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An unofficial Arizona Diamondbacks community and blog



Updated: 2017-04-26T02:38:12-04:00

 



Diamondbacks 9, Padres 3: Goldschmidt and Owings make Corbin’s Solid Start Hold Up

2017-04-26T02:38:12-04:00

The offense was the star of the show, but Corbin was just as good Really, this game seemed like pretty much the continuation of last night’s game. A decisive performance from the offense, coupled with a very strong outing from the starting pitcher propelled the Diamondbacks to an easy victory tonight. The only thing missing was a non-fatal bullpen implosion, and I’m okay with that. It all got started pretty early tonight. Paul Goldschmidt got his first at bat in the first with two outs, as is pretty normal, actually. What is sadly not very normal is that he destroyed the first pitch he saw directly over the left field foul pole into the second deck to give the Diamondbacks an early lead. 1-0 Dbacks They didn’t want long to add on. With one out in the second, Nick Ahmed singled. He was moved to second on a Corbin bunt, and then to third on a wild pitch during the at bat of A.J. Pollock. Pollock walked. Chris Owings brought them both home with his first triple of the year, and then he himself was brought home on a Goldy single. Yasmany Tomas probably should have extended the lead further, but he was robbed of a hit thanks to a great diving catch by the center fielder, Manuel Margot, to end the inning. 4-0 Diamondbacks Meanwhile, Patrick Corbin had been going strong. He struck out the side in the first. He did give up two singles and a walk to load the bases in the second, but got out of it without allowing any damage. He was less lucky in the third, though, when he gave up a double to Wil Myers, and then an RBI single to Yangervis Solarte. 4-1 Diamondbacks That was as close as the Padres got all night, however. They added two more in the fourth with an RBI double from Pollock and an RBI single from Owings. Daniel Descalso padded the lead a bit more with a solo home run in the fifth (more on that later). The finished off the scoring in the sixth thanks to an RBI double from Goldy and a sac fly RBI from Tomas. In the top halves of the inning, Corbin had been just as good, if not better. He ended up going seven innings, only allowing two runs on eight hits and two walks, with nine strikeouts mixed in for good measure. If you can promise me that from my starting pitcher every night, I’ll be more than happy. Chacin gave up a run in the eighth to give the Padres a little glimmer of false hope, but Silvino Bracho redemed himself a little bit by getting a quick ninth inning. Final score 9-3 Diamondbacks src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2017-04-25&team=Diamondbacks&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width="450" style="border:1px solid black;">Source: FanGraphs Taking a sad song and making it better: Patrick Corbin, 17.9% Remembering to let her into your heart:Paul Goldschmidt 16. 5; Chris Owings, 14. 6 Letting Sir Paul McCartney down:Chris Iannetta, -3% A busy GDT with over 800 comments on the night. Easily talking first place was DC with 254 comments, over three times the amount of second place MichaelMcD. All present were: AZSunDevilP, AzDbackfanInDc, BenSharp, FormerlyChelsea75, GuruB, Imstillhungry95, Jackwriter, Jim McLennan, JoeCB1991, JoeyLewis, Keegan Thompson, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MikeDavisAZ, Mr Butterworth, MrMrrbi, Oldenschoole, SenSurround, SongBird, Xerostomia, aldma, asteroid, blue_bulldog, coldblueAZ, hotclaws, kilnborn, makattack71, megnetic, onedotfive, shoewizard, smartplays, tommyt_16 For CotN, I’m going to give an honorable mention to asteroid for this gem, but I’m going to give the winning comment to DC for this one, posted about Descalso immediately before he hit his home run this dude is an auto out I LOVE YOU FRAYED ENDS OF MY SANITY AKA FRAY FRAY KITTY RIP BUDDY by AzDbackfanInDc on Apr 25, 2017 | 8:15 PM reply unrec (6) actions We turned it red :-) Anyway, join us again tomorrow as the Diamondbacks go for the series win. Be there! [...]



Arizona Diamondbacks 9, San Diego Padres 3

2017-04-26T00:55:43-04:00

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Patrick Corbin was impressive, and the offense powered the D-backs to a second win in the series against San Diego.

Last time the Diamondbacks faced Clayton Richard, he held them to one run over 6.2 innings. This time, Arizona fared a lot better, as they pounded out a total of 16 hits and chased Richard from the game in the fourth inning. Paul Goldschmidt homered on the first pitch he saw after his day off in the first, and a three-run second, keyed by a two-run triple from Chris Owings gave the D-backs all the offense they would need. Goldschmidt had four hits and finished a triple short of the cycle. Brandon Drury had a three-hit night, and there were two apiece for Owings, A.J. Pollock, Yasmany Tomas and Nick Ahmed, while Daniel Descalso got his first home-run with Arizona.

