Well, that week could have gone worse, I think. Arizona return to Chase Field tonight, having battled their way through a trio of opponents with more wins than losses, Chris Young back on the roster, and Trevor Bauer a step closer to the majors. These and other topics are discussed by the panel, which includes Turambar as this week's guest writer. DeDxDbacKxJroK, jjwaltrip and imstillhungry95 are currently awaiting their turn for the call.
The Diamondbacks went 4-3 in the three-city tour, splitting games in Los Angeles and Colorado, before taking two of three in Kansas City. How satisfied are you with this?
Clefo: Fairly satisfied. Splitting in LA was about what I expected. Getting beat up by an old man hurt, but splitting in Denver was fine, especially since we came back in the second game. Winning two of three in Kansas City is also fine. Splitting and winning series is what we should be doing, since winning games will help your team. That's some hard hitting analysis there, people.
Turambar: Very happy to see them go a week without losing a series. I'm not sure if they are "back", but it's good to see the tailspin stalled for now.
Jim: I liked the split in LA; would rather have seen us do better in Colorado, but both there and in Kansas City against Bruce Chen, the over-aggressiveness of our hitters was obviously exploited. All told, 4-3 is fine, though the Rockies and Royals are certainly the kind of teams on whom we should be beating up.
BattleMoses: I'm satisfied: a winning road trip is a winning road trip.
soco: It's hard not to be satisfied with a winning road trip, but I can't help but wish for more. Relying on 2 late inning comebacks to eek out a 4-3 record isn't optimal.
Chris Young became the first wounded warrior back. Having the DH made things easier for Gibson, but how will he handle the four outfielders back in the National League?
Turambar: Very tough question. If Parra could play shortstop we'd be sitting pretty, but that sure as heck is not the case. I'd say that Gibby's going to be slowly getting CY back into the day-to-day lineup over the coming week, but it makes you wonder what's going to happen to Parra with Kubel being the only consistent bat in the lineup.
Jim: Yeah, can't see Upton being benched, Kubel has the bat and Young is still tied for the team league in home-runs. I suspect Parra will go back to being a late-inning defensive replacement, but will spell Young against tough righties. A .250 BA and .693 OPS doesn't really force the manager to pencil your name in the line-up.
BattleMoses: I think Parra goes to the bench. His offense is pretty meh since leaving the 8th spot and he doesn't have the upside that Upton has.
soco: I have a crazy idea. Parra at first base. Boom, problem solved.
Clefo: Probably the same system that was used the first few weeks of the season if I had to guess. That was: start Kubel, and then put Parra in defensively late in the game if/when there is a lead.
soco looked at this in detail today, but what's your take on Ian Kennedy and how concerned are you?
Turambar: I'm gradually becoming very concerned. Seems like he's allowing the long ball quite a bit more than we're used to seeing, but those stat heads out there can tell me if that's true or not. Either way he's looking very human recently, and I am not sure why that is.
Jim: 0-4 in his last five starts, with a 4.99 ERA, is definitely not what you want from your Opening Day starter. Admittedly, he has had no run support, with the team scoring a total of only eight runs in those five games, but the long-ball has hurt him. He's allowed five home-runs over his last three games, covering 17.1 innings. That's a lot more than usual, even given his heavy fly-ball tendencies. Needs to get back to inducing weak fly-outs instead.
BattleMoses: I think it's his command, which just seems really off every time I've seen him. He really hasn't had his command all season.
soco: I'll just let you read my 2000 word exegesis on the matter to decide (though actually, I think that will go up before this roundtable. Time travel!)
Trevor Bauer got his promotion to Triple-A. What do you think is the most likely scenario for him to reach the majors: injury, ineffectiveness or a September call-up?
Turambar: The Power of Bauer, I can feel it grow closer with each passing moment. As of now ineffectiveness might be the most likely candidate for his promotion, unless something is physically wrong with Kennedy (God I hope not). I guess it mostly depends on when Hudson is coming back, and if it's two starts or more then Corbin could get sent down in favour of Bauer. Mostly speculation on my part, but maybe Bauer can provide a spark that this pitching staff needs.
Jim: I hope we don't see him until September, because that'd mean the rest of our starters have been healthy and competent. But you've got to think he's moving up the depth chart with each solid outing. Typically, we'll need a spot start at the very least somewhere down the line, and Bauer may well be the man to get the call, if he keeps dominating in Reno.
