- Joined: Nov 1, 2010
- Last Login: Sep 24, 2021, 4:36pm EDT
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Comment 3 replies
he’s at a 95 OPS+ this year, well above average for a shortstop, and is a league average bat the past two seasons. DRS likes Ahmed more, but UZR has them equal, and Fangraphs rates Dansby as the better defender.
And there’s the fact that Dansby Swanson has played more games than anyone in the NL this year, while Ahmed has been hurt, twice.
And he’s younger, and a fan favorite (went to a game in Atlanta and saw loads of Swanson jerseys, partially because he’s a hometown kid of course.) Ahmed has been great for us, but I think only Dave Stewart would think we’re better off with Ahmed than Swanson
If Luke Weaver is a key part of this team
that just shows how bad the pitching is.
His one relatively full season, he was bad. So we traded for him, because you know
we're great at fixing pitchers and in 12 starts per season since he was excellent (and got hurt), terribad (and didn’t), and average (and did.)
I know wins don’t mean anything, but it’s instructive that he has as many wins in the 24 starts since his 2019 injury as he did before it.
Comment 1 reply
Something something three types of lies
lies, damn lies, and statistics.
Yes, technically stats are factual. But they can easily be presented to support any narrative.
It's organizational too.
Corbin Carroll suffering a season ending injury on a swing isn’t a good look for a player who should be a gap hitter and good defender, not a 40 home run guy.
But they are probably trying to turn them all into 40 home run guys because DINGERZ, and now Carroll will never be a decent big leaguer.
Comment 3 replies
Name a single pitching prospect who looks like they can be better than a #3 who can't eat innings
If you have a good bullpen, it’s fine to have no starters who can go past the fifth. Even if you have a good bullpen, you need at least some innings-eaters. The Diamondbacks have Merrill Kelly, a guy who has been good but couldn’t make the roster of a functional organization. And if any functional organization thinks he can make their roster now, he’ll be traded in the offseason.
The prospects look like oft-injured bats, head cases, and one-inning bullpen arms. Whether that’s because of the organizational strategy or just bad luck doesn’t matter. But thanks to injury, Corbin Carroll and Jordan Lawler both lost development time. Thanks to mental health issues, there’s no knowing if Kristian Robinson will ever play again. Geraldo Perdomo flopped in a big way this year.
On the bright side, Daulton Varsho has looked good (but has no position), and Pavin Smith has looked good. Josh Rojas looks like he could be a useful utility piece on a contending team. Do we think Alek Thomas and A.J. Vukovich are going to be stars? They are the only ones out of the top-ten prospects who looked like they could be MLB regular starters this year. ALL OF THE PITCHERS are working so few innings that they might as well not be starting, so if they ever intend to use them in the MLB rotation, they’ll need a year or two before they are stretched out enough to even provide 180 innings. (Teams will never realize that treating pitchers this way doesn’t really help.)
Yes, the team is bad
but I do have to say that in some areas, it isn’t as bad as everyone thinks. Defensive metrics are notoriously difficult. Neither DRS nor UZR like the Diamondbacks, but UZR has the Diamondbacks as middle of the pack while DRS has them bottom five. That’s far below the normal standards we’ve come to expect. But it’s not the worst in the league this year by any metric, let alone the worst in history like some people want to pretend.
The bottom five offense can, again, be excused by the number of injuries to key contributors. There were a lot of players who weren’t expected to be playing at the MLB level who got a lot of time.
The pitching? Injuries are only partially an excuse there. But the fact is that pitchers who were guaranteed a rotation spot (MadBum, Gallen) no matter what weren’t good when they were healthy. Injuries certainly helped the bullpen win the race to the bottom.
The defense and offense will improve with time. But that pitching staff is going to be a big issue going forward, because they aren’t developing starters to go 7+ innings, and there isn’t enough talent to get 15 MLB quality pitchers out of what’s in the system.
Comment 1 reply, 1 rec
What if the lotto jackpot goes to $2 billion
and Colangelo wins it? Probably still would be a couple of years before things got put together. Let’s not forget that the 1998 team underperformed expectations. Jay Bell, Matt Williams, Andy Fox, and Omar Daal were all key players on both teams (and while Travis Lee and Andy Benes underperformed in 1999, they were also key figures on both teams.) The turnaround in 1999 was partially because there was some solid talent in 1998 that performed better, partly because of big free agent signings (that worked out better than anyone could have imagined) and partly because of a very lucky break.
The 2021 Diamondbacks don’t have two All Star players in the infield and a 4-5 WAR pitcher just sitting around. And let’s also not forget that if the 1999 Diamondbacks hadn’t pulled the coup of the century (in trading Karim Garcia, who posted -3.2 bWAR for his career) for Luis Gonzalez and cash, those free agent contracts probably don’t amount to much.
Since Manfred Man makes baseball more entertaining
why not do it every inning? Or draw lots pregame for three random innings to be blessed by the appearance of Manfred Man?
I’ll admit to enjoying watching the way the game is played with the runner on base. However, that begs the question of why teams do not employ these strategies when they get a runner on base in the late innings of a close game. If it is the "right" strategy, they should be doing so then as well. The fact that they do not tells me that the computers say it is not the right strategy, and that the only reason we have entertaining (read: not three-true-outcomes) baseball in the Manfred Man innings is because the computers have yet to render judgment upon it. But the day is coming, and then I guess we’ll have to move to Manfred Men (two or three or four, because why not?) runners on base just to try to get balls in play.