Patrick Corbin had his good stuff tonight, as was apparent from a first inning in which he struck out the Padres on a dozen or so pitches. He went seven innings, allowing two runs while scattering eight hits and two walks, striking out nine. Andrew Chafin allowed a run in the eighth, but Torey Lovullo was confident enough to sent last night’s goat, Silvino Bracho, out there for the ninth. He responded with a perfect inning, with two K’s, including striking out Wil Myers to end the game.

The win, coupled with a looming Rockies loss (seven down in the eighth - though itis Coors, so you never know...), would leave us 12 game back in the NL West. ish95 will be along with the full recap when he gets back from the ballpark.




Game #22, April 25: Diamondbacks vs Padres

2017-04-25T20:30:02-04:00

Today's Lineups SAN DIEGO PADRES ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS Manuel Margot - CF A.J. Pollock - CF Cory Spangenberg - 3B Chris Owings - RF Wil Myers - 1B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Yangervis Solarte - 2B Yasmany Tomas - LF Hunter Renfroe - RF Brandon Drury - 2B Austin Hedges - C Daniel Descalso - 3B Erick Aybar - SS Chris Iannetta - C Jabari Blash - LF Nick Ahmed - SS Clayton Richard - LHP Patrick Corbin - LHP Normal service has been resumed, with Goldschmidt back at 1B. And I mean really normal. For since suffering a fractured hand on Aug. 1, 2014 vs. Pirates, yesterday was only the second game he did not start for the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Jake Lamb gets the night off against a left-hander: his splits this season have continued to be... well, let's go with "eye-opening," and leave it at that, shall we? Split G PA AB R H HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS vs RHP 18 60 53 15 18 4 15 6 17 .340 .400 .642 1.042 vs LHP 11 27 24 1 5 0 3 3 9 .208 .296 .292 .588 But as long as he continues to destroy right-handed pitching, I think we'll be able to cope with the odd sloppy at-bat against lefties - although Torey Lovullo could end up pinch-hitting late in crucial game situations. I wonder if it was considered in the 7th inning last night, when Jake came up to face a leftie with men on the corners? One thing which has helped the Diamondbacks so far has been our pitchers' performances in the clutch. So far, they've faced 155 high-leverage plate appearances, and in these have allowed just one home-run, and only eight extra-base hits all told. Could do with getting the K:BB ratio up a bit higher than the current 31:14, but the Fernando Rodney Troll Experience has proved remarkably effective so far, when necessary. [Random bonus fun fact. In the first inning, the D-backs pitchers have faced 90 batters and allowed 7 earned runs. In the second inning? 90 batters and 7 earned runs. In the third inning? Yep: 90 batters, 7 earned runs. #Consistency] [...]



Preview, #22: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres

2017-04-25T20:30:02-04:00

Can the D-backs keep up the pressure on the Rockies, as the surprise leaders in the NL West thus far? Today's Lineups SAN DIEGO PADRES ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS Manuel Margot - CF A.J. Pollock - CF Cory Spangenberg - 3B Chris Owings - RF Wil Myers - 1B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Yangervis Solarte - 2B Yasmany Tomas - LF Hunter Renfroe - RF Brandon Drury - 2B Austin Hedges - C Daniel Descalso - 3B Erick Aybar - SS Chris Iannetta - C Jabari Blash - LF Nick Ahmed - SS Clayton Richard - LHP Patrick Corbin - LHP Normal service has been resumed, with Goldschmidt back at 1B. And I mean really normal. For since suffering a fractured hand on Aug. 1, 2014 vs. Pirates, yesterday was only the second game he did not start for the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Jake Lamb gets the night off against a left-hander: his splits this season have continued to be... well, let's go with "eye-opening," and leave it at that, shall we? Split G PA AB R H HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS vs RHP 18 60 53 15 18 4 15 6 17 .340 .400 .642 1.042 vs LHP 11 27 24 1 5 0 3 3 9 .208 .296 .292 .588 But as long as he continues to destroy right-handed pitching, I think we'll be able to cope with the odd sloppy at-bat against lefties - although Torey Lovullo could end up pinch-hitting late in crucial game situations. I wonder if it was considered in the 7th inning last night, when Jake came up to face a leftie with men on the corners? One thing which has helped the Diamondbacks so far has been our pitchers' performances in the clutch. So far, they've faced 155 high-leverage plate appearances, and in these have allowed just one home-run, and only eight extra-base hits all told. Could do with getting the K:BB ratio up a bit higher than the current 31:14, but the Fernando Rodney Troll Experience has proved remarkably effective so far, when necessary. [Random bonus fun fact. In the first inning, the D-backs pitchers have faced 90 batters and allowed 7 earned runs. In the second inning? 90 batters and 7 earned runs. In the third inning? Yep: 90 batters, 7 earned runs. #Consistency] [...]



