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SnakePit Round Table: Knee-jerk edition

We will never win agai... Oh, wait. Never mind.

Reflex Symptomatology Man Photo by: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

What went wrong in the Opening Series?

Turambar: Starting pitching seems like the low hanging fruit here: 13 ERs between MadBum, Kelly and Smith. Though Kelly wasn’t too bad, but the story seems to be starters getting roughed up early and often. Granted I was on my First Anniversary vacation so don’t take my somewhat uninformed opinion without a grain of salt.

Side note. I’m writing this while watching game 4 and Widener appears to be part of the solution after going a very solid 6 innings with no runs allowed.

Perhaps a sign of hope??

Dano: The Padres happened. Our starting pitching happened. Our iffy bullpen happened. Our somewhat questionable feast-or-famine offense happened.

Steven: Obviously the starting pitching hasn’t been great, but the offense showed on-base problems outside of Ketel Marte. Averaging 3 runs a game won’t win you man games, especially with this pitching staff. The bullpen was actually not half bad, but already close to the top of the leaderboards with starters leaving early due to ineffectiveness.

James: Team pitching went wrong, plain and simple.

Wesley: Pitching, pitching, and pitching is what went wrong, as everyone else has said. Fittingly, our first win of the season came with a good outing from our pitching staff. pooor luck w

Makakilo: Having to play the Padres! Part of the reason for only 3 for 31 with RISP was the absence of Kole Calhoun and Nick Ahmed:

  • In 2019, Nick Ahmed had 46 RBIs with RISP.
  • In the shortened 2020 season, Kole Calhoun raked with 32 RBIs with men on base.

DBacksEurope: Nothing went wrong: the D-Backs pretty much performed as we expected or was anyone surprised by our underwhelming pitching?

Please over-react violently to a small sample size.

Turambar: “Pitchers not named Widener. Please report to the woodshed out back for immediate debriefing.”

Dano: Madison Bumgarner is wrecked, and will never win again. Clearly it’s time to tear the whole thing down and enter an extended rebuilding phase!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steven: On pace for 41 wins, lowest in team history by a wide margin. Sell off anything you can!

James: Injuries are going to chase the team towards only 65 wins, if they are lucky.

Makakilo: After 4 games, my pythagorean projection is 60.25 wins for the season. Yikes!

DBacksEurope: Sack Torey Lovullo and Matt Herges.

Now you’ve seen the 2021 D-backs in action, what are the problems?

Turambar: Starting pitching and injuries. The former though is far more concerning to me and it needs to be addressed pronto or this season is dead on arrival.

Dano: Turambar pretty much nailed it.

Steven: Yep, the injuries are piling up and depth is an issue.

James: Pitching and overall roster depth. The pitching is even weirder than feared and the lack of a roster 35 deep is already taking its toll.

Makakilo: Injuries are part of it. I am confident that the Diamondbacks can average about 5 runs per game with Marte, Calhoun, Walker, and Ahmed at 100%. Rotation pitchers are still figuring things out - I am confident that our rotation will improve.

DBacksEurope: Other than what the others already have said, I’d say that it is weird that if a team isn’t spoiled with talent on its roster, that you decide to put almost every player in a position that isn’t theirs. In one of the other roundtables I expressed that I had a feeling that Lovullo would patchwork the entire outfield with the Kole Calhoun injury, but I wasn’t prepared for witnessing the same in the infield. Players always perform best if they play at their position. I don’t think we get the most out of the position players at the moment.

Are they mis-handling the shortstop situation? What would you do?

Dano: I dunno. Ahmed is supposed to be our starter. It doesn’t seem like we have a lot of options until he’s healthy again except to plug the gap as best we can?

Steven: If management was dead set on having Marte in a OF spot, they really bungled the backup situation. What was the plan if Ahmed got hurt worse than he did? Start Rojas full-time?

James: The team has been walking a tightrope for over two years now. Other than Marte, the team has no depth beyond Ahmed for regular starts at SS. Is Perdomo really ready? It seems unlikely.

Makakilo: I’m excited about Perdomo playing shortstop! Although he will be a defense first shortstop, I predict his hitting will be pretty good too. Although he may not be ready, giving him experience in the Majors will pay off later.

DBacksEurope: I don’t think they are mishandling it. This is just a short-term absence from Ahmed, or at least that is what the team thinks. In Querecuto they apparently have someone who is able to play better at shortstop than Rojas, but he is not on the 40-man roster. So it makes sense they called up Perdomo so they don’t have to make a 40-man roster move. If Ahmed’s injury lingers on I expect the D-Backs to make a roster move.

How secure is Torey Lovullo’s job?

Turambar: Way too small of a sample size right now, and a slew of injuries make that question even more murky. The next three series will be very telling for both the team and his job, whereas this opening go against the Padres was always gonna be a tough go even without the injuries.

Dano: I expect he’s fine for now. The injuries are beyond his control, as are the front office decisions regarding roster construction.

Steven: Yeah I don’t see the FO putting all that Lovullo. He’s their guy, and unless something drastic happens where the players revolt, he’s going to be the manager throughout this year.

James: He’s a lame-duck manager for what is currently a losing team. I don’t think the seat is too warm yet, but if things do not improve, he becomes an easy absurdist.

Makakilo: Very secure. Two Thoughts:

  • Torey Lovullo is outstanding at the most important thing a manager does - he motivates players to play above and beyond what they thought possible. He excels in the rest of his job, too.
  • He and Mike Hazen work well together - as long as Mike Hazen is here, Torey Lovullo will be too.

DBacksEurope: secure in a sense that he will finish the season. Not secure in a sense that if the D-Backs were happy with Lovullo he would have probably been extended already. It could also be that Lovullo wants to go somewhere else. Who says he wouldn’t be a good candidate for possible jobs with the Blue Jays, Mets and Yankees whose managers are in the same spot with their clubs as Lovullo with the D-Backs?

Where do you draw the line between “these are acceptable living conditions” and “I should probably tidy up now”?

Turambar: For me personally it’s when the kitchen is cluttered, but for the whole house it’s when my lovely wife says it’s time for a deep clean.

Dano: When the kitchen sink is sufficiently full of dirty dishes that I can’t easily fill the coffee maker, that’s pretty much it.

James: If the dishes pile up enough that I do not have room or dishes enough to cook, it is time to get cleaning.

Makakilo: I am blessed with a dishwasher, a Roomba vacuum, and a swifter (with handle) to help keep the house clean. My desk is another story. Before I have completed writing an article, the mess on my desk is necessary and acceptable. When my article is completed, then I should probably tidy up my desk... maybe even clean my monitor.

DBacksEurope: for some reason I always like to clean the toilet. The toilet is a good indicator on acceptable living conditions.