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An unofficial Arizona Diamondbacks community and blog

Updated: 2017-07-22T09:00:05-04:00


Diamondbacks Minor League Recap: Hops keep brewing wins


This time, the Hillsboro Hops completely steamrolled their opponent, to the tune of 15-0. Snake Stars: 3 Stars: Jackson LHP Alex Young 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K, GS 78, W (7-5) 2 Stars: Hillsboro RHP Connor Grey 7 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, GS 74, W (5-2) 1 Star: Visalia LF Grant Heyman 3 for 5, 2 HR (13, 14), 4 RBI, 3 R 0 Stars: Kane County RHP Trevor Simms 1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, BS (2), L (1-1) Pavin Smith: 0 for 3, 3 BB, R Reno Aces 5, Colorado Springs Sky Sox 10: Early on it looked like the Aces were going to win this game. Trailing 2-1 going into the 5th, the Aces scored 4 runs to take a 5-2 lead. Willians Astudillo helped his batterymate out by clubbing a 2-run homer. However, Frank Duncan hit the wall in the 6th inning and Kaleb Fleck did nothing to help him out as he allowed 2 runs himself. The big inning put the Aces behind 10-5 as the Sky Sox scored 7. Jackson Generals 2, Birmingham Barons 1: Alex Young turned his best start as a pro, blanking the Barons for 6 innings with 8 strikeouts. The Generals scratched across runs in the 5th and 8th inning as part of the support, which was barely enough. Curiously the Generals were unable to score more than 2 runs despite hitting 5 extra base hits. After Young left the game, the Generals put in another lefty in Gabriel Moya and he proceeded to do Gabriel Moya things with 2 shutout innings to lower his season ERA to 0.82 (not a typo). Yuhei Nakaushiro had a shaky 9th inning, but got the 3rd out before the Barons could tie the game. Visalia Rawhide 11, Inland Empire 66ers 3: Jon Duplantier had a brief 2nd inning hiccup where he allowed 3 runs to come across, but settled in after that. Overall he gave up just those 3 runs on 8 hits, walked 3, and struck out 7. The next 11 runs were scored by the Rawhide, in large part due to a 2-homer day from Grant Heyman, who drove in 4. Heyman wasn’t the only guy pushing runs across as 5 other hitters recorded at least 1 RBI. The bullpen was nails after Duplantier left the game, with Ryan Burr picking up a huge out in the 6th inning in what was a 4-3 game before the offense put the game out of reach with 7 runs in the final 3 frames. Kane County Cougars 2, Lake County Captains 4: The Cougars scratched across a pair of runs over the first two innings. Seth Spivey had an RBI double in the first and Ben DeLuzio an RBI triple in the 2nd. That was enough support for Ryan Atkinson, who struck out 10 in 6 innings of 1-run ball. Unfortunately, the very inning after he left, Trevor Simms allowed 3 runs to score on a 3-run homer. Hillsboro Hops 15, Spokane Indians 0: The Hops massacred the Indians, leaving a trail of destruction as they scored 15 runs. Pavin Smith and Drew Ellis were the only two batters not to get a hit in this game, but they walked a combined 6 times so we can forgive that. The Hops took advantage of 10 walks by Indians pitching with timely hitting, as evidence by a 9 for 21 clip with RISP. Eudy Ramos and Ryan Grotjohn each drove in 4 runs apiece. Missoula Osprey 2, Ogden Raptors 8: After falling behind 2-0, the Osprey tied the game with back-to-back RBI singles by Joey Rose and Andy Yerzy. Unfortunately, that was all the scoring for the Osprey. James Johnson took the start and struggled in the 6th inning thanks to some sloppy defense by guys behind him and his own throwing error. [...]

Arizona Diamondbacks 6, Washington Nationals 5: I back, you back, back-to-back-to-back jacks



Game of the year?

Record 56-40. Pace: 94-68. Change on 2016: +17.

That was glorious. I particularly enjoyed the way the team stuck it to the doubters, the negative nabobs, and the merchants of gloom who proclaimed we would lose this - both before and, quite remarkably, even when we were ahead. Seriously? Must be some new definition of “support”, of which I was previously unaware. Sure, the D-backs lost a 5-0 lead: but showed absolute fortitude when it was needed most, Brandon Drury delivering yet another thrilling walk-off win. Dammit: bold and caps please. WE WON A MAX SCHERZER START FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE WE TRADED HIM. Anyone not fully on board with celebrating that turn in your SnakePit card please.

