Tag: Arizona Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks File Suit Over Stadium Repairs: Latest Details, Comments, Reaction

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Tuesday the organization filed a lawsuit against the Maricopa County Stadium District over money for capital repairs of Chase Field. 

Steve Gilbert of MLB.com passed along a statement from D-backs managing general partner Ken Kendrick, who said the decision to bring the suit came after the sides couldn’t reach an agreement:

It is extremely unfortunate that we have been forced to take action today following several years of attempts to resolve this matter out of court. We have made a promise to our fans, who have been partners with us on the building of this stadium and our franchise, to provide the best experience in all of baseball in a safe and welcoming environment. The inability of the Maricopa County Stadium District to fulfill its commitments has left us with no other option.

The Maricopa County Stadium District conducted an assessment of Chase Field, which opened in 1998, and it determined $185 million in upgrades were needed, according to the MLB.com report. The sides have remained at odds about how to pay the costs.

The report noted the Diamondbacks believe the Stadium District is responsible for $135 million of those fees. The team has offered to pay for the improvements in exchange for more stadium flexibility, including booking the park when it’s not being used for baseball, but the district declined that offer.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press provided a response from Maricopa County officials, who were prepared to sell Chase Field to private investors last summer before the deal reached a roadblock with the team:

It is disappointing the Diamondbacks are suing their fans who helped build Chase Field. The team simply wants out of the contract that makes them stay and play through the 2028 season. Saying the facility is in disrepair is outrageous. The Maricopa County Stadium District has spent millions during the off-season on concrete and steel work that keeps the stadium safe and looking great for each baseball season.

Kendrick agreed the stadium isn’t a danger to fans heading into the 2017 season, per MLB.com.

“Our fans can rest assured that today’s filing will have absolutely no impact on the day-to-day operations of the D-backs and the upcoming season and that for 2017, Chase Field is completely safe,” he said.

In addition, MLB.com noted D-backs attorney Leo R. Beus stated the organization isn’t seeking any money from the county or the taxpayers as part of the lawsuit. Instead it’s asking the court to remove a “contract restriction” that prevents it from exploring other stadium options.

The Diamondbacks averaged 25,138 fans across their 81 home games in 2016, a number that ranked 21st of the league’s 30 teams, according to ESPN.com. Chase Field’s 1998 debut date leaves it in the middle of the pack in terms of age, checking in as the 14th-oldest MLB facility.

Arizona is slated to open its 2017 home schedule with a game against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, April 2.

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Diamondbacks’ Stack of Pitching Chips Includes a Diamond in the Rough

If the Arizona Diamondbacks are going to dangle some starting pitchers on the winter trade market, they can rest easy knowing they at least have some name value to attract interested parties.

There’s Zack Greinke, who needs no introduction. There’s also Shelby Miller, who used to be good. Ditto with Patrick Corbin. Then there’s Taijuan Walker and Archie Bradley, two former top prospects who still have youth on their side.

Interested parties could, however, choose to skip past them and go to the [suppresses urge to type “Diamondback in the Rough”] diamond in the rough: Robbie Ray.

The Diamondbacks may already be expecting as much. After all, the word from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is that they’re expecting interest in all of their young starters to pick up:

This adds up. In trading 2016 All-Star Jean Segura to the Seattle Mariners for Walker last week, new general manager Mike Hazen has already begun remaking a roster that produced just 69 wins in 2016. And with talented starters in short supply on the free-agent market, the Diamondbacks’ arms are bound to draw a crowd eventually. If they aren’t already, of course.

For the reasons referenced above, Hazen will get calls about Greinke, Miller, Corbin, Walker and Bradley. But Ray’s the guy who’s most likely to send the phone ringing off the proverbial hook. 

Reason No. 1: The left-hander is still only 25 with four years of club control left.

Reason No. 2: He’s very talented.

A surface-level examination of Ray’s career will raise questions about the second point. He only managed a 4.90 ERA in his 32 starts in 2016. Before that, he was a throw-in in two trades involving Doug Fister and Didi Gregorius. Before that, he was a fringey prospect after he was picked in the 12th round of the 2010 draft.

But for all the nits to pick, there’s a redeeming quality from Ray’s 2016 season that’s impossible to overlook. He struck out 218 batters in 174.1 innings. That’s 11.25 per nine innings, which was second only to the late Jose Fernandez among qualified starters.

