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SnakePit Round Table: Mine’s a Jameson

We raise a toast to our newest starting pitcher...

Jameson Irish Whiskey seen displayed on a shelf of a Duty... Photo by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Another new D-backs starter made an instant impression: what did you think of Drey Jameson?

DBacksEurope: I didn’t see it and haven’t had the time yet to stream the game and watch (a bit of) it but I understand it was something exciting although he got away with some bad pitches. Maybe not as dominant as Nelson so far? Just one game of course. But still better than expected after watching the Reno stats. I had just traded for him in a Dynasty fantasy, taking advantage on the other guy’s lower expectations of Jameson so I am happy at the moment.

Spencer: I like Jameson a lot. I also think he got lucky with a lazy team that doesn’t appear to do quality opposition research for new guys. I’ll be very interested in how he finishes this season and assuming he earns a rotation spot next March, starts next year against the Dodgers/Padres again. From certain camera angles, I thought he was Chase Anderson (no bearing on his ability, but a fun factoid for y’all to have!).

Makakilo: In his first start, his results in 14 PAs against left-handed batters were outstanding: no hits, 4 strikeouts and one walk. Left-handed batters swung at more than half his pitches that were low and often outside the strike zone.

Dano: I just caught glimpses over the course of the game. That said, and given that it was his first time out, he passed the eye test with me. He and Ryne Nelson both seem like they have the potential to be the real deal. I like it.

Steven: Impressive, although my expectations are tempered just a bit. He was excellent in results, but got away with many hittable pitches that I expect to be fixed by next outing, or will be hit as they should be. Not just that, his fastball was only in the zone 37% of the time, so I expect control issues to be a common theme for him despite the big stuff. His average exit velocity was right at league average, and yet only allowed 0 barrels. I’m curious to see how he does against a Dodgers team that continues to march onto the postseason. It’ll be a good test to really see what we should expect going forward.

ISH95: Do Brandon Pfaadt next.

Seriously, I’m loving seeing the young pitchers get a chance at the MLB level finally, but I’m loving it even more since they are doing well at the start. Sure, it’s against the Padres, who seem to have fired their entire advanced scouting division in favor off… getting shut out by rookies with AAA ERA’s in the mid-6’s or something. I just want more now.

Wesley: I love what we saw out of Jameson, and although there’s a few warning signs as Spencer had said, overall I think we should be optimistic about Jameson.

Who do you rate higher: Jameson or Ryne Nelson?

DBacksEurope: I’ll go with Jameson. Less fly balls and he walks fewer guys.

Spencer: I’ll agree with DBE here. But in the long run, I’d bet on Nelson as a starter and Jameson as closer if I’m forced to pick one transition to a reliever.

Makakilo: Can I rate them both higher? …no?...if I must choose one it would be Ryne Nelson for three reasons:

  • His fastball has more movement (albeit with slightly less average velocity).
  • He has shown excellence in 2 starts in the Majors (compared to 1 start).
  • He is taller at 6 feet, 3 inches (compared to 6 feet).

Justin: I have been thinking about my answer, and I will go with Jameson. Maybe I have bias in this because I do remember being pleased we drafted him in 2019.

Dano: Who knows, at this point, honestly? Like Mak, I’m gonna go with Nelson, because with two exemplary starts, against two of the tougher teams in baseball, I’ve got a larger sample size. Dude looks real good. Both of them do, so far.

Steven: I’d rate Nelson higher as I’m not truly convinced that Jameson is real. I know he was excellent in the debut but Nelson’s all-around stuff - fastball and off-speed stuff - were tremendous. Nelson has gotten whiffs on all of his pitches, and has better control so far. It’s still tremendously early to determine their fates, but regardless, we haven’t this type of excitement from young pitching prospects since… Jon Duplantier?

ISH95: I don’t really know, other than Steven just made me really sad.

Wesley: I’ll go with Nelson just because he’s: 1) 3 inches taller 2) has shown better control 3) has more movement on his pitches 4) is likely to be more durable just based on his frame vs Jameson 5) his results are better.

What’s the best solution at third-base for the D-backs?

DBacksEurope: platooning Rivera and Rojas looks to be the best option for now as the FA market doesn’t offer that much. Rivera is doing fine but his batting profile isn’t anything to be excited about, so in the long run we will have to be on the lookout for something better or hope a kid like De Los Santos is able to keep on hitting. Best scenario would have been Perdomo hitting and moving him over from SS, but that ain’t happening.