There was so much weird, special and amazing about tonight, but you don’t have to look further than how it began. Remember last time we faced Scherzer? He allowed two hits over seven innings. Tonight, we had twice as many as that before the first out was recorded. Oh, and three of them became souvenirs, as David Peralta, A.J. Pollock and Jake Lamb went back-to-back-to-back to start the game off for Arizona. Per Elias, it was the fifth time in MLB history for that, following the 1987 Padres, 2003 Braves, 2007 Brewers and 2012 Orioles. And Scherzer became the first reigning Cy Young champion since Gaylord Perry in 1973 to allow three consecutive homers in a game.

Below, you’ll find what is possibly the most glorious, concentrated three plate-appearances of goodness by any Diamondbacks hitters since November 2001. The first was a lovely surprise; the second, astonishing; I am not ashamed to say, I may have required a new pair of trousers after the third.

Game #96: July 21, Diamondbacks vs. Nationals



Anthony Banda to make MLB debut for Arizona Diamondbacks tomorrow



It’s a spot start in place of the paternity-absent Taijuan Walker, but will hopefully be the first of many.

Taijuan Walker’s absence has thrown the D-backs’ starting pitching for a bit of a loop this week. Some of the slack could be managed thanks to Monday’s off-day, with Patrick Corbin bumped up a day, but still starting yesterday on his usual rest. The same goes for Zack Godley tonight. But it now looks like Walker won’t be returning tomorrow as hoped, so the team does need to find a fifth starter who can take the mound on a one-off basis.

Initially, it looked like the team might go with Matt Koch, who was called up from the minors to take Walker’s spot on the roster, and who had some success in a couple of spot starts last season. But it was just announced that tomorrow will instead be the debut of the Diamondbacks’ top pitching prospect, Anthony Banda. He was originally a D-backs draft pick in 2011, when the team took him in the 33rd round. But he didn’t sign for the team, and instead became a Brewer when Milwaukee selected him in the 10th round the following year. Arizona finally got their man at the 2014 trade deadline, getting him and Mitch Haniger from the Brewers for Gerardo Parra.

Since then. Banda has progressed nicely. He was the only Diamondbacks’ prospect to appear on any of the major top 100 prospect lists this year, coming in at #88 on Baseball America’s pre-season rankings. This season, he has made 18 starts in Triple-A for the Reno Aces, going 7-5 with a 5.08 ERA, and a K:BB ratio of 93:43 over 101 innings. His last start was on Monday against Salt Lake, and resulted in an ugly line of 15 hits and seven earned runs over five innings, though a .577 BABIP on the day, certainly did Banda no favors. Here’s what John Sickels of Minor League Ball had to say about Anthony before the season:

Smooth 6-2, 190 pound lefty with fastball at 90-94, peaks at 96; very good curveball out-pitch; change-up is mediocre; general control is ahead of his command to specific spots within the strike zone but he’s made progress and will be ready for a trial soon. Upside: number three starter.

We’ll see how it goes. He’ll be facing a stern task, in the shape of the division-leading Washington Nationals, for whom Tanner Roark will be taking the mound. But we’ve seen D-backs’ pitchers surpass all expectations in their major-league debut before. Although this case seems all but certain to be a one-and-down for Banda, a good performance, however, could improve his chances of being called up again should the need arise for future spot starts. And of course, there will be decisions to be made about the 2018 rotation along the road, particularly involving whether to retain the services of Shelby Miller and Patrick Corbin.

Patrick Corbin has rebounded in a big way



In the last month of starts, Corbin has put up some very productive starts for the Diamondbacks.

A month ago, one of the biggest issues surrounding the Diamondbacks was their #4 starter not playing as well as he should have. Corbin has extended runs of success and failure, which hasn’t been just a 2017 thing, it’s been a thing for most of his MLB career. In his first 6 starts, Corbin pitched to a 2.29 ERA with a 30/11 K/BB and an average Game Score of 56. In his next 6 starts, Corbin pitched to a 9.00 ERA with a 24/9 K/BB with an average Game Score of 28. In his last 8 starts, Corbin has pitched to a 3.08 ERA and a 53/12 K/BB and an average Game Score of 56.

