The team will have 48 hours to clear their heads after Monday's somewhat dispiriting loss. That'll give the bullpen a chance to recharge; or, at least, the two members I currently ever want to see pitching again - Vizcaino and Lyon. At this particular moment, Grimsley and Mulholland are Exhibit A, why the whole Logan's Run of euthanasia at 35 would be a fine idea. And I speak as someone who has slightly less than two weeks left, of life as a thirty-something.
Odd having an off-day after the very first game of the season - I can see the need for make-up room during April in Colorado, but why after the opener? Make more sense to have it, at least, following the second, if not the third, in case those get weathered out. As is, yesterday seems almost like a false start: amidst great fanfare, the season got under way...and then stopped. Can we say we weren't ready and claim a do-over?
Startling news from the farm system: it looks like the Great Shortstop Duel of 2008 - Upton vs. Drew - has been cancelled. Justin Upton is moving to center field. Said Josh Byrnes, "I just think we all put our heads together and felt like it was best to do it right now. We think this is the best thing for him. This could allow him to advance at a faster pace." No kidding. Baseball America quotes one scouting director as saying, "If you stick him in center field right now, he could be an all-star in two years."
We're left staring at the tea-leaves here, trying to work out exactly what else Byrnes has planned from this. Basically, it anoints Stephen Drew as our starting shortstop, for 2007-2012, which seems a little premature to me. Sure, he seemed competent enough over the spring, but Jerry Gil hit .385 too... That the shift is to the outfield, rather than second base, would seem to show interest in Orlando Hudson being retained long-term. A sigh of relief from O-Dawg there.
This does leave Chris Young in an interesting position. Come 2007, he may be our Opening Day starter in center, but he'll be hearing the footsteps of Upton closing rapidly behind him. However, by then, we should have a space in left available, and we can move whoever looks least comfortable in center, over for the following season. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your 2008 Opening Day Arizona Diamondbacks outfield: in left, Chris Young; playing center, Justin Upton; and occupying right, Carlos Quentin.
Pardon me while I wipe the drool away at such meaty potential. The open spaces at Chase could be patrolled by three of Baseball America's top 25 prospects - and then there's Drew and Jackson, of course. Both are also in the list, and will be occupying SS and 1B. Add Tracy at third, and Hudson at second - that would only leave the battery to be dealt with. While we should certainly not underestimate fixing that as an issue, we should have a lot of wiggle-room as far as salary goes, giving us a great chance to make sure we're not outbid for the talent we want.
A quick shout-out to the 30th and last member of the Sportblogs Nation Baseball Barmy Army. A much-needed filling of the hole which was Chavez Ravine (and if you've ever been there, you'll know what I mean, hahaha!) is True Blue LA, run by Michael Nicks. He's only been up five days, and is already getting as many hits as the SnakePit, humph. ;-) Still, he is writing about the probable 2006 NL West champions though. Enjoy it while you can, Michael, for...shh. Do you hear that? It's the winds of change. Coming soon to a divisional rival, near you...
Finally, a curse upon those who programmed the trade execution routines at Yahoo Fantasy Baseball. Would it be too much to expect that when you trade your starting 3B and OF for a 3B and an OF, that your new arrivals might, oh, automatically go into the fricking starting lineup, rather than languishing on the bench? As a result, I am playing this week two men short - ironically, against the team whom I traded with. Of course, he managed to suss out what was going on, and adjusted his roster. :-( Though at least I have starting players, unlike the UK D'backs, who adopted the unusual tactic of having their entire lineup on the bench. Somehow, I doubt that'll catch on...