An eventful week for the Diamondbacks, especially their starting rotation. Daniel Hudson is lost for the season, but Trevor Bauer arrived and Wade Miley made it as a rookie to the All-Star Game. All these topics are discussed by this week's round-table, along with the absence of Daron Sutton and Heritage Days. AzdbackfaninDc is the guest contributor this time [that's it, you're officially part of "the in-crowd" now!], with dbacks25 and $-The Moneyman-$ next up. If you want to take part, just raise your hands in the comments and we'll add you to the list.
The past week saw the team hit the road in Atlanta and Milwaukee. What stood out?
soco: Oof. The only game I managed to watch was the Bauer game, and that was perfectly fine. But reading the recaps was like putting salt on my hand and then an ice cube (kids, don't do this at home).
ZM: The fact that we're still amazingly bad at scoring runs on the road/against good teams/when Venus enters Capricorn/randomly. I hate to be one of those fans who wails about how "inconsistent" his team is (considering that baseball is an inconsistent game almost by its very nature), but the pitching staff is young and inexperienced, and probably just isn't good enough right now to overcome a lack of run support.
BattleMoses: The end of that last game. Ugh
AzdbackfaninDc: First. I want to thank Jim for letting guests participate in doing these. I can't say anything stood out, besides the fact we need to improve somehow for our road games. It seems other than a great game here and there, our bats are asleep. It was nice to see Bauer get his first shot in the bigs.
Jim: I wasn't able to see much action this week, only the two losses in Atlanta, so my view is likely a bit jaundiced. But it can be summed up as, "We're still in this? How?" Nice to see a bit of our pitching depth, and Collmenter seems to have recovered his mojo, going by Sunday's start. Though it was against the Brewers whom he seems to enjoy facing.
Wade Miley is going to the All-Star Game. Aaron Hill isn't. Thoughts?
Clefo: A lifetime of disappointment has numbed me to All Star snubs re: Hill. It is what it is. I'm happy for Wade, though. He is very deserving.
soco: There's always screw ups in the roster, so it's hard to get too bent out of shape about it. I'll watch the game, hopefully enjoy, move on with my life.
ZM: Good for Wade Miley. Kid deserves it. Aaron Hill just did something in two weeks that no one else has done even in an entire season since 1931. I think we'll remember that longer than we'd remember some meaningless at-bat in an exhibition game.
BattleMoses: There's a big snub every year and, unfortunately it's Hill this year.
AzdbackfaninDc: We all know how good Aaron Hill has been recently. I just don't feel the D-backs get any love other than the devoted fans like us. Congrats to Wade for having a great year so far.
Jim: No problem, Hill will win the final vote. He's easily the best player of the five, and it's not as if some has-been or a snot-nosed kid are going to pose any threat in the ballot, are they? Are they? Hello, hello - is this thing on? More seriously, as noted, I think Hill caught fire too late to make it in through either voting system. Memo to Aaron: do better in April next year, m'kay?
The Diamondbacks lost Daniel Hudson for 2012 and a good chunk of 2013. How much of an impact will this have?
Clefo: Hopefully in that time he'll learn that overpowering guys was what was working for him earlier. Thankfully there's a lot of pitching depth in the system, so it's not as much of a coup de grace as it could have been.
soco: I suppose that depends on whether the supposed depth of our minor league pitchers can make the transition. If Bauer/Skaggs/Corbin all become beasts in the Majors, then Hudson who? Otherwise it's not going to be fun, I'mma tell you what.
ZM: It's easy to forget now, but Bauer did in Triple-A, Hudson did for 79 innings in the majors in 2010. Kid had a 1.69 ERA at the age of 23. It's incredibly sad, and it will clearly have an impact on the team going forward. How much of an impact it has comes down to the progression of Bauer, Skaggs, and Corbin.
AzdbackfaninDc: I think Soco nailed it. If others can step up to the plate, then Hudson who?
Jim: Obviously, losing your #2 starter for a year or 18 months is never going to be a good thing. However, looking for positives, it's not as if Hudson had been carrying the team with his performances this year: a 7.35 ERA over three months is replaceable. If he can come back, and come back as the 2011 stud he was, then it's fine. We'll miss him, but getting him back healthy is what matters.
The long saga of Daron Sutton's absence rumbles on. What's your take?
Clefo: Nobody's gonna tell anybody anything, so I'm not gonna really spend much time worrying about it. Of course I'd like him back, though.
soco: Silly season. If the main problem is the guy wants to get too dressed up for work, you've got to be kidding me. This makes the Diamondbacks look like a joke, regardless of whether they were in the right or not.
ZM: My semi-professional take on this is that it is weird. You read it here first, folks! The whole thing just feels really poorly-handled and unprofessional, particularly from a front office that prides itself so strongly on how it's perceived.
