Wait. Didn't we JUST play Arizona at Coors? Yes...yes we did. The series loss to the then NL West-cellar dwellars should still be fresh on the mind of the Rockies. I had written that they posed a surprise threat, and since then, the Diamondbacks are a respectable 8-5.
I won't repeat too much, as most of the Diamondbacks' story still rings true from the last KYF on them. The general idea is that they are indeed bad, and the Rockies should take this series without a doubt, but Arizona has been one of the more inopportune teams in the bigs. As I pointed out Tuesday, Arizona deserves to be above .500, at least according to Matthew Carruth of Fangraphs.
There are four notable changes for Arizona since the last time we saw them over the holiday weekend.
- 1B: Tony Clark has been released, Chad Tracy is benched, and Josh Whitesell has been given the shot to run away with the 1B job.
- 2B: Felipe Lopez was traded for two minor leaguers yesterday, robbing the lineup of one of its three productive hitters. He will be replaced by a Ryan Roberts/Augie Ojeda platoon.
- SP: Probably the biggest one - we don't face Dan Haren in the series.
- RP: Tony Pena was trade to the White Sox.
Go hang out at AZ Snakepit and remind them we have 3 more wins than them since the start of 2007. Just don't get yourself banned.
Monday-Wednesday: 3-game series at Coors Field
The Bats: D-
They still strike out a bunch, are 3rd worst in average, have just a .319 team wOBA, and they just lost one of their only productive hitters. The drop from Felipe Lopez to Ryan Roberts or Augie Ojeda is notable. And that's in a big time offensive park.
They have scratched out 401 runs, 18th in the majors, though coming off a tough series vs St. Louis. Their Fangraphs hitting value puts them at -45.6 runs, fourth worst in the majors, and their lineup is poorly constructed, as the only hitters with any ability to get on base are sluggers. Therefore, their table-setters, whoever they may be, will not be setting the table very well.
With the trade of Lopez, the lineup will experience some reshuffling. I know who the main starting eight are, but I honestly have no clue AJ Hinch's lineup will be, as I haven't seen any indications toward his intentions. Here's a guess:
Josh Whitesell - 1B
By wOBA metrics, the lineup features two All-Star caliber players (Punk and Reynolds), one above average hitter (Montero), three below average (Drew, Roberts and Parra), and two quite bad hitters (Young and Whitesell). Since the last time we saw Arizona, Upton and Reynolds have slowed their pace, Montero has come on very strong, and Parra has taken positive steps.
Luke Carlin (2-12) is the backup catcher with Chris Snyder on the shelf. Alex Romero (.265, 0, 3) is the lone backup OF, while IFs Augie Ojeda (.221/.304/.295) and Chad Tracy (.224/.289/.388) fill out the bench.
Hop after the jump for the scouting report on the arms, the D, the pitching matchups and the hot/cold players.
The Arms: C
Since we last faced Arizona, they have moved inside the top 20 in ERA. Their rotation ERA/FIP/tRA splits are 3.99/4.07/4.43; for their bullpen - 4.99/3.95/4.11. Their pen has the greatest ERA/FIP split in the majors by a large margin. We miss Haren, one of their only two starters worth fearing. We do draw Scherzer, whom we beat July 3, as well as the reliably mediocre to below average Doug Davis and Jon Garland.
After going through a rough patch, blowing three saves in five chances, Chad Qualls has converted four straight saves. The large bullpen for AJ Hinch otherwise includes Blaine Boyer, Juan Gutierrez, Jon Rauch, Leo Rosales, and Esmelring Valdez. One of those will have to be sent down to bring up Ryan Roberts today - I'd guess it would be Rosales. The lefties are Scott Schoeneweis and rookie Clay Zavada.
The D: C-
Last time, I gave Arizona a B- for defense and they promptly committed three errors that night. Their range is slightly above average (+2.1 UZR/150), though they've committed 80 errors, 2nd most in MLB. FAngraphs says they are the 11th most valuable defense, but I'm still giving them a C-.
Tonight, 6:40 pm MDT
|2009 - Doug Davis||4-9||3.41||1.44||91||55|
|2009 - Jorge De La Rosa||6-7||5.21||1.45||99||46|
Tuesday, July 21, 6:40 pm MDT
|2009 - Max Scherzer||5-6||3.64||1.35||97||39|
|2009 - Aaron Cook||9-3||3.85||1.42||63||38|
Wednesday, July 22, 1:10 MDT
|2009 - Jon Garland||5-9||4.45||1.49||50||41|
|2009 - Ubaldo Jimenez||7-9||3.82||1.30||111||50|
My take: Contrary to last time, I'm not worried about this series. We miss Haren, so we either have the pedge in the SP matchup or have a pretty good shot. Their lineup will be shifting to find new roles, and two positions will have new full-time starters since the ASB. We should take this series, with a solid shot at a sweep if Aaron Cook can figure out how to keep his sinker down in the zone again.
Jon Garland has strung together 6 quality starts in his past seven. Max Scherzer hasn't allowed more than 3 ER since May. Miguel Montero is 19-for-50 with 3 HR and 6 RBI in July. Stephen Drew has managed a .907 July OPS despite hitting only .271 in the month. Gerardo Parra is 18-for-56 this month for .321 average and .806 OPS.