Spencer: Well. It’s not my money right? Sign Nolan Arenado (player opt out this year) to a 4-6 year deal (6 yr/$180m). He can handle third (duh), and allows for Vukovich or De Los Santos to come up as a 1B to begin their MLB careers in a few years when Walker needs to become a backup. But the deal would only overlap with the young guys for a season or two, so one of them would still be able to take 3B back when the deal expired. Will it happen? Not a snowball’s chance in Phoenix. But I want it to happen.

Makakilo: A platoon of Emmanuel Rivera and Sergio Alcantara is my choice to play third base next season. For details see this AZ Snake Pit article.

Justin: I think Rivera should be given the chance to sink or swim. I also really like Mak’s answer and his article. Perhaps that is the way.

Dano: I’m with Justin on this. Rivera’s damn good with the glove, from what I’ve seen. And he has some power. And he’s another young kid who doesn’t seem to have reached his ceiling yet. I’d like to see what more he can do, and how he can improve, given time.

Steven: I think we’re starting to see the real Rivera, a low OBP player who can hit some homers but not much else. Would Ketel be a better option at 3rd rather than 2nd? 3rd would be easier on the hamstring as he wouldn’t have to cover as much space compared to 2nd. Outside options would probably want to be RHB so that includes Brandon Drury, Evan Longoria, or a trade for Jean Segura. It’s too bad Hazen never went ahead and acquired Eugenio Suarez last off-season when he had the chance, his right-handed power would fit so well with this team.

ISH95: I like the Arenado suggestion. Barring that, I’ve had that thought as well about Marte. Might be worth a shot if he isn’t traded in the off-season. Him at third, Perdomo/Ahmed at SS, Rojas at second, and Walker at first sounds like a pretty good infield to me.

Wesley: I really don’t see us signing Arenado. Obviously that would be a significant and impactful signing, but it just seems highly unlikely for ownership to shell out the amount of money it would take to sign him. I really like Rivera’s defense, and his bat is decent enough, so a platoon with Rojas seems reasonable, as suggested already.

The AFL rosters were announced. Beyond Lawlar, who are you following most closely?

DBacksEurope: Normally I would have said Deyvison de los Santos but he is in AA already so getting exposed there. Are they sending Hummel there to shop him or what? Would be interesting to see what Goddard has.

Spencer: Overall? I’m most excited for Lawlar. Closely followed by Deyvison De Los Santos. But that’s long term thinking. This winter, I’ll be following JBB closest. He was a draft crush of mine back in 2017, and I was excited to get him for Greinke in 2019. But he’s always been an injury prone guy, and this might be his final shot to make himself succeed. If he gets hurt again or can’t effectively get young studs out, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him cut from the roster in 2023.

Makakilo: Because I sometimes focus on who will play third base in the Majors, I follow Deyvison De Los Santos. He was the MiLB Northwest league’s player of the week for 31 July. In September he was promoted to the AA Amarillo Sod Poodles. I expect him to reach the Majors for a cup of coffee in 2024.

Justin: Yeah, Hummel being there seems strange to me. I guess I don’t have a specific player I want to watch. Everyone? I’ll just read the recaps and stuff.

Dano: Lawlar, I expect. I, too, am in the “Hummel? Why?” camp, though I have no answers, no theories, and honestly I don’t care much. Hummel is pretty much dead to me, and the other names are just lottery tickets until they demonstrate that they are something more than that.

Steven: If Deyvison could ever learn to take a walk, he might just be a perfect player. Still, his power is other-worldly at this age and if he continues to blister through the minors, we could see him on the team in 2024. I hope Bukauskas shows out, the team could really use him in the bullpen.

ISH95: I’m going to say JBB. He’s always seemed like a prospect that could make a really good impact in the bullpen under the right circumstances, and that is something we desperately need right about now. If he can put it together, that’s one less spot we need to worry about in our biggest weakness.

Wesley: I’m really excited to see Deyvison de Los Santos hit in a slightly less offense boosting environment. The AFL is really the only place we can see that happen (Although TBJ I’m just operating under the assumption that the AFL’s run-enviroment would have a less hitter friendly environment, due to cooler weather, and a lower elevation than Amarillo or Reno) I’m slightly more excited about seeing Lawler, who I think will end up with the MLB team by the end of next season.

Which of the 30 MLB franchises do you care/think least about?

DBacksEurope: Seattle Mariners. Nothing against them particularly, but somehow I always forget about them and hardly ever watch a game with them involved. I think it has to do with the logo, not sure what it represents but it looks like a random logo you can find on those polo’s that say something useless like “athletics university 1982” or “strongman adventures est. 1979”.

Makakilo: Detroit Tigers. Tom Selleck often wore a Detroit Tigers baseball cap while playing Magnum PI. Perhaps that is sufficient to make thinking about them worthwhile. Their continued lack of a GM is very interesting. On 10 August, they fired their GM, Al Avila. More than a month later, they are continuing their search. For an in-season replacement of a GM, that seems like a very long time. Did their first choice say no?

