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SnakePit Round Table: Carroll-ing all the way

We have a starting, rookie All-Star!

Arizona Diamondbacks v Washington Nationals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Corbin Carroll: starting outfielder in the All-Star Game. Discuss.

Justin: I think it is great. Good for him and all that. :)

James: Sometimes the voters actually get it right.

Spencer: Cool. I’m glad he gets the honor. It’s deserved. I also dislike the All Star Game, so I’ll be perfectly happy if he chooses to not play.

Makakilo: An awesome choice because Corbin Carroll will add excitement to the All-Star game. Look at the names of the Diamondbacks’ fan-elected starters:

  • Corbin Carroll (OF, 2023).
  • Ketel Marte (2B, 2019).
  • Paul Goldschmidt (1B, 2014-15).
  • Luis Gonzalez (CF, 2001).
  • Jay Bell (2B, 1999).
  • Matt Williams (3B, 1999).

Sam: Completely deserved from what I can tell. But it might be tough for him to play with all the bubble wrap.

ISH95: The ASG is completely meaningless unless a player I like participates, so I think it’s great! Things like this are huge steps towards awards like ROTY and help make the case for MVP, and it rewards a young kid for putting together the best rookie season since some guy name Mark Salmon or someone?

Ben: It’s a well-deserved honor for one of the most exciting, dynamic players in the game - to say nothing of the National League specifically. I’ll second ISH’s point that it could be part of Corbin’s ROY campaign to play on a national stage like this. It’s hard to overstate his impact on the team so to see him get this kind of recognition is always a good feeling for a fanbase.

Wesley: He is a deserving all-star, no doubt about it. Hopefully this is the first of many awards he’ll win this year. Not much else I can say about it!

Dano: Well-deserved. I hope playing in the ASG doesn’t adversely affect his right shoulder, though, which seems to be causing him some discomfort (and me some worry) right now.

Did the voters get the starting line-ups right? Any blatant snubs?

Justin: I think it’s fine, I have no problem with it. I might change my answer if someone below me mentions so and so.

James: It looks like the voters got it right. There are some decent arguments to be made for a few that aren’t starters, but it is not as if anyone that actually made the cut is undeserving of an all-star nod.

Spencer: Sure. See above.

Makakilo: Mostly great choices by the fans. One subtle lost-opportunity follows (maybe next year will be different!):

Geraldo Perdomo as NL Shortstop. I made a ranked list of bWAR for the top ten NL shortstops. I ignored Mookie Betts (voted as an All-Star in OF) and Ha-Seong Kim (who played much more 2B and 3B than SS). Then, I eliminated any shortstops with OPS+ less than 110. That left two candidates: Matt McLain and Geraldo Perdomo. Interestingly, they are both 23 years old!

McLain was drafted # 17 in the 2021 by the Reds (after the Diamondbacks failed to sign him as their top pick in the 2018 draft).

Despite Geraldo Perdomo’s recent batting slump, it’s a good sign that in the second half of June he had a 10-game on-base streak. Geraldo Perdomo was my choice because his season bWAR was best.

  • Geraldo Perdomo: 2.4 bWAR, 127 OPS+.
  • Matt McLain: 1.8 bWAR, 143 OPS+.
  • Orlando Arcia (2023 All-Star starter): 1.9 bWAR, 109 OPS+.

Addendum: Jim McLennan’s article explained why Ketel Marte was snubbed. From his article:

“The biggest snub would be Ketel Marte. He has had quite the career renaissance this season, batting .289 with 15 home-runs and a 139 OPS+. His 3.7 bWAR leads all NL second baseman, even ahead of the man voted starter, the Marlins’ Luis Arraez (3.6). I guess a .388 batting average merits a little bit of recognition, but I hope Marte will make it in as a replacement for someone. He certainly deserves it.” – Jim McLennan

Sam: I haven’t followed all the drama that closely, to be honest. The All-Star selection process has gotten a bit too complicated for my taste, but each of the new additions makes sense.

ISH95: I don’t necessarily think that there are any snubs per se, but I do think that the Rangers are seriously over represented. It would make things even more convoluted (see Sam above) but I wouldn’t necessarily be against a limit on number of starters per team. If we can require one from the bad teams, we can limit the good ones to two starters.

