At the end of last season, the Diamondbacks were a team with fairly strong starting pitching, but an offense that disappeared at times and a shaky bullpen. After retooling in the offseason the Diamondbacks are... team with fairly strong starting pitching, but an offense that disappeared at times and a shaky bullpen.
Sure, this may be something in the foundation with the team that can’t be easily fixed in one offseason, but I like to think of it more as us being caught in a time loop, being punished for our baseball fan sins, like the time that you took a foul ball from a 6 year old kid. Yeah, you. You thought nobody saw you, but everyone did. It was on television. Television is your God, and it punishes you.
Yasmany Tomás is raking in Reno. He has 16 dingers this season (already two more than he had in Reno last year) and currently has an OPS of .981. Granted, the combination of Reno and Triple-A using the same juiced MLB ball makes at least a portion of these calories empty, but with the major league team’s offense floundering, it makes the eye wander.
I think Tomás will always be an enigma to D-Backs fans. Statistically solid, if not spectacular, seasons at the plate in 2015 and 2016 lead to some struggles and injury in 2017. For whatever reason, the front office decided not to ascribe to the sunk cost fallacy and he’s been stashed in Reno ever since. It looked like a very good idea in 2018, as he slashed .262/.280/.465. Now, he’s hitting again.
His contract was always a bit of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” from the team’s perspective. (From his perspective, it’s great. Take advantage of that Dave Stewart checkbook and get yourself paid!) Had he been amazing the first four years, he would have left in Free Agency for a bigger offer. Had he not... Well, that’s the timeline we’re living in right now. He’s being talked about again if only cause of his play, and that’s good. Who knows if he’ll get another chance, but if he does it will be earned.
If he were to hit better than, say, .177/.250/.419 as a bench/occasional start bat, that would be a better use of a roster spot than extraneous catchers who may or may not have that slash line. Who’s to say?
Speaking of Reno, former pit writer and friend of the show Zavada’s Moustache pointed out the glory of the 2011 Aces roster on twitter the other day. Man, some of these guys:
Former Ur-tweeter Barry Enright.
Motorcycle enthusiast Konrad Schmidt
Jordan Norberto, who couldn’t throw a strike if a loved one’s life was on the line and you allowed him to throw underhand from 10 feet away.
Former First Base solutions of the future in Brandon Allen and Juan Miranda.
Robby Hammock being listed as “Rob” which is funny to me.
Cody Ransom, Geoff Blum, Sean Burroughs, Collin Cowgill, Willy Mo Peña!
WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE. IT WAS ALWAYS BURNING SINCE THE WORLD WAS TURNING
It’s wild that a former Cy Young winner and probably the best closer of this generation by a mile still aren’t signed. Everything fine. The economics are just correcting themselves. Players shouldn’t be so greedy. Owners can be as greedy as they want, of course. My sense of ethics makes this contradiction okay in my mind.
“But the draft picks!”
THEY AREN’T YOUR DRAFT PICKS. THEY DON’T LOVE YOU!!! CRAIG KIMBREL IS A GENTLE AND ATTENTIVE PARTNER AND HE’S RIGHT THERE FOR THE TAKING. AM I TAKING CRAZY SUPPOSITORIES HERE!?!
Next week we’re gonna do the mailbag column again. Check out @azsnakepit on twitter for details as to when questions will be wanted. In the meantime, start percolating those questions, and make them interesting.
For example. A “Meh” question, to me:
Q: Do you think that Merril Kelly’s xFIP will regress throughout the season and does that affect the team’s plans for development of left-handed fielding infielders in Missoula?
A “Better” question, to me.
Q: Do you think Merril Kelly’s performance this year would grant a 15%, 50%, or a totally comped meal at a nearby Outback Steakhouse? How much should he tip?
Anyway. See y’all next week. Except you. You smell weird.