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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #89: A return to Tankapalooza?

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Time to start seeing where we might end up in 2017's draft

Handout/Getty Images
Robbie Ray
LHP, 4-7, 4.75
Jake Peavy
RHP, 5-7, 5.14
Jean Segura - 2B Denard Span - CF
Michael Bourn - CF Angel Pagan - LF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Brandon Belt - 1B
Jake Lamb - 3B Buster Posey - C
Yasmany Tomas - RF Brandon Crawford - SS
Brandon Drury - LF Mac Williamson - RF
Tuffy Gosewisch - C Grant Green - 2B
Nick Ahmed - SS Ruben Tejada - 3B
Robbie Ray - LHP Jake Peavy - RHP

With more than three weeks to go until the trade deadline. the Diamondbacks pulled the trigger and sent their best - and, arguably, only reliable - reliever to the Red Sox for a pair of young prospects. Does this signal the start of Tankapalooza 2016? Or is it simply a rational move, given Brad Ziegler's likely imminent departure in free agency? Possibly a little of both. Great though Ziegler has been, I'm not sure the team would want to re-sign him. He will turn 37 in October, likely commend a hefty rate due to those shiny saves, and I'd be concerned about the impact on his performance of changes to the strike zone next year. So getting something for him now, makes sense.

On the other hand, the fact the return was very much in the "future endeavors" department - neither player received being above A-ball - would point toward a longer-term plan. If this is the first departure, and Ziegler is followed by Daniel Hudson, Jean Segura, possibly even (as some have suggested) Welington Castillo, then the needle will be swinging more from reload to rebuild. Trading Ziegler, while probably sending up the white flag for this season, doesn't necessarily signify that for the middle term. But given the former, there's no harm in tracking our progress toward the highest possible draft-pick, so here are the current Tankapalooza 2016 standings.

Rk Tm G W L W-L% R RA SOS SRS pythWL Luck
1 ATL 87 30 57 .345 3.5 4.7 0.1 -1.2 32-55 -2
2 MIN 86 30 56 .349 4.3 5.3 0.0 -0.9 35-51 -5
3 CIN 87 32 55 .368 4.3 6.0 0.2 -1.5 31-56 1
4 TBR 86 34 52 .395 4.0 4.8 0.2 -0.5 36-50 -2
5 OAK 87 37 50 .425 4.2 5.0 0.0 -0.8 37-50 0

LAA 87 37 50 .425 4.6 4.8 0.1 -0.1 42-45 -5
7 ARI 88 38 50 .432 4.5 5.1 0.1 -0.5 39-49 -1
8 SDP 87 38 49 .437 4.5 5.0 0.0 -0.5 39-48 -1
9 MIL 85 38 47 .447 4.0 4.8 0.0 -0.8 36-49 2
10 COL 86 39 47 .454 5.2 5.3 0.0 -0.2 42-44 -3

We currently sit in 7th, just behind the B-teams from Los Angeles and the Bay Area. But it's very close, with only 2.5 games separating fifth and tenth place. To explain some of the numbers: SOS is Strength of Schedule, and SRS stands for "Simple Rating System". It's an attempt to quantify the number of runs the teams are better (or in all these cases, worse!) than the average team. This shows the Reds as the worst in the majors, so be interesting to see if they overtake the Braves and Twins going forward. By this metric, we are worse than the Angels, but not as bad as the Brewers, who currently trail us in the standings. We'll keep an eye on this as we go forward.