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An unofficial Arizona Diamondbacks community and blog



Updated: 2018-01-18T22:57:22-05:00

 



Diamondbacks OF Yasmany Tomas arrested for reckless driving and criminal speeding

2018-01-18T22:57:22-05:00

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The Diamondbacks slugger was reportedly clocked driving at 105 MPH and could be facing 30 days in jail.

In one of those moments where you can’t help but shake your head in disappointment, Diamondbacks slugger Yasmany Tomas has been arrested for reckless driving and criminal speeding. Tomas was clocked driving at 105 MPH on the 101, 40 MPH above the posted speed limit of 65 MPH. Tomas is facing potentially 30 days in jail in addition to a $500 fine. Fortunately he was sober at the time of the arrest, which could have created even further issues if he was impaired. Tomas is expected to be the Opening Day Left Fielder for the Diamondbacks this season.

It’s been a litany of issues with Tomas since he first arrived in Arizona in 2015. Tomas can hit the ball a long ways, but poor plate discipline and poor range in the outfield has resulted in negative WAR production for 3 straight seasons. In 2017, he missed half the way with a core injury that required surgery and a cleanup surgery in the offseason. The 30 day jail time could result in him missing time in March and possibly April as this issue resolves itself. The Diamondbacks don’t have a lot of outfield depth overall, so it remains to be seen if the team makes a move with this incident in mind.




Arizona Diamondbacks All Time Top 50: #33, Damian Miller

2018-01-18T19:00:01-05:00

He was the main catcher on our World Series winning team. But I always felt like he was a former member of Devo. Er, just me, then... :) Avg ranking (high/low/most common): 31.37 (10/50/36) Seasons: 1998-2002 Stats with Arizona: 467 games, .269/.336/.437 = .773 OPS, 93 OPS+, 6.0 bWAR Best season: 2000 - 100 games, .275/.347/.441 = .788 OPS, 95 OPS+, 2.0 bWAR “The most important thing for me was being a good teammate. Do the little things right, be respectful to your teammates, to the other team and to the game.” -- Damian Miller Miller was an “original Diamondback” having been chosen by the team in the 1997 expansion draft from the Minnesota Twins, albeit not until the 47th pick. But when he eventually appeared for the team in May of our franchise debut the next year, it wasn’t as a catcher: his debut in the field came at first-base on May 16, and he also played right-field for the D-backs later the same month. But it was behind the plate where he settled in, eventually taking over from Jorge Fabregas. Miller appeared in an increasing number of games for the team each year from 1998 through 2001, when he played a career-high 123 times, including 111 starts at catcher. src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K5v4LRPh9UU?rel=0&" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> On May 8, 2000, he was behind the plate as Randy Johnson’s battery-mate, when the Big Unit tied a major-league record by striking out 20 Cincinnati Reds batters in one game (above). Miller later recalled, “I remember the Reds not having a chance. His stuff was unhittable and he was locating everything. I remember after the game I went into the training room and when I came out, on my chair was the manager’s score card. Randy had signed it for me and left it on my chair. He didn’t have to do that, and I didn’t ask him for it. But I have it framed and it’s on my wall.” [That would likely be one of the few pieces of World Series memorabilia to bear Miller’s name or likeness. For he crossed picket lines to appear as a replacement player during spring training in 1995, when the players’ union were still on strike. As a result, he was not allowed to join the MLB Player’s Association, whose licenses are required for the use of a player’s identity in merchandising. However, along with other players like Kevin Millar of the Red Sox, it appears Miller does get the other benefits of membership apart from licensing checks, such as the pension. He said, “It does sting, but it’s sort of a joke. There’s not much I can do... I still get a ring.”] The following year, he was a mainstay of the D-backs as they won the World Series. Bob Brenly said, “He’s been the manager on the field. He eliminates a lot of things I have to do because of the way he handles the game,” and the team leaned particularly heavily on Miller in the playoffs. Despite a rotator cuff issue in his throwing shoulder, Damian started 16 of 17 post-season contests, the exception being Game 5 of the World Series. While he hit only .208, Miller’s ninth-inning bunt in Game 7 triggered a throwing error by Mariano Rivera, allowing the D-backs to put two on with nobody out. He was pinch-run for by Midre Cummings, who would score the tying run, before Gonzo’s bloop. “Everything seemed to fall into place for us. It didn’t matter who Bob Brenly put in the lineup, or who pinch-hit late in a game, it was magic. Everything always worked out the way it was supposed to work out.” — Damian Miller Courtesy of Brenly, the catcher made his one and only All-Star appearance the following year, being part of the infamous tied game at his namesake, Miller Park in Milwaukee. It was a dream location, as he as born in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and grew up a Brewers’ fan. Damian made the most of it, going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a run scored, becoming the last Diamondback to this point to have a multi-hit All-Star Game. However, the honor proved som[...]



