The Diamondbacks are now playing out the string of the 2012 season, finishing the week 10.5 back in the NL West, and 6.5 back for the second NL wild-card. The rosters expanded, without perhaps as much activity as expected, but the offense had a bad week, failing to score more than four runs before this afternoon. Is it time to be thinking more about 2013 than this year? The panel discuss, with guest correspondent rd33. There's no waiting list, so if you feel enthusiastic enough to contribute next week, then a) I'll have what you're having, and b) please step forward in the comments.
A 2-5 week: swept by the Reds, then splitting four with the Dodgers in LA. Can you muster any more enthusiasm than "Meh"?
soco: Yes, partially. We didn't get swept by the Dodgers like some people thought. But it's not fun to lose on a walk-off.
rd33: Well........we beat Kershaw!
Kishi: A dispirited "Woo"?
Jim: Any flickering hope were extinguished by two one-run losses to LA. I turned today's game off after seven, and am glad I did. On seeing the final score, I just kinda rolled my eyes: there was a point when I'd have been upset, but that has gone.
Rosters expanded, but the D-backs left a number of players with the Aces for their playoff run. Do you support that idea?
Clefo: Sure. Reno is our farm team, but they are also the professional baseball team of the denizens of the "Biggest Little City in the World", and they have fans that want to see them win their respective championship, so why not?
soco: It's not like it's going to help the D-backs make the playoffs. At least let Reno have some fun in the sun.
rd33: Yes, Taking Reno's best players wouldn't be fair for their teammates and fans. They need them more then the Dbacks who are still pretty far back for a playoff spot.
Kishi: Yeah, I support it. Give the players some playoff time, even if it isn't in the majors. I mean, the Reno season has more potential than the Diamondbacks season does right now...
Sonic: Sure, why not? The Aces need Eaton as they play so much better with him there. Let them try and finish it off.
snakecharmer: What soco said. It won't matter to us, let them get the confidence of playing in a postseason and hopefully winning!
Jim: I'm in two minds about it. Sure, it's nice to give Reno a shot, and see how the players perform in the post-season there [because they certainly won't be here]. On the other hand, it's a meaningless title, and there's a case to be made that major-league experience would be better for their development in the long run. We need to see if Eaton, for example, can help us in 2013. Will spring training give us enough of an idea?
The offense managed only 17 runs over seven games this week. Have they given up?
Clefo: "Given up" seems harsh. "Somebody accidentally insulted a gypsy mystic and a curse was placed on the offense rendering it impotent." is about right. Not saying who did it, but it was Ken Kendrick.
soco: "Giving up" would imply I have some kind of insight into the personalities and psychological make-up of the players. I'm sure there's some arm-chair psychologist clown that'll pop in the comments and bluster about it like they really know, but it's all speculation. I just think that a streaky team is being streaky. Streaky bad. Like generic brand window cleaner you get at Food City.
rd33: They are still struggling to be consistent but i wouldn't say they‘ve given up. When the offense is good then the pitching struggles and vice versa.
Kishi: I wouldn't say given up. But they're in a rut, that's for sure.
Sonic: I would never accuse them of giving up. Maybe our offense just isn't that good. We did face a lot of competent pitching in that stretch and we don't have enough special bats to overcome that.
snakecharmer: No no, it's not "giving up" that is making them sucky. Something is, surely, and I'm sure some of it is from mental strain of losing and falling out of it, but it's not giving up.
Jim: Wouldn't blame them if they had, especially after today, where they score eight runs, and still lose. Seriously: it has to be hard to maintain focus and keep grinding out the plate appearances down the stretch, rather than phone it in. There certainly did seem to be quite a few at-bats just given away over the past week.
Would you favor shutting Ian Kennedy down, saving his arm from unnecessary strain, and making room for Trevor Bauer?
soco: So shut Kennedy down to bring up Bauer, who has been struggling with a groin injury? No.
rd33: No, maybe go to a 6 man rotation to give IPK an extra day off. They can call up Bauer or put Collmenter back in the rotation.
