Monday, June 21, 2004

Three Weeks Three Questions (Father's Day Edition) 

Isn't it nice that the Diamondbacks are honoring fathers by putting kids in the lineup? I don't think this is an "I'm-getting-old-and-grumpy-comment," -- these guys in the infield just look reaaaaally young. Roberto Alomar's gonna mess that curve up, isn't he?

Three Weeks

The Week That Was

Not pretty. 1-5, outscored 5.25 to 3 (eliminating the high/low scores). I mean, who would've thought that both the Expos and the Devil Rays would have better records against the Diamondbacks than the Yankees? The D-Backs lost 3 games in the standings, sliding to 27-42 (sub-.400) and 11.5 games back of the Dodgers. All the optimism of last Monday evaporated quickly.

The Two Weeks That Will Be

3 games at San Diego, a travel day, 3 at Detroit, then hosting the Padres for 4 games and the Twins for 3. This is not an easy schedule, and the Diamondbacks run the risk of making the week of games following at the Dodgers and Giants before the All-Star Break little more than an audition of trade bait.

The Padres don't hit the long ball well -- last in the NL -- and are next-to-last in OPS, but that could be a function of the supposedly hitter-unfriendly Petco Park. They're in the middle of the pack, but strike out less than any other NL team. It will be interesting to see if their bats come alive in the BOB bandbox. Conversely, it will be interesting if the fair-to-good pitching/defense stats -- 5th-best in runs allowed, 7th in WHIP -- will take a tumble here. Of course, they're 2nd best in walks, so that's not encouraging for our mostly-walk-vaccinated lineup. (Gonzo must've been gone the day they were doing those vaccinations.)

As for Detroit, they have a decent offense, 5th in OPS, 6th in runs, middle of the pack, strike out more than every AL team except -- shocker here, folks -- the Red Sox. As for the other side of the ball, they give up a fair amount of runs (4th) and walks (5th), and, unsurprisingly, their WHIP is 4th-worst in the AL. This series could provide some high-scoring games. (Please?)

Three Questions

1. Who Wants To Be A Major League Starter? Duh, of course this is the big question. We're running out of options. (Unless there's a Father's Day "Be A Starter For A Day" promotion underway that I've missed. If so, please let me know because my daughter liked her last visit to the ballpark, and I think it'd be a nice treat to see her Daddy serve up 50-MPH fastballs to major leaguers.) Nobody has given the D-Backs any reason not to bring Shane Reynolds up for starts once his rehab has finished, and it wouldn't surprise me if Reynolds is in the dugout for the Padres series because he could very well be activiated for the Padres series in San Diego. The blogging community is generally dismissive of Reynolds, but there's no reason not to trot him out to have him get pasted just like everyone else has.
2. Are You Experienced? With Roberto Alomar and Greg Colbrunn ready to come back and Doug DeVore and Alan Zinter sent back to Tucson, will there be pressure to get "experienced" players back into the lineup? (Of course there will.) I will be sad to see Hairston get bumped out of a starting role if Alomar gets put back in.
3. Buying or Selling? Well, we shouldn't be buying, but there's a question if we are to be sellers. Or, more accurately, if anybody would be willing to buy what we're willing to sell. We're not trading Gonzo or Johnson, and nobody's going to give much more than a hill of beans for Mantei or Dessens so that leaves Finley, Bautista, Hillenbrand, and Alomar as the most likely candidates, and aside from Finley, I don't think we could hope for much. Oddly enough, for those who don't like Alomar, your best hope may be that he gets put back in the starting lineup, gets hot, and gets traded.

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