Comment 2 replies, 2 recs
While I do appreciate that there are some reasons for optimism
it remains that the 2005 NL West was a terribad division. The 2022 NL West will not be. Playing the Dodgers, Giants, and Padres a total of 57 times is going to be problematic.
However, expecting to go 33-16 in one run games is pretty unrealistic. A reasonable expectation would be to go about .500 in one run games; sure, they might get lucky. Also, for any chance at a sustainable team being built requires the team not dramatically overperforming in one-run games; we know that if they do so, Kendrick will make another flashy signing that comes back to bite us.
Comment 2 replies, 2 recs
If Yelich was in Arizona
he’d have already been traded for pitching prospects who would be guaranteed to wash out in AAA.
The Brewers are a legitimately small market team, unlike the Diamondbacks, but they manage to have Yelich and Cain.
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Comment 1 rec
This is untrue
other sports also have their advanced metrics. One could even argue that the advanced metrics in basketball are more reliable than those in baseball, particularly since there is far less variation in the circumstances of a game of basketball than in any of the other major sports (weather conditions, players playing, etc.)
One reason why NBA salaries make MLB salaries look like peanuts is because it is very easy to see how a single star player changes a team and provides economic benefit. And Phoenix sports fans need look no further than Chris Paul for the proof of that. (Although I’ll add he choked once again, so the benefit is dubious when it comes to a championship.)
Comment 1 reply, 2 recs
The big difference between our perspectives
is that I don’t think baseball is a business. It is, essentially, a public utility which is held by private citizens. Those citizens use the public utility argument to get cities to pay for stadiums, infrastructure, etc.
Yes, doing what is best for the bottom line is the right thing to do for a business. Doing what is best for the people who were forced to invest in getting the team would be, in my opinion, the right thing to do. Kendrick has done well by his wallet and the wallet of his partners. Colangelo did poorly by the partners, by some standards (although I’d argue Kendrick wouldn’t have a team to make money with today if Colangelo hadn’t made winning a priority.)
Comment 3 recs
Say what you want
but it is certainly the Ken Kendricks of the world that are the problem with the sport.
Kendrick doesn’t even attempt to sound like he wants to win. He became the primary owner and almost instantly slandered the player responsible for the greatest moment in franchise history (yet he has no issue with using that moment to pad his bottom line). Kendrick is estimated to be worth $100 million more than Ron Fowler, yet the Padres spend. He’s estimated at $200 million more than Bob Castellini, yet the Reds outspend the Diamondbacks.
Maybe he isn’t the worst owner in the sport, but his brand of meddling with the product and spending to make flashy deals but not improve the product is unique.
Comment 1 reply, 2 recs
Expectations are not iron clad rules
teams need a certain amount of offensive production, and they get that whether it comes from the left fielder or the shortstop.
On the other hand, we both have more ways to quantify defense now, and it is worth less than it has ever been (because there are fewer balls in play than ever before, and those balls are often hit harder than ever before.)
The most valuable thing right now is positioning; as long as a player can catch balls that are hit straight to him and throw to the right base, he’s not going to cost too much. And since positioning is now 100% called from the dugout, you don’t even need players with good instincts.
Ten years ago, there were 182,933 chances. Twenty years ago, there were 182,622 chances. The last completed full season there were just 130,271 chances, or 71% of what there were in 2011. Barring an increase of balls in play during the next few weeks, it will decline again this year, since we’re only at 110,093 so far this year.
The Dodgers (and before them, the Rays) were on the cutting edge and realized that, no matter how good or bad a defender someone is at a given position, they don’t help or hurt nearly as much as they did in the past.
Underscoring the importance of positioning, the Dodgers convert almost a full percentage point of balls in play into outs ahead of the Astros, who are the second best team. Of the ten teams converting 70% or more of balls in play into outs, almost all of them are heavily invested in analytics. Of the teams at the bottom of the list, only the Red Sox (who are the worst, at only 65.7%, almost 8% below the Dodgers) are a team that would be considered to be invested in analytics, and there’s a 39 foot tall reason why they are on the bottom of the list. The Dodgers’ team fielding percentage is .984, which is below average, but they get more outs per balls in play than anyone (despite playing 61 players this season, more than all but five teams.)
Comment 3 replies, 4 recs
I highly doubt that
anyway, defense is less valuable in baseball than its ever been.
But Fangraphs has the Diamondbacks 13th in baseball in defensive value, at slightly positive. By UZR, they are -4.4, good for 18th in baseball.
Among the teams rated worse are the Dodgers, but no one compares to the Tigers, who have an astounding -31.6 UZR
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I'm at 2
I could possibly have gone to three, but the fact that Lawlar is already hurt (and the organization has shown no capacity to keep players healthy) certainly is a concern. With Carroll, Robinson, and now Lawlar all on the shelf for health-related reasons, there’s some big concerns as to how bright the future can be.
On the bright side, even getting passed by the Orioles shouldn’t cost the Diamondbacks the top player on their board, whether that’s Elijah Greene or someone else. The Orioles seem to always draft guys they can sign for under slot.
2024 was always the earliest the team might compete. That’s still a possibility. But I’d feel more comfortable about it if Carroll, Robinson, and Lawlar were developing towards that instead of doing nothing.