Zack Godley to start for Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday night, Silvino Bracho optioned

2017-04-25T19:20:01-04:00

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He was scratched from his Monday start for the Reno Aces

His removal from the scheduled Triple- A outing immediately flagged him as the most likely candidate as a replacement for Shelby Miller in the Diamondbacks’ rotation. He was then around the D-backs clubhouse today, with the team saying he was part of the “taxi squad”, allowing him to take part in workouts without being present on the bench. Rather than being a direct replacement for Miller, whose next start would not be due until Friday, the team appears to be looking to keep Zack Godley on something closer to his normal rest. He’ll pitch on Wednesday, with everyone else then dropping back a day, e.g. Taijuan Walker on Thursday and Robbie Ray on Friday.

We’ll be hoping for rather better from Godley than his last major-league start, on August 27 last year. It lasted only two innings and resulted in nine earned runs in what turned into a 13-0 blowout loss to the Reds. It was the second-worst outing by Game Score from any starting pitcher for Arizona last year, surpassing only Zack Greinke’s nightmare in Fenway Park. Indeed, Godley’s ERA over his nine starts last season was a hefty 7.31. His numbers this season in Reno have been better: a 2.55 ERA, and he was named PCL Pitcher of the Week last week, after tossing seven shutout innings of one-hit ball. But his K:BB of 159 in 17.2 innings is a bit concerning.

Still, allowing him to start tomorrow means he will get to make his 2017 major-league debut against the weak offense of the Padres, and will also miss the Rockies over the weekend. His next start could conceivably come on May 2 in Washington, though the team could also opt to skip him due to the off-day Monday. Though that would then line him up for a start in Coors Field instead. We’ll see how Torey Lovullo ends up playing it.

Another bit of news, is that Lovullo said Archie Bradley will retain his current role: "For right now, he's going to stay in the bullpen." I imagine the team might try to stay away from using Bradley this evening, so that he would be available in the event of Godley struggling early tomorrow night. The manager also stated the team was still gathering and processing information in regard to Shelby Miller’s longer-term situation, and won’t have a decision on that until tomorrow. The expected duration of his absence will then likely inform whether Godley is anointed as a semi-permanent replacement, or if they opt to stretch Bradley out instead.

Update. After Tuesday night’s game at Chase Field, the team announced the unsurprising news that Silvino Bracho had been optioned to Reno to make way for Godley on the 25-man roster.