Ben: Eh, I think it’s mostly fine. The All-Star game has always been biased towards big-market teams and/or players with higher name recognition. That trend certainly wasn’t disrupted this year with the extra wrinkle of choosing the starting lineup during which big-market fanbases could push their favored player to the top. For example, there’s an argument to be made that Nolan Arenado isn’t the best NL shortstop this year, but he had both of those advantages. That’s not to say he’s having a bad year, but he’s not keeping up with his own standards.

Wesley: I’m glad I didn’t have to come in and point out how good Ketel Marte and Geraldo Perdomo have been this year. Perdomo was completely written off by many fans and writers before this season. Marte wasn’t treated much better either. They have been a huge factor in this team’s success, and as noted above, Arraez has been less valuable than Marte.

Dano: Marte and perhaps Perdomo as well, but whatever. I really don’t much care about the ASG and all the hoohah that’s grown up around it in recent years.

After Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly, who do you want starting Game 3 of a playoff series for the D-backs?

Justin: For this I looked at Henry and Nelson’s game logs this season. It’s close, but I am going with Tommy Henry. If Nelson’s next start he has a similar outing to his last 3, then I might be inclined to go with him, though. Hot hand and all. That said, I also do like the idea of throwing a LHP out.

James: From this group, probably Tommy Henry, if for no other reason than to give the opponent a different look. I’m not enamoured with any of the choices currently available, but I also have my doubts the team has the resources necessary to upgrade the #3 stater.

Spencer: Like anybody? Ohtani duh. Realistically? Lean Henry but Nelson is making a HARD case for himself right now. If they both continue on the current track, I wouldn’t care since the other gets game 4 (or 1 of the next series).

Makakilo: My choices in order of preference are 1) Jordan Montgomery (possible acquisition) , 2) Ryne Nelson, and 3) Tommy Henry. Innings per start and ERA were compared in the following table:

The latest three starts of Ryne Nelson and Tommy Henry were compared in the following portion of the official AZ Snake Pit starting pitcher table (hat tip to Sam).

Sam: Tommy Henry is the team’s #3, and sure they could acquire someone but we all know how steep that price might be for a team just entering its contention window. Here’s another relevant table for you all to stare at:

This table gives the distribution of start qualities for each of the eight starters the Diamondbacks have used this year, as well as the average and median. Unsurprisingly, Gallen and Kelly are the two best on the team at any metric you devise, albeit in slightly different fashion: Gallen has the higher potential for an Excellent game, while Kelly is more consistent, with only 1 bad start.

Nelson and Henry have a slightly similar dynamic to Gallen and Kelly – Henry is more consistent, with no Abysmal starts, while Nelson has had six Good or Excellent starts, which is third on the team after Gallen’s 9 and Kelly’s 8. In terms of the average and median, though, Henry slightly edges out Nelson.

ISH95: Marcus Stroman.

Ben: The question doesn’t specify if it’s only those pitchers currently on the roster, but I’ll go with Tommy Henry as well. He seems to be getting better as the season continues - albeit with some growing pains here and there - as he’s pitched to a 3.67 ERA (with a worrying 4.80 FIP) in his last six starts. He’s certainly been inconsistent in his first full season, but I could envision a piggyback start between Henry and Drey Jameson at least keeping the D-Backs in the game.

Dano: [laughing] What ISH said. Assuming we don’t get Stroman at the deadline, though, I would be reasonably happy with either Henry or Nelson (assuming Nelson has actually turned a corner with his two most recent starts, and isn’t just having a positive blip that will disappear again soon).

Wesley: Out of pitchers actually on the team, Tommy Henry, but Ryne Nelson has shown real signs of growth recently. I may take him over Henry by season’s end. Players not on the team, Stroman is probably the best starter likely to be available. Ohtani if I have to be really honest, but the Angels are dumb and won’t get value back and will let him walk in Free Agency.

Bally Sports Arizona got an unexpected reprieve from the D-backs. What do you think is going on?

