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Series Preview #52, @ Colorado Rockies

Is Arizona destined for fourth place?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

What's New?

Arizona wrapped up a 3-3 NL West home stand by taking just one of three games from San Francisco. On Monday night, Wade Miley got things going by giving up just a run over seven innings, and Mark Trumbo's grand slam was all that was needed in the 6-2 Arizona win. Josh Collmenter was also great on Tuesday night, giving up two runs over eight innings, but was a victim of bad run support as Arizona fell 2-1. The bullpen failed the Arizona in Wednesday's finale, as closer Addison Reed gave up two runs in the ninth to give San Francisco the 4-2 win. Arizona has won just three of their last ten games, and are 30-44 on the road this season. They are 62-90 this season, 24 games behind the Dodgers for first in the NL West. They lead Colorado by one game for fourth place in the division.

The Diamondbacks's offense has been horrific this season, ranking 28th in wRC+ (84) and 25th in offensive WAR (10.5), batting .247/.302/.376 with a .300 wOBA. They also rank 25th in the majors in wRAA (-49.6). Their pitching staff has struggled as well, as they rank 25th in ERA (4.17), 20th in FIP (3.86), and 24th in pitching WAR (10.1). There is, however, some talent in this staff, as they rank ninth in SIERA (3.59).

Colorado's offense (despite inflated home numbers) has reverted closer to league average status since losing Troy Tulowitzki to injury, ranking 17th in wRC+ (95) and 14th in offensive WAR (17.5), batting .273/.325/.439 with a .334 wOBA. They remain one of the league's best in wRAA, ranking second in the majors (97.7). The Rockies' pitching staff is by far the league's worst, ranking dead last in ERA (4.91), FIP (4.46), and 27th in pitching WAR (8.9). They lack skill (at least according to advanced metrics), ranking 29th in SIERA (4.07).

Colorado is coming off of taking two of three games from the Dodgers, but have won just three of their last ten games overall. They are 41-36 on the road this season, and are 25 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West  at 61-90. They are a game behind the D-Backs for fourth place in the division.

On The Mend

Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Wednesday that third baseman Nolan Arenado will 'probably' return this season from an illness that has resulted in fluid in Arenado's lungs, according to Nick Groke of the Denver Post.

Roster Moves

On Monday, the Diamondbacks recalled shortstop Nick Ahmed and left hander Andrew Chafin from Triple-A Reno, and selected the contract of catcher Bobby Wilson from Triple-A Reno.

On Tuesday, the Rockies recalled right hander Eddie Butler from Triple-A Tulsa.

Replacing Towers

With Kevin Towers's reign in Phoenix finally over, it is time for chief baseball officer Tony LaRussa to officially put his stamp on the organization by selecting its new general manager. La Russa has an official list of candidates, which goes as follows:

  • Allard Baird, vice president, Boston Red Sox
  • Larry Beinfest, president of baseball operations, Miami Marlins
  • Gary LaRocque, farm director, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Ray Montgomery, scouting director, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Tim Purpura, former general manager, Houston Astros
  • Dave Stewart, former major leaguer and current sports agent
  • De Jon Watson, assistant general manager, Los Angeles Dodgers
Pitching Matchups

Game 1, Thursday 5:40 PT: LHP Vidal Nuno (2-11, 4.58 ERA, 3.93 FIP) vs. LHP Yohan Flande (0-5, 5.04 ERA, 3.94 FIP)

After struggling his way through tough-luck performances of late, Nuno gave up six runs over five inning sin picking up the loss against the Padres. He is 0-6 with a 3.68 ERA since being traded to Arizona in July. Flande has struggled as a starter this season with a 5.73 ERA, and takes the bump for the first time as a starter since August 17th. He has, however, not given up a run over six relief appearances this season.

Game 2, Friday 5:10 PT: RHP Chase Anderson (9-6, 3.70 ERA, 4.30 FIP) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (6-3, 4.21 ERA, 4.41 FIP)

This will be Anderson's final start of the season, as Arizona is trying to limit his innings count. He was strong in his last start, giving up two runs over five innings in a win over San Diego. Lyles was solid in his last outing in evading trouble, giving up nine hits but just three runs over six innings in a loss to the Cardinals. He is 4-1 with a 5.02 ERA at home this season.

Game 3, Saturday 1:10 PT: RHP Trevor Cahill (3-11, 5.38 ERA, 3.83 FIP) vs. TBA

Cahill had an impressive return to the majors in August, but has not lasted six innings in any of his last four outings. In his last start, he gave up four earned runs over four innings in picking up the no decision against San Diego. He is 2-5 with a 3.86 ERA on the road this season.

Game 4, Sunday 1:10 PT: LHP Wade Miley (8-11, 4.17 ERA, 4.01 FIP) vs. TBA

Miley bounced back from a poor start against San Francisco by putting up a solid performance against the same team in his last outing, giving up just a run over seven innings while picking up the win. It was his first win since July 30th. He is 5-4 with a 2.77 ERA on the road this season.

Series Pick'em

I'd say Arizona takes three of four games from this series, and is probably the final series Arizona wins this season. Vidal Nuno finally picks up his first D-Backs win, Anderson shines in his final start of the season, and Miley continues his roll and sneaks his way to double-digit wins to end the season. I simply don't trust Cahill at this point, but a series win could solidify Arizona's spot in fourth place.