This season, I've heard lots of folks in the stands ask "Who Is that Guy?" when they see a new player on the field. Quite often, not even noticing said player until sometime well into the game.
I gotta admit, it would be near impossible for the infrequent or passive fan to keep up with our roster. I am not referring to the group here on the SnakePit, I'm talking about people who take in an occasional game each year, who might watch a handful of games on TV or catch the box score in the paper once in a while.
Of our 25 man team (as of mid-day, 9/29/2011):
- 7 had their MLB debut in 2011, and 4 were added mid-season
- 17 didn't play a single day in a Diamondbacks uniform in 2010, 2 were added mid-season. Only 6 played the full year in Arizona.
- Only 5 players have been with the team since 2009 (can you name 'em?)
Where did "todays" Diamondbacks play the last 3 years? What is their experience as Diamondbacks?
Looking at their game appearances as Diamondbacks vs. playing elsewhere, I see that more than half of their games played in 2009-10 were for other teams, so I suppose a lack of fan familiarity with our current players is certainly understandable.
But let's take a closer look, and break it down by position:
- Our pitching staff has little Diamondbacks experience prior to 2011...
- Three played for the Dbacks at least part of last year, four of them hadn't even made the big league, and the remaining five pitched for other teams in 2010. IPK is the only one to pitch his entire 2010 season in Arizona.
- There is not a single pitcher on the current roster who took the mound with the team in 2009.
- Combined, Blanco and Montero appeared in only 135 games last year - Blanco caught 50 for NY and Montero caught just barely over half (85 games) of the season for Arizona.
- Montero did play a bulk (128 games) of the season in 2009.
- Our infielders have appeared in slightly more games for other teams this year (272) than for the Diamondbacks (221).
- In both 2009 and 2010, three of our five current infield roster all played for Toronto -- two (Burroughs and Goldschmidt) didn't play at all -- Ryan Roberts is our only infielder with Diamondbacks experience in the 2009-2010 seasons.
- As a group, its our outfields who've had the most staying power over the last few years. And none of our current OF roster have played a single game outside of Arizona this year.
- Of our current OF roster, ALL (except Willy) have been in a Diamondbacks uniform in 2009-11.
- Willie Bloomquist is listed as an Outfield on Dbacks roster, but he has practically split his time between playing outfield (50 games), and infield (44 games) this year, and split time between CIN and KC in 2009-10.
Its no wonder some fans don't know Burroughs from Bloomquist and can't tell the difference between Patterson and Ziegler when they see the side-arm pitch. This team doesn't resemble much of anything from year's prior.
.... answer to the relative "old timers" question:
5 since 2009: Montero, Roberts, Para, Upton, and Young
6 since 2010: above five, plus Kennedy
The point I am trying to make is that the team would be pretty much unrecognizable to anyone but a dedicated and loyal fan, and I wonder if this lack of fan familiarity with our players has anything to do with the lower than expected attendance as we lead the NL West with just a month left to go! But please don't get me wrong, I'm not against the changes, heck, I am thrilled to be in contention. I just half hoped that as our team nears the end of the season leading the division, would see bigger crowds in the stands.
And this also reminds me of a time in my childhood when players stayed put. I don't know if it was out of loyalty, money or just a different time back then, but gosh, I don't think there was this level of team turn-over on back in the 70s. But I'll have to explore THAT theory another day.
For the raw numbers behind the charts, click here, and please, by all means, point out any typos, grammatical errors, bad assumptions or miscalculations - I am all about learning.