2017 Statcast Data: Tomas and Goldy

2017-04-25T18:00:02-04:00

Let’s mix things up and take a look at some of our hitters so far into 2017! Today, we’ll take a break from going over the stats and do some analysis. Luckily for us, the first batch of 2017 Statcast data was uploaded over the weekend and we can start to see how some of our hitters are doing! The main thing we can use Statcast data for, at least right now, is appropriately measuring power. Statcast itself is mostly raw, observable data (things like exit velocity) but it also has some metrics that have been slowly added. One of these new metrics is “barrels” which is a tool used to try and find “well-hit” balls. To do this, the exit velocity and launch angles of all balls in play was analyzed and any combination of the two components that netted a BABIP of .500 or higher and a SLG of 1.500 or higher was defined as a “barrel”. This means that a “barrel” would generate a hit at least 50% of the time and averaged at least one extra base on each hit. Currently, a barrel starts with an exit velocity of 98 MPH or greater and a launch angle between 28 and 30 degrees; this launch angle then expands as the exit velocity increases. See HERE for a visual to help understand what I’m trying to describe here. The real benefit of this Statcast data is that it has helped us to build better calculators, particularly on our power calculators, to help determine the validity of a player’s power. We’re going to use xISO and xHR/FB%, both of which have been updated to include Statcast data, to help in our analysis today. The main purpose for these calculators is for us to estimate how “real” a player’s stat is. So, if a player has an xISO of .200 but is currently sitting on a .400 ISO, we should expect the .400 ISO to drop. This does not mean that the player will have a sub .200 ISO such that their “final” ISO ends up at .200; rather, this suggests that the player is more likely to have about a .200 ISO going forward. The current model of xISO has an R^2 of 0.8156. The current model of xHR/FB% has an R^2 of 0.6815. These are both fantastically high R^2 values. What R^2 (pronounced “r squared”) essentially tells you is the amount of variation in your data sample that is captured by your formula. For example, using the xISO model, you can calculate approximiately 81.56% of a player’s true ISO talent with just the inputs of FB%, GB%, and Barrels/PA. The remaining ~18.5% of a player’s true ISO is going to come from other variables that are not included in those three inputs. We’re still on the small sample size side of things, but now that we’re at 30+ balls in play, we’re getting closer to having pretty reasonable estimations. Small samples in these cases means that a player’s ISO and xISO (or HR/FB% and xHR/FB%) will still have decent fluctuations, but these fluctuations will get smaller and smaller as the sample size increases. Yasmany Tomas’s Power is Real There has been a lot of discussion regarding Yasmany Tomas. The overall perception of Tomas, at least online, is generally very negative. His OF defense is bad and continues to be bad. He struggles with his baserunning. And he put up only 88 and 109 wRC+ in his first two seasons in the MLB when he was supposed to be a premier hitter. However, there was also a tale of two Tomas’s in 2016. First half Tomas had an 88 wRC+ while second half Tomas had a 133 wRC+ with 18 HR in only 259 PA. Most Tomas critics chalked up his second-half improvement to a “lucky” home run barrage and expected regression in 2017. However, I was the opposite - I was one of the few believers in Tomas’s power because of changes he had made (and had been continually making) to his flyball rates (FB%). Tomas clearly has power but in order to get to that power, one has to hit flyballs. Here is a rolling average of Tomas’s FB% since he came to the MLB: Yasmany Tomas 15-Game Rolling Average [...]



The Fall and Rise of the Long Reliever

2017-04-25T14:30:42-04:00

Reports of its death appears to be greatly exaggerated On Apr 6, Joe Sheehan wrote for the Washington Post, “In MLB’s new era, long relievers are going extinct.” He stated, “These days, long relief is an accident, happening when a starter leaves the game due to injury or a game drags on past the 11th inning,” and concluded, “Teams don’t need to carry long relievers any longer.” There’s one problem. His article is two years out of date. Some might say that’s like a lot of WaPo pieces: stuck in 2015. For Fangraphs had already proclaimed the ‘Death of the Long Man’ in March that year. At that time, they had a point, because long relief stints (defined by Sheehan as 3+ innings) had slumped to new lows. In 1999, the year after the league expanded to 30 teams with the Rays and D-backs, there were 535 such outings. But by 2014, the number had been cut by more than half. The writing seemed to be on the wall for long relievers, as bullpens became more specialized. Then something strange happened. After reaching that low in 2014, as the chart below shows, long relief has turned in back-to-back seasons of growth for the first time 1996. In just two years, numbers have increased by 29%, and there were more such appearances last season than in 2005. We’re seeing the same thing at every level past an inning, though the effect is most extreme at the ends. But even looking at relief appearances lasting more than three outs, rather than three innings, the number in 2016 was 13.3% up over the figure two years previously, and at its highest level since 2009. We looked at one reason earlier in the month: recently, starting pitchers have been working less. This leaves extra work for the relief corps, and with no increase in the number of arms available, means pitchers are more likely to be stretched out a bit. But fashion also plays a part: the Royals emphasized the importance of mid-relief with consecutive AL pennants, and the likes of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis + Greg Holland. Then last winter, Andrew Miller was named ALCS MVP. It was well justified, as he tossed 7.2 innings in four appearances with a K:BB of 14:0. But I can’t remember the last time a pitcher won a playoff award, without either starting or being a team’s closer. Brewers’ GM David Stearns said, “I think we’re seeing the lines between starter and reliever blurred a little bit. We certainly saw that this offseason with the valuations that were placed on premium relievers. They were valuations that were similar to those placed on very good starting pitchers. We’re recognizing the impact that relievers can make on wins and losses.” This is being reflected, both in the kinds of pitchers that are becoming long relievers, and in the work that they’re being asked to do. Traditionally, a long reliever was often a “failed” starter, moved to the bullpen, and used to mop-up after the starter had been torched early. We see the former if we look at our franchise leaderboard for long relief outings. All seven names with 5 or more appearances were starters earlier in their career, and almost all - the jury’s still out on Patrick Corbin - were largely undistinguished in that role [though I’ll confess surprise at discovering Mike Morgan started over 400 games, before becoming part of our World Series winning bullpen]. Josh Collmenter, Edgar Gonzalez, Stephen Randolph, Andrew Good and Randall Delgado isn’t exactly the rotation of anyone’s dreams. But along with the two previously mentioned, they worked long relief 54 times, with a 2.88 ERA over 184.2 innings in those games. The new breed of long relievers are a bit different. For example, while Miller was once a starter (a poor one, with a career ERA of 5.70), his last appearance in a rotation was back in 2011. It was several years later, in 2014, that he started stretching, averaging more than an [...]