Arizona Diamondbacks 20th Anniversary Team: All-batting line-up

2018-01-18T11:00:01-05:00

Purely on single seasons at the plate, who makes our ultimate nine? If we’re talking just about production with the lumber, two men dominate the rankings for the Arizona Diamondbacks over the first 20 years: Gonzo and Goldy. Between them, they have nine of the top eleven seasons for the team, as measured by Baseball-Reference.com‘s bRuns metric. C. Miguel Montero, 2012 (20.5 bRuns) Montero is basically the only offensive-minded catcher the team has ever had. He’s not just first, but also second (2011, 10.8) and third (2009, 10.2) on the list. The first non-Miggy name is Chris Iannetta, this year, at 7.6. It’s not just about hitting, however: playing time is also a significant factor. We have had four seasons where a catcher has appeared in 125 games or more. They all belong to Montero. But all the 32 seasons for the D-backs’ catchers with 200+ plate-appearances, only six of them have resulted in a positive value for bRuns. It has clearly been a position where any hitting ability is regarded as a bonus, not a fundamental. 1B. Paul Goldschmidt, 2015 (52.9 bRuns) Paul Goldschmidt, 2015 (52.9) Paul Goldschmidt, 2013 (45.5) Paul Goldschmidt, 2017 (33.3) Paul Goldschmidt, 2014 (32.6) Paul Goldschmidt, 2016 (29.1) Any questions? Yes, up until five years ago, no Diamondbacks first-baseman had been worth even 24 bRuns. The leader was Tony Clark’s 2005, at 23.6. Since then, Goldschmidt has surpassed that figure, each and every season. Including the one where he had basically to sit out the entire final third. 2B. Jay Bell, 1999 (29.4 bRuns) 38 home-runs and 112 RBI will do that for you, and seeing Bell on top of the list is likely no surprise to anyone (least of all, Gylene Hoyle!). Though what was a little unexpected to me, is how close this one ended up being. Bell’s value was not that far ahead of either Jean Segura (26.2 in 2016) or Aaron Hill (25.7, 2012), with both Kelly Johnson and Junior Spivey also coming in at over 20 bRuns, in 2010 and 2002 respectively. After that, there is a steep drop-off - those five are the only ones in double-digits for the Diamondbacks. Somewhat surprised not to see O-Dawg in there, but his best season was only worth 5.6 bRuns. SS. Stephen Drew, 2010 (13.0 bRuns) The worst of the best across all the position players: like catcher, this is a position where defense is valued over offense, and Drew’s campaign is the sole season to reach even double figures in Arizona. Indeed, the skew is even more negative than for behind the plate. Of 28 seasons at short, with 200+ PA, five were in positive territory. There were ten which were more negative than Drew’s campaign was positive, going all the way down to Alex Cintron’s -29.6 in 2004. That’ll happen when you get over six hundred plate appearances while hitting four home-runs, and getting on base at a hair over a .300 clip. Funnily though, next worst was Stephen Drew’s 2007, at -26.4 bRuns. 3B. Mark Reynolds, 2009 (25.0 bRuns) Close at the top, with Special K just edging out Troy Glaus’s season four years previously, which was worth 23.5 bRuns. The two had almost the same OPS too, Reynolds seven points ahead at .892. Matt Williams’ 1999 rounds out the top three at 14.1, despite Matty driving in a staggering 142 runs - no bonus points for that, because it was more a result of the players ahead of him in the line-up getting on-base. Also worth pointing out, Reynolds’ value was not apparently impacted at all by setting the major-league record for strikeouts that year, with 223, a mark which still stands. They really are not significantly worse than any other out. LF. Luis Gonzalez, 2001 (64.7 bRuns) The pattern here is almost the same as at 1B, with Gonzalez taking the top four positions, and being the only left-fielder for the D-backs to surpass 24 bRuns. The top non-Gonzo guy is David Peralta from 2015, who was exactly at 24.0. That’s quite a bit smaller than the 29.5 bRuns by which Luis’s 2001 surpasses his own next-best season, the 35.2 he posted[...]



