Thursday, April 29, 2004

Next Moves 

Assuming Sexson's shoulder strain puts him on the DL, the Diamondbacks need to make their next moves with both the short- and long-term in mind.

Short-term: The injury obviously returns Hillenbrand to the starting lineup. (That sound you hear is sabermetricians shuddering.) The Republic assumed Hillenbrand would go to 3rd while moving Tracy to 1st. I'd argue that Hillenbrand should be the one to move -- Tracy is the future at 3rd, and I want him to continue to get his experience there.

Long-term: All those who think Mantei will be coming into a home game that's not safely out of reach for the next month, raise your hand. (I didn't think so.) Mantei is now the only Diamondbacks pitcher with a double-digit ERA, and he's doing everything a closer shouldn't. Whoever the Diamondbacks call up from AAA should be called up with an eye toward a trade for a closer. I'm not suggesting that who we call up would be the trade bait. But perhaps it's time to see if Luis Terrero (OF) can continue his hot hitting up here, just as Tracy has. If he can, that would give the Diamondbacks options to trade him, Finley, or Bautista at some point later on in the season. Or perhaps Scott Hairston (3B) could draw some interest. I like the starting lineup we have (prior to the Sexson injury), but it's increasingly clear we need a better closer (if it wasn't crystal clear before), and the D-Backs need to plan now for a possible trade in June or July.

By the way, the Baby Backs blog is an excellent update of the D-Backs minor league games. I recommend it highly.

Hope to have one more update on the season so far later on.

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