Monday, March 12, 2007

FC's MLB Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks

Offseason Analysis: The Diamondbacks had a bevy of talented prospects, and also a lot of rotation holes to fill. They used one to try to fill the other, mostly acquiring starters who had off-years; Doug Davis was taken for the soon-to-be expensive Johnny Estrada and prodigal grandpa Randy Johnson was acquired for a few minor prospects and Luis Vizcaino. Their rotation could best be described as a rich man's Mets rotation, with one sure thing (Webb and Glavine) and a bunch of okay old guys or question mark young'ns (Johnson, Livan Hernandez, Davis, El Duque, Maine, Oliver Perez), and just like the Mets, they have a lineup that shouldn't take much more than adequate.

Random stat from 2006 that was awesome: Arizona pitchers, when batting, had a GB/FB ratio of 5.42 and grounded into 9 double plays, which was 3 more than any other team and 5 more than any non-Phillies team. Keep bunting, boys.

Most Overlooked Player: Well, with a system so full of touted prospects and high-profile pitchers, it's hard to find a real winner for this. I'm going to go with Orlando Hudson. Nominally only known as a good gloveman, the desert air helped him top an .800 OPS for the first time in his career. Far more important than these things though, is the fact that his middle name is "Thill",

Fun prop bet: Luis Gonzalez extra-base hits versus Carlos Quentin home runs.

Funnest non-roster invitee: Former Royal, Pirate, and FC favorite DJ Carrasco, who managed a 14.81 ERA for the Softbank Hawks in 2006. He's got a nifty 6:1 strikeout/walk ratio despite his mediocre 5.4 ERA so far, but he's probably bound for Tuscon anyway.

Player unlikely to live up to expectations: Jorge Julio, who logged a 3.83 ERA for the Diamondbacks last year, as compared to his recent history (5.06 ERA with the Mets, 5.9 ERA in 2005 with the Orioles), seems pretty unlikely to continue at that pace. Also, he may actually be a werewolf.

Player most likely to finish second to David Eckstein in this years Holiday Inn Second Look/scrappy white guy award: Eric Byrnes dives all over the place, he's a true gamer. He gets grass stains in his teeth and goes full-out on every play. His hair is made from twigs and upstaged even Jeannie Zelasko's horrendous do. Maybe the exposure will garner him the votes he needs.

Mike Caruso Memorial Overrated Prospect Award: Connor Jackson is not going to live up to the expectations that were set for him in A ball, when he was murdering the ball. He's going to be an average-ish first baseman, in the mold Lyle Overbay made before him.

A Fake Newspaper Headline From Some Point In The Season: Big No-Hit: Johnson Blanks Nationals.

A haiku about this teams chances:
young, drew, montero:
seven eighty OPS
between; division

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