Arizona Diamondbacks All-Time Top 50: #34, Josh Collmenter

2018-01-17T20:00:02-05:00

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The story of how a slightly above average role player tomahawked his way into the hearts of a fanbase

(image) Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
  • Average Ranking (High/Low/Most Common): 33.66 (9/46/31)
  • Seasons: 2011-2016
  • Stats: 200 games, 75 starts, 659.1 IP, 3.54 ERA, 112 ERA+, 7.7 WAR
  • Best season: Either 2013 or 2014

2013: 49 games, 0 started, 92 IP, 3.13 ERA, 124 ERA+, 0.9 WAR

2014: 33 games, 28 started, 179.1 IP, 3.46 ERA, 108 ERA+, 2.4 WAR

The story of Josh Collmenter starts with a kid throwing tomahawks on his family property. That lead to a very over-the-top throwing manner that eventually translated to throwing baseballs at the MLB-level.

It wasn’t his debut on May 14th, 2011 but it was when he made the biggest impression on the fanbase. It was against the Dodgers and Chad Billingsley in Chavez Ravine. Billingsley pitched a gem against the Dbacks, but Collmenter was better. He gave up no runs, no walks, and only two hits with three strikeouts. For a spot start, that wasn’t too shabby whatsoever.

He continued pitching well for the remainder of the 2011 season, and was an important piece for the team during that playoff run, using his unorthodox delivery to stymie hitters the first two times through the order, though less so the third. He continued his slightly above average output through being named the Opening Day starter for the 2015 season.

After that, Collmenter continued his swapping back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen, being solidly average, if not the top of the rotation starter whose role he had been thrust in to start the season, in both roles overall for the rest of the 2015 season.

2016 was the end for Collmenter’s time in the desert. His shine from his tomahawk throwing technique started to wear off. Hitters were able to square him up more, and they made him pay. His ERA jumped over a run the next season, though still had a decent ERA+, and he was cut in favor of... Dominic Leone? Well I never said it made sense.

Behind him, though, he left behind some great memories, such as his auction of a date during the Sydney games, visiting Comi-con dressed as a Jedi, and deciding to educate his team mates on the finer points of the universe, such as general relativity. For all of those reasons, Josh earned his spot on this list.




Have the Arizona Diamondbacks done enough this winter?

2018-01-17T11:00:02-05:00

Four weeks today, pitchers and catchers report at Salt River Fields. But the D-backs off-season moves have, so far, been notable by their absence... Thus far, this may well have been the quietest off-season I can remember for the Arizona Diamondbacks. More than three months after the book closed on the 2017 version of the team in the NL Division Series, and with less than one month until pitchers and catchers report, the biggest moves the team have made, are the arrival of relief pitchers Brad Boxberger and Yoshihisa Hirano. With a host of significant names from the 2017 roster either having left the team or currently being free agents, including J.D. Martinez, Fernando Rodney and Chris Iannetta, it’s understandable if fans are getting rather nervous about the lack of action. However, it’s worth noting that the same situation largely applies to every team in the National League West. While MLB.com’s Free Agent and Hot Stove Tracker is far from definitive (no mention of Hirano, for example), it appears that the Dodgers, Giants, Padres and Rockies have all lost more players than they have gained this winter. This should not be too much of a surprise, in a world where not one of the eight leading MLB free-agents this winter have been re-signed yet. It has been and continues to be an unusual off-season, and we should certainly remember: It’s what your roster looks like on Opening Day that matters, not what it looks like in the middle of January. Here’s another good aphorism. It’s better to make no move, rather than making the wrong move for the sake of being seen to be active - especially since the latter cannot be easily undone. It has already been reported that Martinez is happy to sit until after spring training camps open, if necessary, in order to try and get the length and value of content he needs. This is a risky strategy for the player: he’s hoping a team will get nervous enough they’ll offer what he wants. But there’s a chance suitors will find alternatives and go elsewhere, dropping the demand for his services. That could potentially lead to him signing a one-year deal. So waiting has its upside for Arizona. That said, there’s work to be done. Look at the value of what the team needs to replace, presuming the departing free-agents won’t be brought back. J.D. Martinez (2.6 bWAR) Chris Iannetta (1.8) Jorge De La Rosa (0.7) J.J. Hoover (0.5) Fernando Rodney (0.4) Tom Wilhelmsen (0.2) David Hernandez (0.1) Gregor Blanco (-0.1) Adam Rosales (-0.5) That’s a total of 5.7 bWAR which needs to be replaced. The 2017 value of our replacements so far is 0.0 from Albert Suarez and 0.4 by Boxberger. If you squint, you might charitably double the latter’s value, given he pitched less than 30 innings last year. And, of course, Hirano’s value is to be established: maybe around the same as Boxberger? But even with those two assumptions, the team is currently four or so wins short of the 2017 tally. Not a huge amount, certainly: but when you see divisional rivals like the Rockies and Giants making more significant moves than the D-backs have made to date, it is cause for some concern [the Dodgers haven’t done much, but when you won the division by 11 games, that’s less of an issue]. Might some of those losses be recouped by Arizona from internal improvement? Hard to see where: outside of Yasmany Tomas, I’d say most 2017 D-backs were already at or close to their ceilings. And unlike post-2016, it wasn’t like the team was dogged by poor health last season and can bounceback there. We would probably need a prospect to take a big step forward: Anthony Banda is the most likely to deliver a significant uptick in production, yet falls some way short of being a “sure thing”. The best hope of “free wins” this year may be that the 2017 D-backs under-performed their expected W-L record, based on runs scored and allowed, by three games. The question of team payroll will [...]