AzdbackfaninDc: I miss Daron so much. To me the broadcasts without him are boring and have me yawning a lot. I know none of us know the truth but if I were to guess, drinking had something to do with it as well. I don't get into fashion, hell I dont even own a suit. But the red shirts that Gracie and Schulte were wearing the other day were hideous imo. I just hope this gets resolved soon so we can get Daron back into the booth.
Jim: It's really not making the team look good at all: the silence is simply leading to a rumor mill churning ever faster, and with dubious authenticity. I mean, when a Bleacher Report article becomes the most substantial piece on the topic, regardless of accuracy,, we're officially through the looking glass. Maybe, when it all comes out - and it will, though when is anyone's guess - we'll go "Oh, that makes sense." But, for now, it seems shoddy on a number of levels. And it's also demonstrating the difference between a good radio play-by-play guy and a good TV guy.
Trevor Bauer made his long-anticipated major league debut. Were you disappointed, or was it what you expected?
Clefo: Movement on pitches that could be described as "sexy"? Some control problems? Yeah, about what I expected. Hope he can go longer in his second outing on Tuesday.
soco: I didn't know what to expect, so I guess in that sense I was disappointed. I'm not surprised when a young pitcher doesn't adjust right away to the majors, though, and the groin issue didn't help him.
ZM: Imagine you're one of those fans for a minute. One of the ones that pay no attention to the farm system at all. You just saw a rookie make his debut on three days rest, in an opposing ballpark with sweltering heat and a pretty good opposing lineup, and you saw him keep his team in the game, which neither of the previous two pitchers were able to do. You'd say, "Good job, kid, grab some pine and slap some sense into that lazy Justin Upton punk." Because in this scenario you're an AZCentral commentator.
Seriously, he did what we expected: made some amazing pitches, struggled with his command, made some rookie mistakes, and struggled to pitch deep into the ball game. Pretty much what I expected.
AzdbackfaninDc: I didn't know what to expect from him either. Seemed everyone thought he was going to come in and dominate. He had a rough outing, but as stated in a GDT, it was his major league debut, he had pitched the Sunday prior, he was nervous, and had groin/leg issues. I can't wait to see how the home crowd reacts with him and Drew coming back. I'm thinking the first Bauer game at chase will have a nice crowd.
Jim: It was one of those scenarios where even a one-hitter would have seemed a bit of a disappointment. Realistically, it was more than adequate. But there had been so much anticipation built up for his arrival, he'd have needed to fed the entire crowd with a couple of loaves of bread to match expectations. Some of his stuff looked really good though: if he can locate that curve, he's going to make a lot of major-league hitters look very, very silly.
Sunday was Italian Heritage Day in Miller Park. What Heritage Day would you like to see celebrated at Chase?
soco: Well, the State Legislature would probably drop the hammer on any Hispanic or Mexican heritage days, so I guess the next logical choice would be to celebrate the various tribal organizations in Arizona. The only problem with this is there isn't some sort of unification of symbols, like translating the team name. How do you make a non-offensive tribal heritage day that can work for Apache, Navajo, Hopi, Pima, Cocopah, Ak Chin, Yavapai, the Mohave, Havasupai, Hualapai, Paiute, Quechan, and Tohono O'odham?
ZM: Midwest heritage day, natch, so we can finally get some decent hot dogs up in this state!
Jim: What about Canadian Heritage Day, eh? Sure Kendrick'd be down with honoring the neighbors that don't need a fence... But mostly for an excuse to fill Chase Field with 30,000 cubic yards of snow. God, anything to take the edge of this wretched heat. Though we'd better make sure our application for major-league water-polo is approved.
Back to Phoenix and the NL West, with series against both the Padres and Dodgers, including Bauer's first home start. Expectations?
Clefo: There is no reason we shouldn't be able to absolutely destroy both of these teams in their current states.
soco: I think we need to build a deus ex machina if we hope to survive.
Clefo: I don't know if you can get a huge crane inside Chase Field. (/theatrejoke)
Jim: Glad you put the tag on, or I'd have thought it was a birdwatching joke.
AzdbackfaninDc: As stated above, I think all the die hard fans living in the Phx area will make every effort to see Bauer's first game. I think the ballpark will be electric. I'm curious to see what kind of response Drew will get for his first game back as well. I'm thinking Bauer will dominate having the crowd behind him. I predict a 4-3 homestand with us winning 2 of 3 over San Diego and splitting the LA series. I'd also be fine if we went 7-0. We are getting
so close to where we need to be but we have to try just a little harder than we have been lately. Again thanks to Jim and Go Diamondbacks!
ZM: Greek theatre jokes aside, here's the skene on the upcoming week: 5-2, hopefully featuring a series win over the Dodgers. With a little luck, we could be in second place by the All Star Break.
Jim: Time to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And we're all out of bubblegum. Padres have been awful all season, Dodgers worse still of late. 5-2 at a minimum, and hopefully above that.