Also, one of the best single-season marks ever for a left-hander:

Since strikeouts generally don’t happen by accident, nobody should be surprised to hear Ray’s didn’t.

After debuting with an average fastball of 91.3 miles per hour in 2014, he cranked it up to 94.1 mph in 2016. Some of that could be his coming into his physical prime. As Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs highlighted last year, it may also be coming from his abandoning a higher arm slot in favor of a more natural sidearm delivery.

Ray’s money pitch, however, is his slider. Its velocity has risen as well, from 81.1 mph in 2014 to 85.1 mph in 2016. Brooks Baseball shows he also buried more sliders below the knees, like so:

The result: Ray’s slider had the eighth-highest whiff-per-swing rate of any slider thrown by any starter, according to Baseball Prospectus.

Ray’s stuff would be attractive under any circumstances. His youth makes it even more attractive. The lack of starters who offer either of these qualities on the open market makes it more enticing still.

Of course, this raises the question of why the Diamondbacks wouldn’t prefer to keep him. There’s indeed a good chance they will. But the reason they could take advantage of Ray’s trade value now traces back to the essential truth reflected in the 4.90 ERA he posted this past season:

His talent comes with fatal flaws.

One is his control, which has produced mediocre walks-per-nine rates in the 3.5-3.7 range. That would be fine if he could at least avoid hard contact in between strikeouts and walks. But that was as big a problem as his 1.24 HR/9 and .352 batting average on balls in play from 2016 would indicate.

Per Baseball Savant, Ray was among the worst in the league with average exit velocity of 90.7 mph. This points to how his command is as big a question mark as his control. The bulk of the damage came on his heat, which he located with a noticeable pattern across the middle of the strike zone.

That’s a bad idea in general, and an even worse idea against right-handed batters. They hit .278 with 14 homers off Ray’s heat in 2016. Lo and behold, he ended the year with the following platoon split:

  • Against LHB: .684 OPS, 3 HR
  • Against RHB: .797 OPS, 21 HR

Say it with me now: Yikes.

Mind you, maybe Ray’s iffy fastball command wouldn’t be such a problem against right-handed batters if he had something to change speeds with. But he doesn’t. He’s largely scrapped his changeup, throwing it only 5.7 percent of the time in 2016.

The fact that Ray is basically a two-pitch pitcher leads to yet another problem. This one was covered by FanGraphsAugust Fagerstrom, with the short version being: Ray’s predictability makes life very difficult the third time through the batting order.

All told, Ray is a strange creature. He’s done enough to turn into an overpowering starter, but he still needs quite a bit of work to turn into a truly dominant starter. 

And yet, this strange set of circumstances makes him the perfect trade chip for this winter’s market. The upside contained in his ability and controllability could have teams lining up to trade for him, and his faults could keep his price tag well below those of guys like Chris Sale, Chris Archer, Jose Quintana and Justin Verlander.

To boot, there’s a number of ways a trade for Ray could work out.

If he irons out his issues, he could turn into a top-of-the-rotation starter. If not, he’d be a candidate to make like Andrew Miller and turn his fastball-slider combo into a life as a relief ace. Failing that, he could make like Brett Cecil and turn into an elite lefty specialist.

The bottom line is that Ray’s arm ought to be on the radar of every team desperate for pitching this winter. With so few options available elsewhere, it’s a good one to try to take a chance on.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked.

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Top Potential Zack Greinke Suitors, Trade Packages

What a difference a year makes.

Last winter, Zack Greinke was baseball’s reigning ERA king and arguably the offseason’s hottest free-agent commodity. The Los Angeles Dodgers wanted him back. The San Francisco Giants wanted to pry him away.

Greinke ultimately, and somewhat surprisingly, signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks for six years and $206.5 million.

Now, after his ERA ballooned to 4.37 during a deflating season in the desert, Greinke is an albatross.

