clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Know Your Foe: Puzzling D-backs to take on the Rockies

New, 11 comments

How would you feel if the Rockies traded Kyle Freeland for a utility player? Well the D'Backs basically did that. Why?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, it probably isn't good form to mock the Diamondbacks when they are a mere mediocre 34-35 while the Rockies are a dismal 30-39. Let he who is without baseball success cast the first curve ball. But the D'Backs are just as out of the NL West race as the Rockies, though it might take until September for them to realize it, as opposed to the Rockies, who will be done by August. The Giants might catch the Dodgers, but the Rockies won't and neither will the D'Backs.

But while the both teams are 2015 also-rans, it's the D'Backs who inexplicably traded away part of their future when they need to protect their future the most.

Last week the D'backs traded Bronson Arroyo (and the $10 million left on his contract) and prized prospect Touki Toussaint to the Atlanta Braves for Phil Gosselin. Who is Phil Gosselin, you ask? I don't know. Let me look him up....some sort of utility player? He appears to be a Jonathan Herrera type; plays all over the infield, doesn't have much power, is essentially a replacement level player.

The D'Backs gave up Arroyo, but he's hurt and in the last year of his contract, so this was transparently a salary dump. The real prize was Toussaint. The Braves essentially bought one of Arizona's best prospects for Arroyo's salary.

Dave Cameron of Fangraphs tried to figure out what the D'Back were thinking. He came to the conclusion that either:

1) The D'Backs knew something about Toussaint that the rest of the industry didn't. They might have been convinced that their number one draft pick of 2014 was destined to fail, so they packaged him with some dead money and sent him off to the Braves. Let him blow up with somebody else. If that occurs, they look smart. And it could happen; There's No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect, especially one that has only reached High-A. Or...

2) The D'backs really, really needed that money, and soon. The trade was consummated literally the hour after the one year anniversary of Toussaint's drafting by the D'Backs. You can't trade draft picks until a year after they had been drafted. So the moment he was allowed to be traded, the D'Backs pulled the trigger. Clearly, the move was in the works for days (maybe weeks) beforehand. But what can they use the money on? They can't access the international free agent market after going over budget on previous signings. Did they make a budget mistake at some point? This trade smacks of desperation, like a guy selling a kidney to pay for liver surgery.

3) Something else. They could have a plan that we just don't know about.

All we know is that the D'Backs, who should be building for the future, just sold a future asset in a straight salary dump.

Hitter to watch

Either way, the trade won't affect the upcoming Rockies - Diamondbacks matchup. Arroyo was hurt, Gosselin is hurt, and Toussaint is years away. So it's interesting, but not really pertinent to this series. But I hope you enjoyed reading that anyway!

Paul Goldschmidt has been doing what he does best, which is hitting the schmidt out of baseballs. The first baseman has an unreal .356/.474/.656 batting line this year. If it weren't for a little guy named Bryce Harper, Goldy would be leading the National League in Wins Above Replacement. He has been an exceptional player for four years now, but his 2015 is taking it to a whole new level.

Unfortunately for the D'Backs, the only real protection around Goldschmidt is center fielder AJ Pollack, who is having a fine season, hitting over .300 and playing excellent defense. They traded their other big power threat, Mark Trumbo, to the Mariners earlier this year. Trumbo was a flawed player, but he loooooved hitting against the Rockies. I'm glad to see him go.

Yasmani Tomas, the Cuban import, has held his own with the bat (a 114 wRC+), but can't seem to play anywhere on the diamond. Whatever he produces with the bat he gives right back with the glove.

