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.
|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|
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.
|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|