Snake Bytes 4/25: We Will Take a Raincheck

2017-04-25T10:30:02-04:00

Large test impending for the Diamondbacks this weekend vs. Colorado Zack Greinke (2-2, 2.93 ERA) followed up his dominant start in San Diego a week ago by going 6 innings with 11 K’s, 0 BB’s, 6 hits, and 1 ER. Last season he only surpassed 8 K’s once, and that did not come until June 2nd against the Houston Astros in which he also struck out 11. Not to discredit what he was able to accomplish last night, but he was getting some help behind the plate from Adrian Johnson. His fastball velocity recovered from his previous San Diego start as the FSNAZ broadcast had him hitting 92mph. Tonight’s 6:40 PM start has Clayton Richard (2-2, 3.04 ERA) squaring off against Patrick Corbin (1-3, 3.27 ERA). The Diamondbacks were able to tally 9 hits on April 20th against Richard, but only came away with 1 run against him that game whereas Corbin gave up 5 hits a 3 runs in the same contest. Diamondbacks 7, Padres 6 [Dbacks.com] Owings' slam backs Zack as D-backs nip SD - It is not my intent to focus on the negative. However, I want this team to continue to improve. There are still question marks regarding the infield defense and bullpen as this season progresses. Please understand that I am not trying to make these out as enormous issues. The game nearly got out of hand when Silvino Bracho came in relief for his first appearance this season in the 7th inning. He walked the first batter he faced. Chris Herrmann missed on a play at first the next batter that Goldy likely turns for a double play. Luis Sardinas then hits a sharp grounder to Chris Owings that I reluctantly accept squirting out from his glove. With the bases loaded, Owings and Drury have yet another opportunity at a double play only this time a low throw from Drury foils the out at first. In fairness, my opinion is that the replay review on that play was incorrect. Bracho then serves up a meatball to the Padres best player, Wil Myers, and suddenly we are left staring at a 7-5 ballgame. The 2017 Diamondbacks do not have time for that. [Arizona Sports] No Goldy, no problem: Owings hits first grand slam in Goldschmidt’s slot - Allow me to change gears and focus on the positive. We have our first Chris Owingschmidt sighting of 2017! If I told you that Chris Owings would take Paul Goldschmidt’s spot in the lineup, and drive in more runs than Goldschmidt has in any game this season, you would probably laugh at me. That was exactly happened last night as Owings capped off a two out rally in the 5th with a grand slam to left center. Many people questioned the decision to select Owings to fill Goldschmidt’s spot, myself included, but it actually makes perfect sense. Lovullo spelled out clearly in spring training that he would try to keep the lineup as consistent as possible. He did not want the players coming in not having a clue where they would hit in the order. Chris Owings has moved around the field and order most frequently so far this season, other than Chris Herrmann, so he was the logical choice. Probably not as big of a deal as I make it, but allow me to toot Lovullo’s horn for seemingly making the correct decision. [ESPN] Greinke fans 11, Owings hits grand slam in Arizona win - David Peralta had yet another 3 hit game, and got the team a running head start with his solo shot in the first. Over the last 8 contests, he is 17 for 31 with 4 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, and 3 runs batted in. It is safe to say the Freight Train is getting up to speed. The Diamondbacks have 41 runs batted in with two outs which is currently the most in the Senior Circuit. Fernando Rodney shot an arrow in to the Phoenix night sky for the 6th time in as many attempts. Team News [Arizona Sports] D-backs mull rotation options, Shelby Miller seeks second opinion on elbow - The news regarding Shelby Miller is not particularly good, and we should perhaps brace for impact later today. [...]