BattleMoses: It'll be ineffectiveness. It's just a matter of who at this point. Our rotation has been pretty awful outside of Wade Miley. I have a feeling Saunders is the next to go.
soco: I think it will be panic inspired by ineffectiveness. Of course, if we continue to languish below or at .500, and the Dodgers continue to pull away, then maybe management will be patient.
Clefo: I have to imagine the next boo-boo suffered by a pitcher will call him up.
Who is the most likely Diamondback to play another game in KC wearing our uniform this year? [Hat-tip GuruB for the question]
Turambar: All Star huh? Well if CY can get his pre-injury self going again then he might be the most likely candidate. Though I'd personally would like to see Miley there. He's been absolutely amazing.
Jim: There's not really any obvious candidates. Chris Young has been far and away our most potent weapon, but hasn't played enough, so it's a question of sustaining that going forward. I think that flying under the radar have been Craig Breslow and Brad Ziegler out of the pen. 38.2 combined innings with a 1.40 ERA has been quietly very effective. But when do mid-inning relievers get the All-Star call?
BattleMoses: All star? Hmm. I think it will be Chris Young unless Upton gets REALLY hot and clubs like 10 home runs in 6 games or something.
soco: I imagine by sometime in June I'll write my annual "Which D-backs should be an All-Star" piece, but it's not pretty. No one off the top of my head deserves a spot, but Kubel will probably get it as our lone representative. If Miley keeps being a boss, though, I could see him being an injury replacement?
Clefo: Unless someone breaks into the underground vault of Barry Bonds, I don't think we'll see a hitter for the D'Backs at this point. Young was definitely on that pace pre-injury, but now who knows? I would say Miley would be deserving, but nobody has heard of him and TLR is just now waking up from a nap so it's doubtful.
OT: What the most memorable non-sporting live event you've attended?
Turambar: I'd have to say going the Big Four (Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica). Most legendary concert ever!!!!!!
soco: This is going to be totally Not Cool, but right now I'd have to say seeing Gone With the Wind at the Castro Theater last summer. Yes, not completely a live event, but it was a great experience, and a great memory. I generally don't do live events, because I grew up in Yuma with no live events, and also I hate people.
Clefo: But love gatherings? Anyway for me, it was a small-ish comedy mixing pot I saw at the University of Arizona many years ago. It started off with a bunch of Improv/Sketch troupes from both UA and ASU, and it ended with a stand-up performance by Lewis Black. It was sort of my first inkling that I should go into live performance/theatre, so it had a huge effect on me, plus the whole thing was hilarious.
Jim: Well, Friday's Rammstein concert certainly ranked - it's what inspired the question! Prior to that, probably The Cramps concert which ended up with me in the emergency room getting stitches in my lip, after I went under in the mosh pit. Not necessarily the best, but since I can still feel the lump, probably the most memorable!
The Dodgers and Brewers come to town, with a three-game set against each. What are you looking for the team to do?
Turambar: Still not sure what this team is capable of, but they really need to win this Dodgers series if they want to stay relevant. Not to mention they need to reestablish home field advantage, which so far this year has been nowhere to be seen. With all that in mind I'm hoping for them finishing the homestand 4-2, but i really only see them winning one of the two series, so 3-3.
Jim: Yes, we've got to start defending home turf a lot better. I think 4-2 is probably the minimum we want, and taking two of three from the Dodgers is particularly important for psychological reasons.
BattleMoses: I think this is when we pull it all together. We've got to wake up. If we can somehow go 5-1 I think it would do wonders for morale and could give us the push we need. However I think we go 3-3
soco: I've said it since Spring Training, but I think the Dodgers are more legit than what people crediting them for. I think a 1-2 series against LA would be a win, unfortunately. The good thing is that the Brewers have also been struggling; the extra good news is the possibility of booing the roider that is Ryan Braun; the bad news is that the Brewers have seemingly had the D-backs number for the past 4 or 5 years.
Clefo: I also think the Dodgers are legit, but without Kemp in the lineup we need to take advantage. (OH NO, I AM FEELING OPPORTUNISTIC AT ANOTHER PERSON'S INJURY OH NO SENSITIVE GIANT FANS.) I have a weird feeling we can go 2-1 against the Dodgers, but that weird feeling could just be because I haven't had breakfast yet. It would make me so happy if we could sweep the Brewers, and Braun went 0 for 11 in the series with 10 strikeouts. That's probably not happening, but I'll also say 2-1 D'Backs. I am going to naively keep the faith.