Not the greatest of weeks for the Arizona Diamondbacks, as they dropped series at home to both the Pirates and Braves, winning only twice in seven attempts. Additionally, they lost Chris Young and Daniel Hudson to injuries, and Justin Upton had to sit out half the week as well. There's a country and western song in there somewhere. Our panel discuss the gloomy events. Guest presenter DeDxDbacKxJroK didn't show up, and the waiting list for panelists is now luckycc, sonic barracuda and blank_38, with new applications welcome in the comments.
Sum up the past week in three words.
Clefo:: Where's my offense?
Kishi:: That mostly sucked.
soco:: Don't go chasingwaterfalls.
Jim:: The Pirates? Really?
ZM:: I would, but I'd just have to censor them anyway.
snakecharmer:: "Well, that blows."
The team lost five consecutive home games, starting with the one which sent Chris Young to the DL. Did other factors send the team into this tailspin?
Dan:: No one player changes the team's fate that dramatically, so I'll go with "yes."
Clefo:: Yes, as well. There were some not-great pitching performances that even the 1927 Yankees on PCP couldn't overcome.
Kishi:: Oh, yeah, they weren't really firing on all cylinders even before CY was gone. He was helping make things look less dire, but that's all.
soco:: Agree with kishi. The D-backs weren't playing super before that, and we've seen some surprisingly bad bullpen work, inept offenses, and general ennui.
Jim:: I was hoping for the team to start playing better, but it didn't quite work out that way. I was at the game when Young got hurt, and there was a palpable sense of deflation. The team had been riding Young, offensively, and someone needed to step up to replace his production. That just hasn't happened. Throw in some sharp regression for the bullpen and it makes for a horrid week.
snakecharmer:: Maybe CY's injury provided a bit of a mental break, but I think the offense was struggling even before the injury.
ZM:: Yes, their problems are coming from an offense that is struggling almost top to bottom, and surprisingly inconsistent pitching. Chris Young's start was a nice little band-aid that disguised those problems, and now that he's out the Diamondbacks aren't disguising their struggles behind a bunch of one-run victories any more.
Who will replace Daniel Hudson? Wade Miley, one of the uber-prospects or someone in the middle? [Note: asked before the decision was made...]
Dan:: Either Wade Miley or Joe Martinez for this Monday. After that, who knows?
Clefo:: Miley, I imagine. Down the road, once Bauer's Twitter Re-Education Program is complete, we could see him or the other two of the big three.
Kishi:: I'm assuming it'll be Miley. I still doubt we'll see any of the big prospects for another month or so- if we can patch things together for a little while and save a year's worth of eligibility for them later on, it's worth it.
soco:: Barry Enright. Nah, juss kiddin. I imagine it'll be Miley since he's already on the 25 man.
Jim:: I think the team may need to decide if they are going to go all-in for this season. If this is truly the window Kevin Towers had described, it seems pointless to keep our best pitchers off the team. The year "saved" may well see us competing down the road against a Giants team with a competent GM, Dodgers franchise flush with cash, and all the Padres' prospects. Right now, none of those are true. Hey, I didn't just want to say "Miley". Not really happy with the choice: I think Thursday's Miley was probably closer to the true one than seven shutout innings Miley.
snakecharmer:: Well, I was going to guess Miley even before the news became official, based on the fact that they brought a reliever, Albaladejo, up for Hudson. I was doubting they'd call up a reliever for two days and then call up a starter. (Not that it hasn't happened, but I didn't think so.)
Ryan Roberts continues to struggle, perhaps worse than anyone. How long a string does he get?
Dan:: Depends on what we're talking about here. Continuing at exactly his current pace of awfulness? A month, maybe. Regresses into fringe-average form, yet never gets close to 2011? Probably the rest of the year, with Ryan Wheeler or Josh Bell joining as a platoon guy late in the year.
Kishi:: Who do we have to replace him? I'd say if he has until about the time Stephen Drew comes back before we start to wonder if Willie Bloomquist or John McDonald might be better options at third base.
soco:: I think at a certain point you can't let a guy continue to try to hack through a slump. Roberts isn't DiMaggio here (not just because he isn't Italian-American, or in center field), so I'm not sure he's earned the chance to struggle through it. But, agreeing again with kishi, who do we have to instantly replace him?
Jim:: We gonna trade all our prospects for David Wright! :) If he was the only weak spot, we could handle it, but going into Sunday's game, Jason Kubel has the highest batting-average of anyone on the team with 20+ AB. Good thing we still have Geoff Bl... Er, never mind.