D'Backs Hitters

Name PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Paul Goldschmidt 303 19 50 57 12 18.20% 18.80% 0.3 0.404 0.356 0.474 0.656 0.469 199 0.9 35.5 -6.5 4.1
A.J. Pollock 286 8 45 33 14 6.30% 17.50% 0.16 0.344 0.304 0.346 0.464 0.351 119 2.6 8.8 7.7 2.7
Nick Ahmed 208 3 23 14 3 9.60% 22.60% 0.092 0.289 0.227 0.306 0.319 0.281 71 1.6 -5.3 9.1 1.1
David Peralta 198 5 23 28 3 8.60% 20.70% 0.17 0.291 0.25 0.313 0.42 0.317 96 3.5 2.5 0.1 0.9
Ender Inciarte 267 2 39 21 9 3.00% 11.20% 0.084 0.315 0.287 0.316 0.371 0.301 85 0.3 -4.2 3.6 0.8
Mark Trumbo 184 9 23 23 0 5.40% 21.20% 0.247 0.286 0.259 0.299 0.506 0.346 115 -1.3 2 -1.7 0.6
Jake Lamb 77 1 6 10 2 11.70% 19.50% 0.149 0.333 0.269 0.364 0.418 0.342 113 0.3 1.4 1.8 0.6
Welington Castillo 37 2 5 5 0 8.10% 27.00% 0.265 0.318 0.265 0.324 0.529 0.367 130 0 1.3 0.8 0.3
Yasmany Tomas 194 3 16 25 4 4.60% 22.20% 0.114 0.399 0.315 0.351 0.429 0.342 113 -0.3 2.6 -6.4 0.2
Josh Collmenter 28 0 2 1 0 7.10% 21.40% 0 0.278 0.208 0.269 0.208 0.223 32 0 -2.2 2.9 0.2
Jeremy Hellickson 26 0 2 3 0 0.00% 30.80% 0 0.333 0.227 0.25 0.227 0.214 26 0 -2.2 2.7 0.1
Chase Anderson 29 0 0 2 0 3.40% 31.00% 0 0.25 0.143 0.182 0.143 0.152 -16 0 -3.9 3 0
Daniel Dorn 21 0 0 2 0 9.50% 33.30% 0.053 0.417 0.263 0.333 0.316 0.294 80 -0.1 -0.6 -0.2 0
Randall Delgado 1 0 0 0 0 0.00% 100.00% 0 0 0 0 0 0 -100 0 -0.3 0.1 0
Daniel Hudson 1 0 0 0 0 0.00% 100.00% 0 0 0 0 0 0 -100 0 -0.3 0.1 0
Addison Reed 1 0 0 0 0 0.00% 0.00% 0 0 0 0 0 0 -100 0 -0.3 0.1 0
Andrew Chafin 3 0 0 0 0 0.00% 33.30% 0 0 0 0 0 0 -100 0 -0.8 0.3 0
Gerald Laird 2 0 0 0 0 0.00% 0.00% 0 0 0 0 0 0 -100 0 -0.5 0 0
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 48 1 5 3 0 10.40% 33.30% 0.146 0.24 0.171 0.271 0.317 0.265 60 0.4 -1.8 -0.2 -0.1
Allen Webster 5 0 0 0 0 0.00% 60.00% 0 0 0 0 0 0 -100 0 -1.3 0.5 -0.1
Vidal Nuno 5 0 0 0 0 0.00% 0.00% 0 0 0 0 0 0 -100 0 -1.3 0.5 -0.1
Archie Bradley 14 0 0 0 0 0.00% 50.00% 0 0.286 0.143 0.143 0.143 0.126 -34 -0.4 -2.5 1.5 -0.1
Jordan Pacheco 78 2 8 8 1 11.50% 17.90% 0.091 0.269 0.242 0.333 0.333 0.301 85 -1.8 -3.2 0.1 -0.1
Robbie Ray 8 0 0 0 0 0.00% 37.50% 0 0 0 0 0 0 -100 0 -2 0.8 -0.1
Tuffy Gosewisch 138 1 9 13 2 5.80% 16.70% 0.07 0.248 0.211 0.261 0.281 0.243 46 -0.3 -9 3.7 -0.1
Aaron Hill 163 3 16 16 3 8.00% 16.00% 0.101 0.267 0.236 0.301 0.338 0.285 74 0.5 -4.3 -3 -0.2
Rubby de la Rosa 34 0 1 1 0 0.00% 38.20% 0 0.105 0.063 0.063 0.063 0.055 -82 0 -7.1 3.6 -0.3
Cliff Pennington 94 0 7 5 1 12.80% 13.80% 0.026 0.227 0.192 0.297 0.218 0.235 40 -0.5 -7.1 -0.4 -0.5
Chris Owings 242 2 27 17 7 2.50% 25.60% 0.096 0.31 0.235 0.252 0.33 0.252 51 2.2 -11.3 -0.8 -0.5

The Rockies will face Chase Anderson in the first game of the series, and he has been their best pitcher. He has managed a 2.84 ERA despite striking out fewer than six batters per nine innings. He doesn't even seem to induce many ground balls, so his success seems to be predicated on not walking anybody and inducing weak contact.

