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10 Least Significant All-Time Diamondbacks: Updated

[2011 update] Prodded into updating this by AZDBACKR, who was helping me update the sidebar, and pointed out this hadn't been updated for the best part of four years. Not actually too much movement to be added since then: most of the players who have appeared for the team in that time, did have at least semi-respectable careers. There's only one sure-fire addition, and another who, while having impeccable credentials right now, may find himself disqualified down the line, since he is still with the franchise in the minors.

[2007 update] The startling news of the passing-away of Joe Kennedy, who pitched for Arizona briefly last year, has sparked me into updating the list of least significant franchise players. These are the players whose appearances in D'backs uniforms were like meteors, flashing across the heavens at BOB or Chase before vanishing into darkness. Or, perhaps more often, damp squibs that sputter momentarily, before fizzling out completely... The list and stats below are now updated to include those who appeared in the 2007 season.

Honorable mention #1. Bryan Corey. We'll start with this eminently forgettable line: four innings, six hits, two walks, four earned runs. The weird thing is, four years after pitching for us, he pops up on the major-league radar again in 2002, throws a single perfect inning for the Dodgers, before vanishing once more. And then, four more years later, in 2006, he gets a career-high 39 innings in Texas and Boston. Guess he's scheduled to re-appear in 2010: keep an eye open... [He showed up in 2008 instead, getting 46 games with Boston and San Diego. Not seen since][

Honorable mention #2. Dan Carlson. I guess Carlson deserves praise for even reaching the majors, after being picked in the 33rd round of the draft. Tampa Bay then snared him with their 28th pick in the expansion draft, but they released him in 1998. After matching Corey, with four innings and four earned runs, we gained a full understanding of why Devil Rays' cast-offs are likely not worth signing.

Honorable mention #3. Jack Cust. Or "Cust the Bust" as he might disparagingly be called - a chilling reminder that not all first-round picks deliver (are you listening, Messrs. Drew and Upton?). Our opening pick in the 1997 draft, big things were expected as an Arizona prospect: does a single hit count? That he was dumped on the Rockies in 2003 as part of the Mike Myers deal, gives you some idea how far his stock had fallen. He then bounced around through the Orioles, A's and Padres, before ending up back at the A's, and finally stuck in the majors at age 28, hitting 26 homers in 124 games.

Honorable mention #4. Joe Kennedy. The pitching waiver-wire has been productive for Arizona in the past: Claudio Vargas, for example. However, 2007 was perhaps less so: Byung-Hung Kim allowed eleven hits in 2.2 innings, and Joe Kennedy was little better. After two games, things didn't look bad, with one run in 2.1 innings, on one hit. But his third was disastrous: three hit batters, two wild pitches and and two walks led to six runs, all earned, while retiring one hitter. He and Kim were both gone the next day. Joe was the first pitcher to hit three batters in less than an inning of work, since Dock Ellis faced four, hit three, and walked the fourth back in 1974, when starting a game for the Pirates.

Honorable mention #5. Dennys Reyes. Normally, striking out five in 2 1/3 innings of work would be a good day's effort - but when it's your entire output in a Diamondbacks uniform, colour me less impressed. Especially when sandwiched around five hits, including a home-run, and a walk. In ten years, Reyes has played on nine different teams: for just three has he pitched as many as sixty innings. But for AZ, Reyes does have more K's per nine innings than the Big Unit.

Honorable mention #6. Shane Reynolds. Our sole starter here, Reynolds made his only appearance on 6/28/04, after missing three months because of inflammation in his right rotator cuff. He allowed six runs on six hits and two walks in two innings, but thanks to an error by Olson, only one run was earned. Reynolds was back on the DL two days later, undergoing surgery on his right knee, and hasn't been seen since. We paid him $20,000 per pitch for his efforts.

10. Juan Sosa. No apparent relation to Sammy - not in his time with AZ (two games, one at-bat, one strikeout), or his entire major-league career (ten at-bats, two singles). His solitary at bat came in a 7-1 victory over the Padres on May 25, 2001: he pinch-ran for starter Robert Ellis in the third. But Sosa also ended the inning by fanning after we scored six unearned runs, and was then replaced himself by a new pitcher.

9. Ricky Bottalico. Not the sole D'back with a 1.000 winning percentage, but the only such to have just two games and thrown 1.2 innings. [Jason Bulger, 1-0 in 9 games and 10 IP, is next best] While his career began in 1994, and lasted through 2005, he was the lucky recipient of a win on June 23rd, 2003 at BOB - beating Brad Lidge, no less. He pitched a scoreless eighth, then got the win when we scored five in the ninth and scratched out a 7-6 victory.

8. Ryan Cook. His major-league debut in July 2011 resulted in three ER without retiring a batter - the only other NL debutant since 1984 with such a line was Vincente Padilla, also for Arizona. Cook did get three more outings before being sent back to the minors, but he's currently the closer in Reno, so we may yet see him again.

