If you are interested in taking part in a round table alongside the regular writers, just answer one or more of the questions in the comments. I’ll select one respondee, and send them the questions so they can join in next weekend!
Predict who’ll be gone from the D-backs by the trade deadline.
Spencer: Davies, Kennedy, Walker and I’ll be bold twice: Varsho is traded but Peralta stays.
DBacksEurope: there isn’t much to like on our roster that Hazen might want to get rid of. Most guys on this roster that we consider redundant are considered as platoon or backup on other teams. It looks like most contenders aren’t looking for that, but look for everyday players. Like Escobar last season. I’d say a pitcher is most likely to get traded from this team because quality arms that can provide innings are always valuable, so I’ll go with Merrill Kelly. Davies too, if he is able to show some early results before the deadline.
Justin: Yeah, they’ll probably do something stupid like trade Varsho or Thomas. Jk Jk. I can definitely see IPK, Davies, Walker. I don’t think we would get much for Mantiply, just because he is 31. I think his value is more to us than another team.
Michael: My worst fear is they do nothing beyond the Peralta deal. They should sell high on Mantiply right now and explore trades for starting pitchers with more than 2 years of control. If it means parting with Varsho or Thomas to make it happen, it is a necessary cost to make the team better.
James: I have a feeling Mantiply gets moved. He is the epitome of a “sell-high” candidate. I don’t think the Diamondbacks make any other 26-man roster trades. There are some I wish they would make, but I just don’t see them happening.
Justin: (5pm, Saturday) Well, one domino has fallen…
Makakilo: As I write, Peralta is already traded. After the trade, Mike Hazen said that Peralta was the most likely to be traded because his volume of calls was highest and because the Diamondbacks had a surplus of left-handed batting corner outfielders. Also, he said no other trade was near the finish line, but that could change. Was Mike Hazen lowering expectations for another trade, or will no other trade happen before the deadline?
My personal opinion is that if another trade happens it will make the 2022 team stronger because Mike Hazen talked, at relative length (slightly more than a minute of his audio attached to this AZ Snake Pit article), about the importance that the young kids experience a good brand of baseball in the rest of 2022, when the Diamondbacks will play almost every playoff team.
Wesley: As noted already, Peralta was just traded. I don’t really expect anyone else to be traded. I could see trader Jerry (Dipoto) trading for Christian Walker, as Michael and Jack pointed out, or Mantiply as the others did.
Jack: Michael pointed out to me off line that Ty France of the Mariners was getting wrist x-rays. MLB Trade Rumors says it’s an MRI. Jerry Dipoto has been very aggressive trying to win this year. He could potentially pony up for Christian Walker.
Should the team have been more aggressive in shopping their players?
Spencer: This feels like a question for next week… so I’ll say no? I have no idea how aggressive they’ve been, and it’s not like other teams are unaware we have players with some value they may want.
DBacksEurope: I am pretty sure Hazen and co. value D-Backs players much more than other GMs. They have terribly overestimated the quality of this roster in previous seasons so it wouldn’t surprise me if they still overvalue D-Backs in trade talks. Christian Walker is a great defensive player at 1st but the truth is most teams want a bat first there and he isn’t. Any team that might have been interested has probably been scared by how the team values him, just like we’ve been doing. But since there isn’t too much to like, it makes sense you overvalue the few ones you do like.
Justin: Not much to say that DBE and Spencer didn’t already.
Michael: The issue is the team doesn’t have players in demand, which is true for the past two trade deadlines. Peralta, IPK, and Davies are the only rental pieces and even Davies can be brought back in 2023.
James: It’s hard to be aggressive when the team doesn’t have players other teams have any desire for. Sure, other teams might have interest in someone like Varsho, but he’s the sort of player AZ needs to be building around, not shopping.
Makakilo: No, instead the team should be aggressive in asking about players they want. Even if trades do not happen before the deadline, they lay a foundation for future trades.