The second pitcher of the series, Allen Webster, has been terrible in two starts.

And the marquis matchup comes on Thursday, when Rubby De La Rosa squares off against Jorge De La Rosa. It will be a war of De La Rosa's. Surely that's a first. At the very least it will provide a couple of innings of material for grateful broadcasters who have to make a Rockies-D'Backs game interesting.

D'Backs Pitchers

Name W L SV G IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
Chase Anderson 3 1 0 13 79.1 5.79 1.93 0.34 0.291 77.60% 45.00% 3.90% 2.84 3.18 4.03 1.7
Rubby de la Rosa 6 3 0 14 89 8.39 2.43 1.42 0.298 67.10% 50.20% 17.90% 4.96 4.16 3.34 0.8
Andrew Chafin 4 0 1 27 36.2 6.14 2.21 0.25 0.27 73.20% 57.70% 3.80% 2.95 2.83 3.47 0.6
Robbie Ray 2 2 0 5 30.1 6.82 2.67 0.59 0.247 86.10% 35.70% 5.90% 1.78 3.43 4.14 0.5
Jeremy Hellickson 5 4 0 14 78.1 7.12 2.76 1.38 0.298 71.60% 42.70% 12.60% 4.94 4.47 4.17 0.4
Enrique Burgos 0 2 2 13 13.2 16.46 5.27 0.66 0.44 64.50% 46.20% 14.30% 4.61 2.15 1.92 0.4
Daniel Hudson 1 2 1 25 31.1 8.62 3.16 0.86 0.276 71.00% 43.80% 9.40% 3.16 3.49 3.67 0.3
Vidal Nuno 0 1 0 3 14.1 11.93 3.14 0.63 0.273 88.20% 44.10% 6.70% 1.88 2.41 2.96 0.3
Josh Collmenter 3 6 0 13 71.1 4.42 1.39 1.64 0.307 69.30% 33.50% 13.00% 5.17 4.95 4.54 0.2
J.C. Ramirez 1 1 0 12 15.1 6.46 2.35 0.59 0.298 68.20% 62.50% 7.70% 4.11 3.3 3.64 0.1
Addison Reed 2 2 3 25 24.1 7.4 4.07 0.74 0.363 66.30% 43.20% 6.10% 5.92 3.89 4.71 0.1
Brad Ziegler 0 1 10 31 30 4.5 2.7 0.6 0.205 87.80% 68.20% 15.40% 1.5 3.87 3.61 0
David Hernandez 0 0 0 5 3.1 5.4 8.1 0 0.333 83.30% 25.00% 0.00% 0 4.6 5.86 0
Dominic Leone 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0.571 25.00% 28.60% 0.00% 27 3.1 5.9 0
Oliver Perez 1 1 0 31 18.2 10.13 3.38 0.96 0.321 66.20% 37.30% 10.00% 4.82 4.02 4.12 0
Archie Bradley 2 3 0 8 35.2 5.8 5.55 0.76 0.297 66.30% 58.00% 9.70% 5.8 4.93 5.05 0
Randall Delgado 3 2 1 27 33.1 8.1 3.24 1.35 0.298 84.20% 46.50% 13.90% 3.24 4.33 3.89 -0.1
Andrew Schugel 0 0 0 1 3 0 6 3 0.308 89.30% 71.40% 50.00% 6 9.44 6.04 -0.1
Allen Webster 1 1 0 2 11 4.91 6.55 1.64 0.172 57.40% 53.30% 20.00% 6.55 6.56 5.46 -0.2
Evan Marshall 0 2 0 13 13.1 4.73 3.38 2.03 0.37 76.90% 53.10% 27.30% 6.08 6.1 4.33 -0.4