Kishi: It might be a good idea to let Kennedy rest. As for bringing in Bauer? Might be a decent idea, if his arm is still feeling ready after Reno is done for the season.
Sonic: No. Bauer doesn't need big league innings that bad. I'm more interested in shutting down Bauer than Kennedy. Better to do what's best to get Bauer ready for next year. Kennedy isn't tired, he's just not pitching with any consistency.
snakecharmer: No, I'd save Bauer for next year. Don't let players get too much of a look at him, especially inter-division. Kennedy will be fine, he's not hurt.
Jim: There's no doubt Kennedy hasn't been as effective this year as expected. Is it just regression? Or is there more to it? This article suggests there could be evidence for a physical problem. Better safe than sorry, I'd say. No point wasting ‘bullets' on five or six meaningless starts down the stretch.
Wade Miley, Tyler Skaggs, Patrick Corbin. Three rookie left-handers. How would you order them in our 2013 rotation?
Clefo: Miley, Skaggs, Corbin.
soco: Torgo, Baby Bird, Skaggs.
rd33: Miley, Skaggs, Corbin.
Kishi: Skaggs, Miley, Corbin.
Sonic: Miley, Skaggs, Corbin
snakecharmer: Miley, Skaggs, Corbin
Jim: Miles, Corbin, Skaggs. That's based almost entirely on the numbers shown in the majors so far, which for Skaggs is a pretty small set. Corbin struggled early on too.
Off-topic: chicken or fish?
Clefo: On general principle, Chicken, but it can vary on a case by case basis. I would say something more inflammatory here for kicks, but I think I peaked on that with the plate debate
soco: What kind of fish, what kind of chicken? How are they prepared? Is it of a good quality? Chicken is more my go-to meat, because it's hard to screw up, but it's hard to beat great seafood.
rd33: Fish, mainly because of the variety. I like sushi a lot so that puts it over chicken for me.
Kishi: I was worried we'd be stuck choosing between cake or death again. I really think it depends on what kind of fish, I'd lean towards chicken.
Sonic: Definitely chicken. I can eat fish occasionally but not a lot. I can always eat chicken.
snakecharmer: Chicken. I like some fish, but not all, whereas I've never met a chicken I wouldn't eat.
Jim: Chicken, by overall tendency. Though it would probably depend on what bones are involved. In both cases, I find it problematic to be chewing on something, but having to exercise caution as to whether I'm suddenly going to find myself splintering bone. A nice bit of deep-fried cod or haddock is great. But then, so is some nice chicken parmigiana. Not, overall, a fan of most fish, and shellfish, in particular.
The road-trip through the NL West continues, with three in San Francisco, then back down the coast for three in San Diego. At the risk of repeating myself, can you muster any more enthusiasm than "Meh"?
Clefo: You all know that at the end of Star Fox 64, Andross says "IF I GO DOWN, I'M TAKING YOU WITH ME!"? We should do that, except actually succeed. Oh, uh, spoiler alert on a fifteen year old video game.
rd33: Padres scare me they have been owning us recently. Gnats not so much they still seem beatable.
Kishi: Ugh, well, I guess I won't bother finishing Star Fox 64 anymore! Thanks, Clefo! Which is about all the enthusiasm I can muster here, so I guess there's not anymore fake energy available for the next stops on this road trip.
Sonic: It's really tough when the expectations for the season were so high. If the expectations had been less then it might be more exciting to beat the top of the division and try to finish above .500. But at this point I'd rather get a higher draft pick so the wins don't really serve any purpose.
snakecharmer: I get to see them for two days!!!!!!!! I'll try to cheer them up, but no promises....
Jim: Nope. I think from here on out, I'll be watching more or less only the games I have to recap. Might bump into some others by chance, but my enthusiasm for the season has been relentlessly and ruthlessly destroyed. Well done, Diamondbacks. Well done...