Arizona Diamondbacks All Time Top 50: #35, Daniel Hudson

2018-01-16T19:00:02-05:00

Coming back from one Tommy John surgery is tough. But coming back from two? Avg ranking (high/low/most common): 33.83 (11/49/44) Seasons: 2010-2016 Stats: 199 games, 54 starts, 477.2 IP, 3.88 ERA, 106 ERA+, 3.5 bWAR Best season: 2010 - 11 games, 11 starts, 79.2 IP, 1.69 ERA, 251 ERA+, 3.8 bWAR There’s often a perception among fans that professional sports players these days are little more than mercenaries, with loyalties defined entirely by the pay-check. That may be the case for some: Zack Greinke, for example, is here in Arizona because he’s getting paid a million dollars a start. I’m fine with that, especially when (as Zack has done) they’re honest and open about it. But in terms of fan appreciation, few things are more loved than a player who seems to care for the team as much as we do. We saw that this year with Archie Bradley, but his predecessor in that role, and one who will be hard to beat, was Daniel Hudson. Huddy came over from the Chicago White Sox in a trade-deadline deal at 2010: we got him and David Holmberg, while the White Sox got Mr. No-Hitter, Edwin Jackson. This was very much the D-backs dumping salary, for future considerations. Holmberg had just turned 19, and Hudson was 23, with only 34.1 major-league innings under his belt, and a mediocre 4.72 ERA in them, despite very solid minor-league numbers. But it was seen as a nice deal from Arizona’s persective, with 68% of SnakePit readers rating it as great or good. Still, I don’t think anyone expected it to pay off quite so immediately, or quite so explosively. For Hudson turned in what was arguably the greatest second-half performance by any Diamondbacks’ pitcher, ever. He started with eight innings of one-run ball on the road against the Mets, and by the end of the season had made 11 appearances - every single one a quality start or better - going 7-1 with a 1.69 ERA and a WHIP of 0.841. The only other D-back to throw 50+ innings after the break with a sub-two ERA, was Randy Johnson, who put up a 1.89 in 1999. Hudson ended up throwing 13 consecutive quality starts to open his career as a Diamondback. No-one since has matched that streak at any point with Arizona, the best being 11 straight by Patrick Corbin in 2012-13. 2011 saw him become a real work-horse, throwing 222 innings at a 3.49 ERA (113 ERA+) and winning 16 games, despite taking the loss in each of his final three starts. He started Game 2 of the NLDS in Milwaukee, against Zack Greinke, and kept the D-backs in things until the Brewers broke a 4-4 tie with a five-run sixth inning. [Ryan Braun finished a triple short of the cycle in that game, driving in three, so there’s that...] During the following off-season, Daniel received a $15 million contract offer from the Diamondbacks. Hudson turned it down - a decision he would find himself revisiting over the years which followed. For only three starts into the 2012 campaign, Daniel hit the DL with a shoulder issue. He missed six weeks, but even when he returned, it was clear this wasn’t the Hudson we knew, with an ERA at six or above, more often than not. On June 26, it all fell apart in Atlanta. In the second inning, he threw a pitch and immediately motioned to the dugout. When Kirk Gibson got there, lip-readers reported him telling our manager, “my elbow is (bleeping) done.” [An image which, Hudson later discovered, became his pic in the Topps 2013 card collection!] Hudson wasn’t wrong. It was quickly diagnosed as a torn ulnar collateral ligament, and Tommy John surgery followed in early July. Fast forward through the next 11 months, of slow healing, agonizing rehab and cautious progress for Hudson [see here if you’re interested!]. Finally, he gets to go on a rehab assignment, starting for Double-A Mobile. After two innings, he’s lifted, but felt stiffness in the elbow in the second inning, and when he returned to Phoenix, an examination revealed he had torn the l[...]