Makakilo: Derrick Hall extended their discussions for two possible reasons:

  • To better his future negotiating position with the next entity to broadcast Diamondbacks games.
  • To see what happens on 1 July when 3 teams (including the Diamondbacks) are due to receive payments from Diamond Sports Group. If the other teams get their full payments, then so should the Diamondbacks.

My considered opinion is that the Diamondbacks should avoid any new contractual relationship with Diamond Sports Group (and subsidiaries). Three reasons:

  • Their business model. They borrowed money to over-leverage their RSN to increase profits (and increase risk). Instead of looking long term, they intend to “keep it going” only long enough to get back their investment in the RSN. In other words, they ride close to the wind; it only takes a small unexpected turbulence to send them tumbling out of control. I don’t like short-sighted business decisions.
  • Their representative met with Rob Manfred and seemingly tried to bully him (see quotes in this article). I don’t like bullies.
  • Their lawyer tried to use the bankruptcy court as a way to obtain streaming rights to additional teams (instead of paying teams for the rights). That’s just a sneaky way to steal something. I don’t like thieves.

James: It seems like the standard operating procedure for this front office to kick the can down the road as often as possible. That’s why it is not terribly surprising the Diamondbacks extended the Bally’s deadline. That said, I don’t think it will honestly change much. Arizona is never going to see the lion’s share of the original deal’s value. This is just grasping at straws to try and salvage something before it all finally falls to pieces for good.

Spencer: I agree with James. This feels like they want to duct tape their way to the Winter and find a better option with more time to negotiate. Not helpful that this is coming to a head during trade season, so none of the important decision makers have much time for serious broadcast discussions. However, I also agree with Mak - get out from under that horribly designed company ASAP! Hopefully it’s only until March 2024 that we’re stuck with it.

Sam: Not my area of expertise, but I will reiterate the MLB.TV without blackouts is great. Recently I just had one slightly annoying part, which was that the linescore would spoil results for me, even as the box score remained functional. But then I discovered that I could inspect the line score elements in Chrome’s developer tools and turn them the same color as the box so they no longer spoil me. Let me know if anyone else has the same frustration and/or experience programming Tamper Monkey scripts to make it more permanent.

Ben: Yeah, this is one where being an out-of-market fan makes it difficult to really have an opinion. It seems pretty clear that Bally Sports built an unsustainable business model and the teams/MLB were willing to overlook that in the name of money. To say the least, that oversight has come back to bite them. My guess is that neither Bally nor the D-Backs have a clear plan and are mostly just trying to piece things together until the end of the season.

Wesley: Ben’s guess is my guess, they both have no clear plan in place, or the very least Diamond Sports has no idea what they are doing. There’s a reason they went bankrupt and it’s incompetence. Makakilo sums up the situation best though.

I’d be happy with MLB.TV just having no blackouts. Gimme a tiered system where you can subscribe to an MLB teams seasons and then the rest of the league for a slightly higher price. Playoff games wouud be available regardless of tier. I think that there should be options available to stream with other services, as well as free over the air broadcasts. The D-backs actually would serve their market well to do the latter.

Dano: I have no idea, but I wholeheartedly agree with Sam: give us a deal like gave to Padres fans, and I’d take it in a heartbeat. Our cable/internet bill would drop by about $75/mo, which for a teacher and a writer is actually a fair amount of money saved.

You’ve seen Shohei Ohtani in action. What size and length of contract will he get this winter?

Justin: Whatever it is, it will likely eclipse Judge’s or Trout’s extension.

James: This is where it is a shame Shohei Ohtani had to wait two extra seasons before coming to the U.S. after stating his interest. He didn’t chase the money when he made the move. I’m not sure he will now, since he clearly is interested in winning a ring now. However, there are some big spenders that are also contenders, so he might not have to sacrifice much. I’ll go with something around 10-yr/$450 million.

Spencer: Stupid money. I’ll say 13/$600 million. Especially if it’s a young team with years of contention that line up with the remainder of his “guaranteed” prime. That team is adding two all star caliber players and approximately 10 WAR to an already loaded situation. Could end up totally worth it. Realistically this applies to the Dodgers… buuuuuuuuut it also applies to Arizona, Seattle, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Cleveland, Tampa, Baltimore. There are a lot of teams that theoretically make sense. Most notably, I’ll shoot my shot and say he doesn’t end up as either a Yankee or a Met.

