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Game #108 Preview: 8/7, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Cincinnati Reds

Chase Anderson is back in the rotation for the D-backs tonight.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Raisel Iglesias
RHP, 2-3, 5.13
Chase Anderson
RHP, 4-4, 4.37
Brandon Phillips - 2B Ender Inciarte - RF
Joey Votto - 1B A.J. Pollock - CF
Todd Frazier - 3B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Jay Bruce - RF David Peralta - LF
Marlon Byrd - LF Welington Castillo - C
Brayan Pena - C Jake Lamb - 3B
Eugenio Suarez - SS Chris Owings - 2B
Raisel Iglesias - RHP Nick Ahmed - SS
Billy Hamilton - CF Chase Anderson - RHP

Anderson makes his return from the DL today. In a move which was so startlingly expected, I didn't even bother with a post about it, Allen Webster was sent back to Reno to make room for Anderson. Been a little while for Anderson, whose last outing was on July 18, and was also his worst of the season, as he was tagged for 10 hits and seven earned runs in only 3.2 innings of work against the Giants. A month earlier, he had owned a season ERA comfortably under three (2.84), but five starts over which he was charged with 26 earned runs in 25.2 innings, has done a number on that, to the point where his ERA is little better than Rubby De La Rosa (4.37 vs. 4.56).

It's hard to argue he has been hard-done by, with his FIP sitting at 4.25. Indeed, outside of Ray, the rest of our rotation is much of a muchness, looking at that figure, with only four-tenths separating our #2 and #5 pitchers thus far. And the order may not be what you think. Here's how the five current members of our rotation stack up by FIP:

  • Robbie Ray: 2.99
  • Chase Anderson: 4.25
  • Jeremy Hellickson: 4.48
  • Patrick Corbin: 4.63
  • Rubby De La Rosa: 4.65

With National League average FIP at 3.79, it's clear where the D-backs' problem lies, if they are seriously to consider contending next season. Corbin may well have some upside, given he is barely a month back after missing a season and a half, but the peripherals of the other three are troublesome. I think we need our prospects to step-up, big time, in 2016, if the team is to have much chance.

Also, note the Reds are hitting their pitcher eighth again, with speedster Billy Hamilton occupying the ninth spot. Mind you, since Hamilton has an OPS+ of 51, that may be justified. Even those stolen bases barely get his value up above replacement (0.3 bWAR), and he's on pace for 78 this season, a number not surpassed in the majors since Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman were roaming the bags for the Yankees and Cardinals respectively, in 1988. I kinda hope Hamilton does get on base, just for the fun of it, though with an on-base percentage of .265, that's far from a certainty. You can't steal first-base, as the old adage goes!