Arizona Diamondbacks 20th Anniversary Team: All-baserunning line-up

2018-01-16T11:00:02-05:00

#TeamSpeedKills Continuing with our look at the best Diamondbacks line-up with specific skill-sets, we now look at the players who were best on the basepaths in a single season. Most obviously, this shows in stolen-bases, but there are other factors which should be taken into consideration. There’s snagging an extra base, for example, going from first to third on a single. On the other side, there’s also the ability to not hit into double-plays, legging it up the first-base line in time to beat the throw, and also avoid other outs on the basepaths. Fortunately, Baseball-Reference.com provides metrics that take these into account: Rbr (base-running runs) and Rdp (grounded into double-play runs). So, as with defense, what I’ve done is find the best single season in Diamondbacks’ history at each position, based on the combination of Rbr and Rdp. C. Chris Herrmann, 2016 (2.2 runs added) Catchers are not renowned for the fleetness of foot, and that’s not why they’re hired. So it makes sense the best catcher in Diamondbacks history is less a catcher, and more a utility guy who does a good bit of catching on the side. This was accomplished in only 56 games, but that included 29 starts behind the plate, so was a legit catcher’s effort. Herrmann’s 2017 (2.1 runs) is second on the list, though his percentage of time in the mask was lower, only about one-third (35 starts at catcher in 106 games played). Herrmann had two SB in the last month of 2017: Robbie Hammock is the only other catcher to have more than that in any season. 1B. Paul Goldschmidt, 2016 (4.5 runs added) The same goes for 1B: they’re not generally good base-runners. But Goldschmidt is a legit threat: not lighting fast, but incredibly smart. Six men have put up plus-two runs or better at the position for Arizona: Paul is four of them, doing so each season since 2014: it’s an area of the game at which he has unquestionably put in the effort to improve, and seen the impact in results. That 4.5 is the highest tally by a first-baseman in the National League since Jeff Bagwell - a player with whom Goldschmidt is increasingly compared - reached 5.6 base-running runs in 2001. Goldy’s 32 stolen-bases that year was the most in the majors by a 1B since Gregg Jefferies (46) in 1993. 2B. Jean Segura, 2016 (6.4 runs added) Jean, Jean the hitting base-running machine... Our 2016 Most Valuable Player pretty much did everything well: led the league in hits, batted .319, smacked twenty home-runs, and gave the team solid defense up the middle. But for our purposes, the 33 stolen-bases, at a 77% success-rate, was key. However, it’s worth noting Segura was very good at some of the other areas mentioned above. In particular, he took an extra base 56% of the time it was possible, compared to a league average of only 40%. [Notable: Hermann led the 2016 team in extra-base rate, among those with 100+ PA, with a figure of 58%] SS. Chris Owings, 2016 (6.5 runs added) CO wasn’t actually the best. Or the second-best. Both of those belong to Womack, who posted figures of 6.6 and 7.2 runs in 2000 and 2001. However, save Tony for later, and use him in a more valuable spot. Here, Owings gave him a good run (pun not intended), and it emphasizes how great the 2016 team were on the bags. Their 82 percent SB% led the majors, and their extra-base rate was tied for fourth, but they ranked 23rd for outs on the basepaths. The team’s overall tally was +18.2 runs added by their base-running, which is five runs more than any other season in franchise history. I think first-base coach Dave McKay played a very significant part in that. 3B. Ryan Roberts, 2011 (3.7 runs added) This is an area where double-plays proved decisive. By straight base-running, the best season belongs to Matt Williams, who was +3.1 runs in 1998. But Matty hit into 19 double-plays that season, five more than anyone else on the D-backs[...]