Arizona was nice enough to to pull out a 4-game split at Dodger Stadium, allowing the Rockies to gain a half game on Los Angeles. The D-Backs could close the divisional race more by falling flat in this upcoming series before rebounding against the Dodgers at home next week. A boy can dream.
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.
(61-74, L1, 4th, 19 GB)
Friday-Sunday: 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:
|Gerardo Parra - LF||.210||0
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, 7:10 pm MDT
|2009 - Dan Haren||13-8||31||27||3||1||0||0||188.0||147||61||58||22||29||180||2.78||0.94|
|2009 - Jason Hammel||8-7||27||24||1||0||0||0||137.0||169||75||67||12||34||93||4.40||1.48|
Saturday, September 5, 6:10 pm MDT
|2009 - Doug Davis||7-11||28||28||0||0||0||0||169.0||155||79||71||21||87||125||3.78||1.43|
|2009 - Jose Contreras||5-13||21||21||0||0||0||0||114.2||121||83||69||11||45||89||5.42||1.45|
Sunsday, September 6, 1:10 MDT
|2009 - Yusmeiro Petit||3-8||17||16||0||0||0||0||82.1||93||54||50||17||28||66||5.47||1.47|
|2009 - Jorge De La Rosa||13-9||27||26||0||0||0||0||154.2||152||84||79||19||65||158||4.60||1.40|
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.
Chad Qualls is out with a nasty knee injury he sustained August 30 and will not return this season. Conor Jackson (Valley Fever - 5/12) and Brandon Webb (shoulder - 4/7) are also on the 60-day and have essentially provided no value to the team all year. Eric Byrnes (fractured hand - 6/26), Chris Snyder (lower back - 8/23) and Scott Schoeneweis (depression - 8/10) are on the 15-day. Of the six, only Schoeneweis and Snyder are likely to return this year.