Iannetta last year, and is being done by Mathis and Avila this year. None of these players were with the team in 2016 or prior.

3.) 2017 Outfield: Of course they made the JD Martinez trade for a great half season run, and then replaced him with Souza, who has been hurt,

That said, the D Backs roster in 2017 was clearly a combination of all the GM's they've had. Below is a list of all players that appeared on the team in 2017 with the name of the GM shown when they entered the organization, either via Draft, Trade or Free Agency.

First a summary though, by GM, (Chronological)

GM      #Players    Games    WAR   Salary
Byrnes       4      392      9.3    18.5
DiPoto       1       35      2.9     4.0
Towers      11      687     11.1     6.0
LaStewart    9      260     14.8    51.0
Hazen       20      986      9.0    24.0 

It should be noted that although the WAR/$ efficiency looks high with Byrnes ERA, thats mostly due to Goldy being signed to team friendly extension that was engineered by Kevin Towers.

There are also a bunch of Towers pre arb draft picks, trades and signings. So for the 2017 it was the KT era that brought the most bang for the buck.

The La Stewart ERA brought the most war, but at huge expense, both in terms of dollars, and talent expended in the acquisition process.

EDIT: Robbie Ray cost them Didi Gregorious, and of course Greinke cost all the monies.....Zack Godley VERY underrated pickup for Addison Reed though. Those 3 pitchers make up almost all the LaStewart WAR. Miller cost a ton, but got hurt...and Tomas costs (and weighs) a ton, but provides negative WAR

For his first year, Hazen managed to add a fair amount of WAR at pretty reasonable cost. I'll also posit that WAR does not quite fairly credit the contributions they got at Catcher last year , which is 4M of that Dollar total.

Here is the full list, forgive me for not lining up the columns...too much work, but you get the gist, as can see the GM name next to player name pretty clearly

Name GM G WAR Salary 
Paul Goldschmidt Byrnes 155 5.8 
$8,875,000  All-Star
.JPollock Byrnes 112 3 $6,750,000  
Chris Owings Byrnes 97 0.7 
Jake Barrett Byrnes 28 
-0.2 $548,300  
Patrick Corbin DiPoto 35 2.9 
Archie Bradley Towers 63 3.7 
David Peralta Towers 140 2.5 
Brandon Drury Towers 135 1.6 
Jake Lamb Towers 149 1.5 
$573,300  All-Star
Andrew Chafin Towers 71 1 
Jimmie Sherfy Towers 11 0.6 250000 
Randall Delgado Towers 26 0.5 
Nick Ahmed Towers 53 0.2 
Anthony Banda Towers 8 
-0.1 250000 
Silvino Bracho Towers 21 
-0.1 250000 
Braden Shipley Towers 10 
-0.3 250000 
Zack Greinke LaStewart 33 6.4 
$34,000,000  All-Star
Robbie Ray LaStewart 28 5.4 
$570,400  All-Star
Zack Godley LaStewart 27 4 500
Shelby Miller LaStewart 4 0.4 
Matt Koch LaStewart 1 0 250000 
Ildemaro Vargas LaStewart 12 0 250000 
Jack Reinheimer LaStewart 2 
-0.1 250000 
Yasmany Tomas LaStewart 47 
-0.5 $9,500,000  
Chris Herrmann LaStewart 106 
-0.8 $937,500  
Taijuan Walker Hazen 28 3.2 
.DMartinez Hazen 62 2.6 $5,000,000  
Chris Iannetta Hazen 89 1.8 
Ketel Marte Hazen 73 1.1 250000 
Jeremy Hazelbaker Hazen 41 0.9 
Jorge De La Rosa Hazen 66 0.7 
.JHoover Hazen 52 0.5 $900,000  
Fernando Rodney Hazen 61 0.3 
Tom Wilhelmsen Hazen 27 0.2 
Rubby De La Rosa Hazen 9 0.1 250000 
David Hernandez Hazen 26 0.1 250000 
Christian Walker Hazen 11 0.1 250000 
Rey Fuentes Hazen 64 0 250000 
Gregor Blanco Hazen 90 
-0.1 $1,000,000  
John Ryan Murphy Hazen 5 
-0.1 250000 
Daniel Descalso Hazen 131 
-0.2 $1,350,000  
Kristopher Negron Hazen 14 
-0.2 250000 
Adam Rosales Hazen 34 
-0.5 250000 
Jeff Mathis Hazen 60 
-0.6 $2,000,000  
.JMcFarland Hazen 43 -0.9 $685,000 

For the 2018 team, new guys on the major league roster include

Stephen Souza (hasn't played yet)
Yoshi Hirano
Alex Avila
Fernando Salas
Jarrod Dyson
Deven Marrero should be noted that Yasmany Tomas has been removed from the 40 man roster and is toiling as part time DH/Outfielder with 46 Million still to go on his contract.
   18. Jack Sommers Posted: April 24, 2018 at 09:20 PM (#5659555)
Oh forgot closer boxberger too
   19. Jack Sommers Posted: April 25, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5660030)
One other thing.....Looks like Souza still won't be back until mid May.

Souza update
Right fielder Steven Souza Jr. continues to remain active as he works his way back from a pectoral strain, but he doesn’t appear to be close to a return.

Souza had 12 at-bats at extended spring training over the past two days, manager Torey Lovullo said, but his throwing program remains conservative. Lovullo said Souza has only thrown out to 90 feet since being shut down two weeks ago after feeling discomfort while throwing.

Lovullo was asked if the club would consider bringing Souza back from the disabled list before he was fully healthy, if only to serve as a bat off the bench.

“We talked about that internally, we’ve gone over a couple of different scenarios, but no,” Lovullo said. “I think we’re ready for him to come back as complete as possible so I think we’re going to stay with the original plan and make sure that he’s been throwing and doing OK offensively and defensively.”


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