Spencer: I tend to forget the Twins exist regularly. I’m not sure why exactly. They just don’t come to mind very often. They are an interesting franchise though: they put together some good-great seasons in the 21st Century and then always flop in the postseason. On the one hand it’s a tad funny, but on the other it’s sad (and until Arizona experiences true sustained success, I’m going to worry it’s our future as well).

Justin: I wonder if the D-backs would be on another teams’ list of “what franchise do you think least about?” lol Probably…

Well, to answer the question, I’ll go with the Brewers and -Indians- I am not sure why. I can see forgetting about the Twins and Mariners as well lol.

Dano: I actually never lose track of Seattle, though I’m not sure why. I think it’s Jeremy DiPoto and his eagerness to trade at the drop of a hat. Definitely an AL team, though….likely the Twins. This is a hard question to answer, though, because it’s a question about teams that I don’t think about and, well, I don’t think about them generally, so they don’t spring to mind. Possibly the Padres as well, and Oakland when, like now, they are failing at Moneyballing.

ISH95: This time of year, probably the Diamondbacks… if that’s too depressing, I’ll say the Marlins. The only time I think about them is if I’m arguing with someone on Twitter that they need to bring back the Home Run Statue.

Wesley: Even though I’m a low-key fan of them thanks to a friend from the area, I actually was surprised that the Kansas City Royals were still a team when I first got into baseball. The Twins are definitely up there for me in terms of forgettable teams.

Speaking of Jameson… Why do you drink/not drink alcohol?

DBacksEurope: Basically to socialise. Drinking just water in a bar becomes boring and soda drinks blow your stomach up so, if possible, I’d rather just drink a couple of beers without getting too excited with the alcohol. Only on the weekends though and when it is not too hot.

Makakilo: For specific people, alcohol can harm them in a big way. Diamondback fans likely have compassion for what happened to Mark Grace (see his legal history on Wikipedia) and Tony La Russa (see his legal issues on Wikipedia). Because I don’t know whether I am one of those vulnerable people, I do not drink alcohol on a regular basis. That being said, a couple times a year I enjoy an alcoholic drink to be social and enjoy an event.

Spencer: I do drink. But it’s pretty rare now. I’m not one of those “my body is a temple” folks who only puts healthy things in to maximize performance. But I am a person who only consumes things I like. Because why waste some of my time eating/drinking things that don’t taste good? I’ll try anything, but alcohol usually falls squarely into the “ew why did I drink that” category. That said, I enjoy a good cider or red ale on Tuesday nights with Trivia. And I’m down for a Margarita 365 days a year. Anything else is very dependent upon the situation and flavors involved.

Justin: The timing of this question is somewhat ironic. I have recently decided to cut back. I am not sure I can or want to be a teetotaller but I’m just done drinking so much. I usually like wine. My favorite beer is Dos Equis, Peroni, Molson if I can find it.

I do want to get to the point where it’s a “treat.” IE margarita on a Sunday night. (My “weekends”’ are usually monday and tuesday, since working at a grocery store you cant really have traditional weekends. And really Ive never cared to.) I am at the point in my seniority I can just literally take whatever shifts I want lo

Dano: That strikes me as a wildly and perhaps inappropriately personal question, which I suppose is an answer in itself. My own answer is complicated, but I will do my best to keep it simple.

Beer is often a salve for the soul, especially at the close of a perhaps stupid day. Whiskey is, upon occasion, necessary for various situational reasons, and very good whiskey is simply a joy and an occasion in and of itself. Wine is made from grapes and complements many a meal; additionally, grapes are a fun fruit, both for eating and as improvised and occasionally hilarious projectiles. So wine is nice at times. In the right context, a very cold gin martini is the best thing ever. That’s all.

ISH95: I spend a lot of time at karaoke bars, and if you don’t at least occasionally drink something other than soda, they start to get really annoyed with you.

Also, Jack Fire is really good if your throat is scratchy from allergies. Very soothing.

Wesley: I have never been much of a drinker. I have essentially stopped drinking alcohol completely the last half decade due to the many studies that show it is a carcinogen, and increases your risk of mortality. Alcohol is linked to 700,000+ cases of cancer a year. There is no level of drinking that provides health benefits that outweigh the negatives. Thats not even mentioning the fact that I have alcoholics on both sides of my family, so it is something I’ve always been hesitant to do even semi-regularly.

If I drink at all this point, it’s either out of social obligation, or very rarely, as a meal pairing. I’m also a pretentious booze snob, so of course it needs to be top shelf booze, in a mixed drink that’s prepared or it’s just not worth my time.