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Preview #35: 8/30, Diamondbacks vs. Giants

The last game for the D-backs before tomorrow’s trade deadline. Will they buy or sell?

Diamondbacks are prepared for their opportunity, Photo by Sarah Sachs/Arizona Diamondbacks/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Mike Yastrzemski - RF Kole Calhoun - RF
Alex Dickerson - LF Ketel Marte - 2B
Evan Longoria - 3B Starling Marte - CF
Brandon Belt - 1B David Peralta - LF
Donovan Solano - 2B Christian Walker - 1B
Pablo Sandoval - DH Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Brandon Crawford - SS Nick Ahmed - SS
Mauricio Dubon - CF Jake Lamb - DH
Chadwick Tromp - C Daulton Varsho - C
Johnny Cueto - RHP Taylor Clarke - RHP

I return, suffering no ill-effects from the Seltzercap last night. I’ll confess to not having slept that well, but I think that was likely due more to the entire Rosati’s pizza which I had consumed. Due to that, I had to get up three times in the night and drink some water. Pepperoni does that to you, especially in the industrial quantities which I had consumed! Still, it was worth it. On to the series finale at Chase Field this afternoon; Jack is getting the day off, so no pre-game audio. But with tomorrow marking the trade deadline, there’s still plenty to think about.

We should get some idea of whether or not the Diamondbacks front-office think they can compete for a post-season spot. I think the team is probably better than the 14-20 record they have posted so far, even if that is in line with their runs scored and allowed so far. And with three additional post-season spots available in each league this year, you don’t have to be any better than mediocre to get into the playoffs, where anything at all can happen. It would be a shame to squander that bonus opportunity. Arizona currently sit just three games out of one of those spots: a hot streak, like the one we saw earlier this month, and they’d be right back in the hunt again.

However, Arizona’s record is only better than Washington and Pittsburgh right now, and the next ten games after this afternoon, include six against the NL-best Dodgers, as well as four on the road against these Giants. Even going 5-5 over that stretch would be considered an accomplishment, with worse probably the more likely outcome. That’s going to leave just 15 further games in which the D-backs will need to make up ground. If we win today, and then post that 5-5 record, we’d going into the final stretch at only 20-25. I’d guess the D-backs then probably need to win at least nine of the last fifteen to have any chance at a post-season place.

It’s not going to be easy, and I can certainly see an argument that trading prospects to bolster the team with a rental for 25 games is a fool’s errand. But I can’t exactly see Mike Hazen being a seller either - mostly because Arizona’s trade chips (those not part of the long-term future) haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory this year. Among the impending free-agents, Robbie Ray and Jake Lamb have sucked; Andrew Chafin is hurt, and Jon Jay has been... Jon Jay. I’m pretty sure Hazen’s phone isn’t exactly ringing off the hook with inquiries for them. If I’d to predict, I’d say there will be little or no action for Arizona at the deadline. Now, watch Hazen go out and trade for Mike Clevinger. :)