More roster moves were announced today: Clay Zavada has been called up in replace of Bobby Korecky, while Stephen Drew has been removed from the Disabled List after only two rehab games with the Reno Aces (he went 3 for 9 with a triple). Conor Jackson replaces him, having not been able to get over the flu in a reasonable amount of time.
It's also being reported that Gerardo Parra has been promoted, but Nick Piecoro says that Parra's callup sounds like it'll be tomorrow, along with Augenstein (as previously announced). Nick makes a good point - with Drew back, the extra infielder won't be necessary, so it'll likely be Wilson. (I vote we keep him in the 'pen, anybody with me?)
[Updated 5/13] The corresponding roster moves to calling up Parra and Augenstine are to return Zavada to Double-A and designate Josh Wilson for assignment.
These are some very aggressive moves by Byrnes, Hinch and the Diamondbacks organization, especially when you also take into account the promotion of Bryan Augenstein that accompanies them. I imagine we'll see paqs taking a look at all of the players concerned in details in this week's minor-league round-up, so I don't want to steal his thunder. But it does seem to suggest that the decision may have been made to turn this into a rebuilding year, accepting to a certain extent, that the current players are not capable of getting it done.
It also suggests that we're going to be rebuilding from within, with Parra perhaps being penciled in a long-term alternative to Young in CF, who has really struggled pretty much the entire season. Upton, it goes without saying, is a lock in left, and we'll be paying Eric Byrnes the big bucks this season and next, so might as well try and get some money from him [it seems, at the moment, he is by far the better alternative to Jackson out-OPSing him by 184 points]. It could be interesting, taking these moves into account, to try and speculate what our roster might look like next season. Webb, Haren, Scherzer, Augenstein and Parker as a 2010 rotation? If that's the plan, then we may be looking to dump Garland and Davis at the trade deadline.
Even if the players proves good enough to stick around in the majors going forward, the downside is much the same as we've seen with Upton. We're starting his service clock, so he'll hit free-agency - and, presumably, depart for the Yankees or whoever - that much sooner. Generally, to maximize their production for a team, you want to have your players up to, and maybe a year or two beyond, their peak production in their late 20's. Parra just turned 22 last Tuesday; Augenstein is 23 in July; Zavada is probably the only one arriving at the "normal" time, since he'll turn 25 next month, having taken a somewhat circuitous route to the majors and not pitched in 2007 at all.
As far as the 2009 season goes, it may well be a sign that it isn't our year. Nine games out already, with an offense which contains more holes than the collected works of Michael Bay. We may be less than a quarter of the way through the season, but these moves suggest the organization wants pull the collective plug on things, rather than struggling on, in pursuit of a cause that was perhaps lost along with Brandon Webb's arm.
A final note on Jackson, from Nick Piecoro's blog. Get well soon, Conor:
Not sure what’s going on with Jackson. When I got to the ballpark on Saturday, one of his teammates said he looked deathly ill, but I haven't been around the past couple of days. Apparently he’s been OK enough to pinch hit a couple of times in the past few games... I’m told that he is “very sick,” and Hinch said that the club is going to run a “battery of tests, make sure that he’s fine... Our medical team, we're baffled a little bit by this," Hinch said. "It's been a long time and he's never really gotten better. He's shown signs of coming out of it and then it kind of relapse."