7. Tom Gordon. Stephen King's favorite reliever signed an incentive-laded contract with AZ, due to injury concerns. Score one for foresight. He started 2009 on the DL rehabbing from an elbow issue, but then blew out his hamstring during a game in Milwaukee. He was released after his Reno rehab led to 10 earned runs in less than seven IP.

6. Mike Schultz. He got a cup of coffee in April 2007; we needed a starter for Sunday but called him up as a bullpen arm for a couple of days. He faced the minimum three batters, with the help of a double-play, in a 4-2 loss against the Giants, and was sent down to Tucson the next day. Played pro ball in Japan for Hiroshima from 2008-2010.

5. Jeff Fassero. Fassero is the least-significant D'back in percentage terms: to date, he's thrown 2033.2 innings in the big leagues, but more than 99.95% of those have not been for Arizona. He threw one entirely-competent - indeed, perfect - innings in September 2004 against the Brewers, but was released within a month, meaning his career here lasted just 14 pitches. He was actually the winning pitcher for the Cardinals when they beat AZ in the 2002 playoffs.

4. Jeff Bajenaru. Acquired in the trade for Alex Cintron, Bajenaru got to spend three days in the big league during 2006, throwing only one inning and 20 pitches. He allowed four hits - but three of them left the park, though he did manage to retire Barry Bonds. One game for AZ; one loss; 36.00 ERA. Well done: you must get up very early... Like Schultz, he became a free agent at the end of 2007. He's also a member of SABR.

3. Ken Huckaby. The only position player whose career with Arizona was limited to a single appearance, his debut and finale was an October 6th game during 2001 [wonder if he got a ring?] - again, versus the Brewers - in the penultimate contest of the year. He replaced Barajas as catcher in the 6th, and struck out against Dejean to end the eighth. That was it. He has gone on to play 160 games for Toronto, Baltimore, Texas and Boston since though.

2. Ricky Pickett. Taste the meaty goodness of this line:
0.2 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 6 ER, 2 K, 81.00 ERA
Pickett debuted on April 28th, 1998, facing six hitters and retiring one, allowing three hits, two walks and a wild pitch in the ninth innings. A week later in New York, he fared slightly better, facing only five hitters while retiring one, on two hits and two more walks. That was it - not only in Arizona, but for his career in the majors as a whole. Remarkably though, both hitters he got out were on strikeouts, giving him a perfect K/9 rate of 27.00.

1. J.D. Durbin. Straight in at #1, with a bullet - much like the one he got after his performance on April 4th, 2007. Let's just review, shall we?

  • Bottom of the 8th, Rockies Batting, Ahead 4-2,
    J.D. Durbin replaces Juan Cruz pitching and batting 9th
  • S Finley - Groundout: 1B-P
  • J Carroll - Single to LF (Line Drive)
  • G Atkins - Walk
  • T Helton - Double to LF (Carroll Scores)
  • M Holliday - Single to LF (Atkins Scores; Helton Scores)
  • B Hawpe - Double to RF (Holliday Scores)
  • T Tulowitzki - Strikeout Swinging
  • Y Torrealba - Single to LF (Hawpe Scores)
  • J Baker (PH) - Double to LF (Torrealba Scores)
  • S Finley - Single to RF (Baker Scores)
    Brandon Medders replaces J.D. Durbin pitching and batting 9th

Ten batters faced: seven hits, one walk, seven runs, all earned, for two outs. A career ERA of 94.50 for the Diamondbacks. Ouch. Remarkably, after being unceremoniously dumped immediately by AZ, he bounced back in Philadelphia, making ten starts and posting a 5.15 ERA there, including a complete-game shutout of the Padres: given we won the division by a single game, that was likely his most worthwhile contribution to the D-backs.

The Hall of Anonymity

Player          W L   ERA  G GS GF  IP  H  R ER HR BB SO
J.D.Durbin 0 0 94.50 1 0 0 0.2 7 7 7 0 1 1
Ricky Pickett 0 0 81.00 2 0 0 0.2 3 6 6 0 4 2
Jeff Bajenaru 0 1 36.00 1 0 0 1.0 4 4 4 3 0 0
Jeff Fassero 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Mike Schultz 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Tom Gordon 0 1 21.60 3 0 0 1.2 3 4 4 0 3 0
Ryan Cook 0 1 21.60 4 0 0 1.2 7 4 4 0 3 1
Ricky Bottalico 1 0 5.40 2 0 0 1.2 3 1 1 0 2 2
Shane Reynolds 0 1 4.50 1 1 0 2.0 6 6 1 0 2 0
Dennys Reyes 0 0 11.57 3 0 0 2.1 5 3 3 1 1 5
Joe Kennedy 0 0 20.25 3 0 0 2.2 4 7 6 0 2 1
Bryan Corey 0 0 9.00 3 0 2 4.0 6 4 4 1 2 1
Dan Carlson 0 0 9.00 2 0 1 4.0 5 4 4 0 0 3

Ken Huckaby 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
Juan Sosa 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
Jack Cust 3 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .500 .667 .500