A month ago, the majority of the Snake Pit was willing to jettison Corbin from the rotation and throw a total unknown or wear out Delgado in his place. The issue with replacing Corbin in the rotation was there were no realistic options. Fortunately the Dbacks have a good manager and was willing to let Corbin figure things out because he really didn’t have any other choice. Fortunately, that issue has resolved itself.

In Corbin’s last 8 starts, he hasn’t given up more than 3 ER. BABIP is still an issue as Corbin has given up 53 hits in his last 47 13 innings, but I don’t think opponents will keep up a .366 BABIP against him. However, the peripherals are very encouraging as Corbin’s strikeout rate has jumped to 26.9% and a decent walk rate of 6.9%. Even though he’s giving up hits, limiting free passes and keeping the ball in the yard has limited the amount of runs. There are still reasons to believe Corbin can still get better because his season BABIP is .345 and HR/FB rate is 16.8%, both much higher than his career averages.

So what’s been behind the recent run of success? The answer is a change-up that has finally developed into a useful pitch. From June 8 to July 15, Corbin’s change-up has produced strong results. Over that time period, opponents are hitting .222 with a .278 slugging percentage and a 10.27% whiff rate. The pitch is generating ground balls just a bit under half the time as well although it also yields a 40% line drive rate, but that won’t sustain over a large enough sample size. Corbin uses his change-up about 15-20% of the time in his starts, so it’s used enough as a change of pace weapon against RHH.

The success hasn’t manifested completely in terms of batter productivity, as RHH have a .346 wOBA against him, but the damage hasn’t happened against the change-up as they’re hitting .250 with a .313 SLG. The damage has mostly happened against his 4-seam and 2-seam fastballs. So Corbin has gone more to mixing things up as he isn’t throwing any single pitch more than 30% (slider) and using his change-up 16% of the time. So not only is the change-up developed into a reliable 3rd pitch, he’s been also mixing things up more against RHH. The results speak for themselves as Corbin has a 3.08 ERA since June 8th.

For the last couple seasons, the Dbacks have needed Patrick Corbin to develop into a consistent starter to deepen the rotation. After mightily struggling last year, Corbin may have put those struggles behind him now. That’s a huge boost to the Diamondbacks playoff chances with their #4 starter able to finally show signs he can be counted upon down the stretch.

*All stats pulled from Fangraphs and Brooks Baseball.

The All-Deadline-Or-Close-Enough Acquisition Team!


A roster of players acquired in July/August for the D-Backs With the recent acquisition of J.D. Martinez, and the subsequent holding of our collective breaths after his second at-bat, the Diamondbacks added another player in their history of guys they acquired near the deadline to help with a playoff push. A flip side to guys acquired in July or August is when you’re selling to stockpile talent, and we all know the Diamondbacks have done that a lot too. I’ve compiled a 25-man roster of players the Diamondbacks acquired in a trade that occurred during the months of July or August. I didn’t discriminate between whether they were buying or selling at the time, nor if the player acquired was in the minors for years before seeing action. Everyone here did play in more than one MLB game for the Diamondbacks after acquisition. C -Koyie Hill 1B - Brandon Allen 2B - Aaron Hill 3B - Chris Johnson SS - John McDonald LF - Adam Dunn CF - Bernard Gilkey RF - Raul Mondesi Bench - Mike Difelice (C) Bench - Mitch Haniger (OF) Bench - Tony Clark (1B) (The second time around when he was acquired from the Padres) Bench - Tony Abreu (IF) Bench - David Eckstein (IF) SP - Curt Schilling SP - Daniel Hudson SP - Patrick Corbin SP - Livan Hernandez SP - Joe Saunders RP - Mike Fetters RP - Leo Rosales RP - Matt Mantei RP - Joe Thatcher RP - Jon Rauch RP - Scott Schoeneweis Closer - Brad Ziegler Would this be a particularly good team if everyone played at their theoretical career peak? Well, some of them would be. That’s the nature of trades. You think you might be getting the final piece of the puzzle, but it could just wither away and not mean anything in a year’s time. Enjoy that sort of meaninglessness, kids! [...]