Makakilo: Instead of choosing the top bidder, his likely choice will be a West-coast team (easier to visit Japan) that will likely reach the World Series. That makes the Dodgers and the Padres the most likely. A $400 Million, ten-year Padres contract (which won’t be the highest offer) would match the salary and length of Machado, and length of Tatis Jr, and Bogaerts. The question is whether the Padres can afford to add him. Perhaps he would be more affordable by the Dodgers, whose only long term contract is Mookie Betts. Perhaps the Dodgers would offer $500 Million, 10 years.

Sam: He’ll surely set a new record for total contract value. The length will be enough to cover the rest of his productive playing career; tacking on additional years beyond that will only serve to inflate future salaries and lower the AAV for luxury tax purposes. You didn’t ask this but everyone seems to think he’ll go to the Dodgers. I hope that after this series ends, the Angels improve and make the playoffs and Ohtani sticks with the Angels just so we don’t have to deal with him being in the NL West.

Ben: How high can we count? Whichever team lands him is going to have to back up the figurative dump truck of money. He’s a special player and even if he regresses after he turns 30, I could see him being a full-time DH into his 40s and being productive in that role. If I had to put a number/prediction down, I’ll say like 10 years and $600 million. But I could easily a longer contract that places a greater emphasis on the backend of the contract or inserting some performance incentives to insulate the team.

Dano: Like Spencer said, stupid money.

Wesley: I think he’s going to have a record breaking contract, assuming a team can afford him. Ben’s estimate of ten years $600M sounds about right. I do think he’s going to choose a team is competitive in both the short and long term. He could surprise us and sign a shorter length contract for higher AAV, especially if Ohtani-Sama wants to bet on himself again. Considering he’s not just a once in a century talent, but a media superstar, he’s worth much more than even his on the field talent is worth. He’s worth stupid money. He may actually be worth a billion dollars.

What particular food wouldn’t you eat growing up, but you tried later as an adult you now enjoy eating?

Justin: One thing that immediately comes to mind is mustard. I hated it growing up. Granted I only ever tried the yellow mustard packets or Frenches. About a year ago, I made a recipe that called for dijon mustard, I somewhat reluctantly used it. It was good. Now I put dijon mustard on my brat when I do that.

James: I’ve been a foodie my whole life. I started working in the industry fairly young as well. I’m not sure that there is much that I have had to acquire a taste for. The closest I can think of is cottage cheese. As a kid, I was not a fan of the mouth feel. But even then, I still liked the taste. Now, it doesn’t bother me at all.

Spencer: Eggplant. And even that’s very recently changed. As a kid it was weird: smelled great but tasted disgusting. As an adult, I avoid it mostly in texture issues, but the flavor has grown on me.

Makakilo: Creamed corn. My parents purchased a gigantic crate of canned creamed corn. Creamed corn was our only vegetable for a long time. The kernels were hard and inedible. The creamy part was more watery than creamy.

As an adult, I love corn (especially when it’s a whole ear of corn that’s been roasted with spices).

Sam: There was a lot: Carrots, potatoes, onions, mushrooms. My mom said it was basically anything that grew underground. I still don’t love the uncooked versions like you occasionally find in salad, except for onions soaked in brine. But today I’ll happily eat the cooked versions of any of those vegetables, much to my mom’s chagrin.

Ben: I was never a picky eater as a kid and that’s continued into my adulthood. The closest thing I can think of is beans (i.e. black or baked), but now that my wife and I are mostly vegetarian, we eat beans pretty consistently and I love them. Otherwise I was (and still am to an extent) a walking, talking garbage disposal.

Dano: Eggs. And mustard, not unlike Justin. Though I still can’t do other egg preparations than scrambled eggs or omelets, and only certain varieties of mustard–dijon maybe for me, but my go-to now is stone-ground mustard. Yellow mustard is right out, and always will be for me. That s&#t is disgusting.

Wesley: I used to hate zucchini, and I enjoy them now. There aren’t many I won’t eat. Creamed corn is gross unless made freshly by hand. Any canned veggie is gross as a kid, and it’s still gross now