03 July 2009

DBacks' Analysis

Not that kind of analysis... we all know the team's struggling at the moment to produce the all-elusive WIN. I'm talking about who they should trade and who they should keep, from a fan's perspective. The Arizona Republic newspaper this morning had a good article with short snippets for each of the 25 current players on the roster about what to do. Here's my take: Outfielders: Chris Young: Been struggling mightily at the plate recently, but we've all seen what he can do with the bat and the ball when he's right. He needs to find his mojo, but I still think he's well-worth the investment. Eric Byrnes: Trade him, except there's pretty much no team that will take him, least of all with a broken hand that's going to end his season for the most part. I say the team needs to suck it up, let him be a pinch hitter until his contract expires, and then release him. Justin Upton: He's the best outfielder we've got right now, with power, a solid batting average, and young but strong defense. With a great arm, great bat, and the "leader mentality" he displays, he's definitely a keeper. Now if we can just work on his attitude when he's frustrated. The "fake throw" to the fans was worthy of the boos he got in return. Gerardo Parra: He can hit with RISP, he can hit for power, and with Eric Byrnes out, he's our replacement in left field. I say let him keep it for the remainder of the year until Jackson returns. Then he can give Upton, Young, and Jackson days off and be a good late-inning pinch-hitter. Infielders: Tony Clark: He's a heck of a clubhouse leader, but he's really too old to play at a major league caliber anymore. His on-field mistakes have really showcased that. Let him retire in peace, then hire him as part of the staff after this year. Until then, he should remain our "designated pinch-hitter." Stephen Drew: Part of the heart and soul of the club right now, Drew is athletic, strong, and a force at the plate. His amazing throws to nab runners at first this year alone show that he needs to stay. Felipe Lopez: I differ from the "experts" on this one, who think Lopez is some kind of golden boy for the team. If I were Hinch, I'd make it very clear to Lopez that if he refuses to hustle playing second or running the basepaths anymore, he's going to find himself back in AAA faster than Darron Sutton can spoil and Aflac Trivia Question! Mark Reynolds: Power, persona, and skills all in one. Sure, he strikes out, but he more than makes up for it with homers and good defense at the hot corner. I'd like to see him remain at third, but he's a force at first, too. Ryan Roberts and Chad Tracy: Let's see what we can get for them and a starter (Garland) in terms of a solid second baseman, drop Lopez, and let Josh Whitesell have a full-time go at first. Augie Ojeda can be our oh-so-dependable utility man to give the 2B, 3B, and SS a day off from time-to-time. Pitchers: Pick up Brandon Webb's option. When he gets back to form (notice that's WHEN, not IF), he's going be a force to be reckoned with, and we can't afford to lose our biggest ace in the hole. Keep who should be the NL All-Star starter in Dan Haren, and we've got a one-two punch that's about as big as Johnson-Schilling in 2001. I also like keeping Doug Davis, even though he sometimes struggles. He's still a solid pitcher and a good presence in the dugout. Let's trade Garland (with the infielders above) and Pena, and move Scherzer to a permanent bullpen slot. Then we need 2 starters and we've got Qualls, Gutierrez, Vasquez, Schoeneweis, and my favorite, Clay Zavada also in the bullpen. I also like shopping Rauch to shake things up, and seeing if we can't bolster the sieve that has been the 7/8/9 guys over the past three months. My Starters: 1B: Whitesell 2B: Ojeda until we can trade for a regular 2B 3B: Reynolds SS: Drew LF: Jackson, but Parra until he's healthy CF: Young RF: Upton C: Snyder/Montero (I like how Hinch has been giving Montero more looks) Rotation: 1: Brandon Webb (let's use Petit while he's out) 2: Dan Haren 3: Doug Davis 4: Open 5: Open Bullpen: Scherzer, Qualls, Schoeneweis, Vasquez, Gutierrez, Zavada, and three open spots vacated by Rauch, Pena, and Boyer. Bench: Parra once Jackson's back, Ojeda once we find an everyday 2B, Clark, and one more open spot (Lopez's) to make 25. Byrnes is on the DL and when he comes back, that'd be his spot. Overall analysis: We need to seriously shop our infield talents for pitchers, especially for the bullpen. The starters are OK, even good, but without a bullpen, we'll lose (and have been losing) most of our games.

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