Jack: You can shop guys all you want, but teams have to want what you have. And now that they moved Peralta, there is no other deal they really HAVE to make. Who exactly is IPK blocking ? Who will want Bumgarner’s contract anyway ? Only pull the trigger if you get the right deal.
Wesley:I don’t think that being more aggressive about shopping players is a winning strategy.
The first week after the All-Star break was the team’s best in a while. What as the key?
Spencer: The offense working together, mainly the talented youth learning before our eyes every night. Good, rested pitching certainly helped.
DBacksEurope: Peralta and Rojas were having a good streak, they were scorching hot and there were a couple of important hits from Marte and Walker. McCarthy has returned streaky as well. Take away Peralta and Rojas’ hot streak and you basically lose half of those games, I guess. Pitching was fine, as most of the times. Melancon was reliable, that was a factor too.
Michael: They ran into two bad pitching and defensively challenged teams with the Nationals and Giants. They still had to hit them, which is a good sign. Most of the damage was done by the rookies like Jake McCarthy, a hot Josh Rojas, and a resurgent Carson Kelly.
James: They played the Nationals and Giants, not the Braves or the Dodgers.
Makakilo: When batting and pitching are both above league average (some players were greatly above average), wins happen. Details follow:
Let’s compare Diamondbacks’ Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) to league average. For 22 July to 29 July, the league average wOBA was .317 per Baseball Savant.
8 Diamondback batters were above average:
- .538 wOBA, Carson Kelly
- .488 wOBA, David Peralta
- .457 wOBA, Josh Rojas
- .410 wOBA, Buddy Kennedy
- .398 wOBA, Daulton Varsho
- .351 wOBA, Ketel Marte
- .333 wOBA, Jake McCarthy
- .320 wOBA, Geraldo Perdomo
Diamondback starting pitching (2 were much better than average, 2 were near average):
- .121 allowed wOBA, Merrill Kelly
- .128 allowed wOBA, Zac Gallen
- .313 allowed wOBA, Madison Bumgarner
- .318 allowed wOBA, Tyler Gilbert
Diamondback relievers (6 were better than average in allowed wOBA): Ian Kennedy .150, Kyle Nelson.180, Chris Devenski .180, Luke Weaver .191, Noe Ramirez .210, and Mark Melancon .227)
Jack: It’s Sunday afternoon as I type, bottom of the 9th, scoreless tie. Dbacks have lost the first two games of the series and scored just 4 runs in 27 innings. The quick post ASG burst is but a distant memory.
Wesley: The played teams that aren’t as good as the Dodgers.
Druw Jones’s shoulder. Discuss…
Spencer: Michael can attest to how angry and upset/confused I was when the news broke. It’s not a good look and I am still wary of what it means for the development team as a whole. But at least we have recent experience with similar injuries rehabbing well. And I’d be very down to have Jones and (maybe) Robinson sit with scouts at home games like Carroll and Lawlar did last year.
The second opinion does not bode well for a quick recovery either. Hopefully that’s just me worrying though. It’s my most overused skill…
DBacksEurope: bad luck. Kid was just a few days in the organisation, how can they be responsible for this. These kids all have to show strong exit velocities on their swings, powerful fastballs out of their arms, that is a lot of wear and tear on those arms at a very young age. High school pitchers in the draft hit mid 90 mph on their fastballs. That’s pretty crazy. I don’t think it is weird at all that these young guys get injured. You see it happen everywhere. The Padres have drafted a HS kid that is out with TJ, in the first round, anyone criticizing that? This is the new normal, I guess. I understand it might be frustrating to see, but we just have to accept it and hope it won’t become a recurring issue in the future.
Justin: I texted ISH saying why can’t we have nice things.
Michael: The good news is the other two players who had a similar injury came back fine. Jones will miss out on 100 PA at the Complex and Instructs, which may slow him down a bit but his bat was already good enough for Visalia. We’ll see how he bounces back next year, including trying to get an in-person look at some point.