I was staring yesterday at a piece I wrote on fandom and objectivity, in which RyRo, and Dan's pre-season article on him, features heavily. Posting it now would seem like kicking a puppy when he's asleep. Prove us wrong, Ryan. If not, we may well end up seeing Bloomquist at 3rd and McDonald at SS, until we feel a prospect is ready. Maybe Good Wheeler can save us, though hitting .224 at Reno isn't yet much to suggest an improvement.
snakecharmer:: What are our [hey, lookit that] options? Does RyRo have any options left? Who's available to call up? Do we really look at a trade THIS early? I think there are just so many questions to answer. I think every team can (or should) handle ONE offensive vortex of suck, and his defense is still fine. I think we should revisit this, and the rest of the infield, as we get closer to Drew's return.
A baseball card sold for $1.2 million this week. How much money would you need to have to consider a purchase like that?
Dan:: $50MM. Honus Wagner is awesome, but that's a tad much.
Clefo:: Basically, I would have had to inherit the funds from a wealthy plutocrat who made it a specific condition of the inheritance that I had to buy a Honus Wagner baseball card.
Kishi:: Maybe $100 million. mrskishi would probably still think I was crazy for it.
soco:: I think my wife would kill me if I bought a baseball card for that much, regardless of our net worth. I'd have to put it above $100 million, though even if I did I don't know if I'd buy a Honus Wagner. Yeah, it's the most famous and valuable baseball card, but I don't particularly care about tobacco cards.
Jim:: Man, I'd have to be a billionaire to think about that kind of thing. Even then, If I'm paying a million bucks for any piece of art, it should be big enough to cover an entire wall, not small enough to get lost down the back of the sofa. I value volume in my culture.
snakecharmer:: No idea... I can't even fathom that... you'd have to have an amazing security system to handle that, and other objects I'm sure you'd buy if you can afford to spend that on a baseball card. So if you're spending $2-3mil per year every year and you want to live to be 90.... I'd say I'd need to have at least $100million.
Philip Humber threw the 21st perfect game in baseball history on Saturday. On a scale of 1-10, where 10 is enthralled, and 1 is utterly disinterested, where do you put yourself?
Dan:: 9. The last out was pretty suspicious, which dampens the whole thing a bit for me.
Clefo:: 5, though unintentional. I was playing vintage ball during most of that game, but caught the final out at a mexican place in Tempe.
Kishi:: About a 4. I didn't realize it was happening until it already was done.
soco:: Being a part-time White Sox fan, I was pretty excited, so 10. Unfortunately I didn't hear about it until he had it, as I was driving back from Yuma at the time. By some weird coincidence I was wearing a White Sox hat, though.
Jim:: Maybe a 3. I reckon those kind of games are as much luck as anything. I mean, Armando Galarraga was Joyce'd out of a perfect game, then there's the no-hitter from Jonathan OMGZSanchez! It's great if a genuinely good pitcher like RJ does it - an exclamation point on their career - but Humber has done nothing except provide some vaguely amusing fantasy team names.
snakecharmer:: I MISSED IT BECAUSE PRACTICE TIME CHANGED. :( :( I love the drama and intrigue of perfect games and no-hitters. I am sad that it ended on a somewhat controversial call. So I'd say I'm a 5.
ZM:: Probably about a 7. I watched the end of it, since I casually follow the Mariners and enjoy laughing at the expense of my housemate, who's a die-hard M's fan. Also, something about baseball history.
We face the Phillies, luckily getting to dodge Roy Halladay, then hit the road to face the Marlins. Will this week be any kinder to Arizona?
Dan:: Probably. I'm incredibly bearish on the Marlins.
Clefo:: I think so. The Phillies have the same problem we have (starters very much injured), and I think we can get by Miami in a few of those games.
Kishi:: String of losses, three of our big name players injured- it almost has to be better next week, doesn't it?
soco:: Something has to give. The Phillies have been a disappointment so far, and the Marlins aren't much, yet. On the other hand, the D-backs haven't been very impressive the past week, either.
Jim:: It can hardly go worse. I'm hopeful the team can get back on track, and not having to face Halladay and Lee will help. Call it a 3-3 split and I'll be happy with that.
snakecharmer:: Well, if JUp stays in the lineup, that's immediately better. But if we couldn't take the series from the Pirates, what makes us think we'll take it from the Marlins? I'd be happy with 3-3.
ZM:: I'm optimistic (for a change). I'll say the team gets back on track with a 4-2 week.