Wow, that's a bit of a mouthful as a title today: hope you can pick the sense out of it! Started work on the third part of the Community Projections, but I ran out of time, and there's now no way that's going to get finished tonight. So consider this a stop-gap kind of entry until I get that finished off. Two games for the price of one for the Diamondbacks today; the good news was mostly the game against the White Sox, where we crushed Chicago 10-0. Jesus Mercham was the star, going 3-for-4, including a bases-loaded double, and four runs batted in overall. But Alex Romero had two hits, while Hammock and Salazar each reached safely twice, with a hit and a walk.
Edgar Gonzalez and a four-pack of relievers combined on a five-hit shutout of the Sox. Gonzalez extended his scoreless streak with three innings of work, striking out two and allowing three hits. Cruz, Enright, Roemer and Robertson restricted Chicago to two hits and one walk over the remaining six innings: the last-named was particularly sharp, striking out three and giving up one hit in two innings. All told, our pitchers faced only three hitters over the minimum, thanks to the help of a double-play and Bonifacio nailing a runner at third.
Not so good news at the Peoria Sports Complex, where the other half of the roster went down 6-3 to the Padres. The Diamondbacks came down from an early deficit, courtesy of none other than Scott Hairston, batting lead-off for San Diego. He smacked the first pitch of the game from Doug Davis out of the park, and then added a two-run double the next inning. Pitching to the rest of the lineup, Davis was a bit better; overall, four hits and a walk in three innings of work, but also three earned runs, all courtesy of Hairston.
Arizona did come back, getting two in the fourth, courtesy of RBI singles from Eric Byrnes and Chris Snyder, and then tied the game up in the fifth, with another RBI, this time from Orlando Hudson. The game stayed tied until Rosen came in, allowing a hit, three walks and a wild pitch while retiring precisely one hitter. A double off Nippert led to Rosen being tagged with three earned runs in a rather catastrophic seventh inning. We managed only six hits all game: Conor Jackson had a particularly bad day, going 0-for-4 with two double-plays, leaving seven men on base and making an error. Young and Reynolds each had a hit and a walk, while Tony Peña threw a perfect sixth.
Nick Piecoro discusses the likelihood of us trading Medders or Nippert, saying "The more scouts I talk to, the more convinced I am that neither Brandon Medders nor Dustin Nippert will pass through waivers unclaimed." However, with the way the numbers are shaking down on the roster - and Doug Slaten looking more and more likely to be ready in time for Opening Day - it seems likely one or other will be traded before Opening Day. Nippert is 16 months younger, and his experience as a starter makes him more valuable. However, he has much less major league experience (only 70 innings) and an ERA there of 6.43 doesn't seem anything to write home about. When he's good, he's very. very good, but when he's bad... Hoo-boy.
Medders has almost twice as many innings under his belt (131.2) and an overall ERA for his career of 3.36 - that's an ERA+ of 139, which is comparable with, say, Jose Valverde (141). However, after a fine 2006 campaign, he seemed unquestionably shaky during last season - we've rehashed before his one-pitch destruction of a three-run seventh-inning lead against the Phillies - and got sent down to Tucson. But despite that, his overall numbers weren't bad: a 4.30 ERA is respectable for a reliever. Maybe we can get him only to pitch at Chase, where over his entire career he had held opposing hitters to a .208 average. That's ninety-three points less than on the road, and their OPS is 231 points lower at home too.
So, today's comment starter: which one do we keep?