James: I was born and raised an AZ sports fan. This feels like another Tuesday. Outside of the 2001 World Series and lucking into Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona just doesn’t get to have nice things.
Makakilo: Months ago I injured a shoulder muscle, I learned that the shoulder is very complex, with many muscles working together. A lot of things (strength, flexibility, range of motion, posture) can get out of optimal and lead to injury, even for people who are not world class athletes. Almost every day I do exercises to maintain my shoulder muscles closer to optimal, so my feeling is I am better off because of what happened. My hopes are that Druw Jones does not need surgery and that he will be better off for having had the injury.
Just last week, a friend said my pickleball skill improved significantly. Pickleball uses my shoulder and I enjoy it a lot.
Jack: Frustrating and disappointing. I subscribe to neither theory I’ve seen espoused. What happened with Carroll and Lawlar have nothing to do with the Jones injury. How Jones recovers and what long term impacts it might have on him also have nothing to do with Carroll and Lawlar either. We can’t draw from those examples and just say “he’ll be fine”. The fact is we won’t know until sometime next year.
Wesley: It’s just horrible luck. It’s a bummer but hopefully he’s able to get back into action sometime next year.
Where will Juan Soto be after the trade deadline?
Spencer: In DC with a shiny new massive contract (I’ll spitball 7yrs/$315m at $45m/yr). That way he stays a Nat, is there for their next window, and he still hits free agency at the “usual” age.
DBacksEurope: If he moves before the trade deadline, I can see the Padres taking him, since they need an upgrade over Grisham and can trade him and some of their talents. They need to make a win now splash. Well, several to be honest. But there won’t be an extension, that is a lot of money Soto wants. Teams willing to spend money will probably wait for Ohtani’s FA as well. It wouldn’t surprise me if Soto ends up going the Correa way.
Justin: Washington, but I don’t know if they actually get him to sign an extension.
Michael: Washington because the price for Soto is too high for teams to make. They trade him to a big market club, think Yankees or Dodgers, in the offseason if they can’t mend the fences.
James: With the Yankees having traded for Benintendi, I’m going to say Soto stays in Washington until at least the offseason. Then, if the two sides are still at odds, Washington finds a winter suitor.
Makakilo: Juan Soto will likely remain with the Nationals. My view was explained in this AZ Snake Pit series preview. The timing of his new contact remains uncertain.
Jack: One just assumes the Dodgers. But I’ve always felt the Nationals should wait until the off season.
Wesley: He likely remains a National for now, but maybe St. Louis or San Diego?
What hill of unpopular baseball belief would you die on?
Spencer: St Louis Cardinals fans are actually among the worst in baseball; not the best. I argue this with my Missouri friends regularly.
DBacksEurope: I’m having a bit of a deja vu with this question but I love bat flips and pimping home runs. Just like a pitcher should pump that fist after that huge third out. Enjoy the successes. Bring passion to the game. Don’t be old school MadBum like.
Justin: Yeah, Sorry TAP (if he reads these lol), but I agree with the Cardinals on that one.
Michael: The Diamondbacks need to trade Ketel Marte either at the deadline or the offseason in order to facilitate long term success in 2024 and beyond. He’s exhibiting disturbing behavior for a guy that’s supposed to be the face of the franchise that shows up not only on the field, but in the clubhouse. There are times where I think he’s either losing focus or phoning it in on the field and it’s going to set a bad example for the prospects that are arriving in the next 2 years.
James: Barry Bonds belongs in the Hall of Fame.
Makakilo: Starting extra innings with a runner on second base.
Jack: Closers are overrated. Until you don’t have one. Then things become quite desperate. Melancon just picked up his 9th loss as I type.
Wesley: Rob Manfred is right, and baseball really should adopt Blernsball rules, and yes that includes not only mutiball, hoverbikes, mandatory steroid injections, but it obviously should include the Giant Tarantula that relievers ride onto the mound from the bullpen. However, I think aluminum bats are just going too far.