The $34 million he’s owed next season could swallow more than a third of the Diamondbacks’ total budget, as ESPN.com’s Buster Olney noted

That’s the mess new D-backs general manager Mike Hazen inherited. His task is to mop it up, per Olney:

…as Hazen establishes himself with the Diamondbacks, perhaps he could do what his predecessor would have never been in position to do: persuade ownership to dump Greinke and as much of his contract as possible, even if it means eating some of his salary in the years ahead. Greinke’s contract is already a serious impediment for Hazen, as he goes about his work of trying to build a consistent winner in Arizona, and the problem might only get worse if Greinke’s performance continues to decline next season.

It won’t be easy. The Diamondbacks would walk away from any Greinke trade with some egg on their face. On Nov. 9, Hazen said the team is “fully anticipating that Zack is going to be back next year,” per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert.

If they can shed a portion of his salary, though, and net a couple of decent prospects, they should jump at the chance.

Despite his down year, Greinke has upside. Between 2013 and 2015, his 13.5 WAR ranks eighth among big league pitchers, according to FanGraphs’ measure.

He’s 33, which means this decline could be real and permanent. But he’s also one season removed from leading MLB in ERA (1.66), ERA+ (222) and WHIP (0.844).

If there were an entry in the dictionary for “high risk, high reward,” it would be a picture of Greinke’s grinning visage.

The only realistic suitors are clubs with gaudy budgets and fertile farms. From that group, three emerge as the most logical. Let’s examine each, and the packages they may be willing to offer.

It’s all speculation at this point, but it should be high on Hazen and Arizona’s due-diligence list. 


New York Yankees

The Yankees have been in rebuild mode since the 2016 trade deadline, jettisoning expensive veterans and adding young talent to a minor league system Bleacher Report’s Joel Reuter ranked No. 1 in the game. 

Taking on a chunk of Greinke’s salary and giving up prospects for the privilege would be a redirect, to say the least.

New York, though, is always in win-now mode. The Bronx faithful demand it. Its rotation is sketchy after ace Masahiro Tanaka, with mercurial right-hander Michael Pineda, creaky veteran southpaw CC Sabathia and a muddled cast of youngsters filling in the picture.  

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe name-dropped New York among possible Greinke landing spots. Joe Giglio of NJ Advance Media likewise said the Yanks “loom as a possibility” in the Greinke sweepstakes.

New York should refuse to part with any of its top prospectsa group headlined by outfielder Clint Frazier and shortstop Gleyber Torres—even if the D-backs are willing to pick up half of Greinke’s tab or more.

A mid-tier name such as 20-year-old right-hander Drew Finley—the Yankees’ No. 19 prospect, per MLB.com—along with a throw-in player and an offer to absorb the bulk of Greinke’s salary should get the Diamondbacks’ attention.

Still, given New York’s current trajectory, we’ll put the likelihood of this at somewhere between “low” and “not gonna happen.”


Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox don’t need to add an ace-level arm with recently minted AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and David Price already in the fold.

After a disappointing division-series sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Indians, however, it’s a safe bet president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski will have his eyes out for upgrades to any facet of the roster.

Like New York, Boston has a loaded farm system and a hefty payroll. Hazen, meanwhile, was the Sox’s GM last season, so he presumably has a direct line to Dombrowski.

Top prospects such as infielder Yoan Moncada and outfielder Andrew Benintendi shouldn’t even enter the conversation. Perhaps someone like lanky lefty Trey Ball, ranked as the Sox’s No. 14 prospect by MLB.com, or a high-upside gamble like 19-year-old Dominican outfielder Yoan Aybar could whet Arizona’s appetite.

If Boston is going to swing a trade for a starter, it could set its sights on other targets, including the Chicago White Sox‘s Chris Sale or the Detroit Tigers‘ Justin Verlander, as I recently outlined. Greinke would likely come at a lower cost in talent, though, if not dollars.

OK, now the soggy blanket: The Red Sox will pay Price $30 million for at least the next two seasons, at which point the lefty can opt out. They also need to fill the David Ortiz-sized hole in the middle of their lineup. Shelling out for a significant portion of Greinke’s contract would strain the purse strings.

Plus, with both New York and Boston, there’s the question of whether a move to the hitter-happy AL East would help Greinke get his mojo back.


Los Angeles Dodgers

They say you can’t go home again, but the Dodgers and Greinke could test that axiom.

It’s more than a wild fancy. L.A. “expressed interest” in trading for Greinke in August after he cleared waivers, per Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

The talks “were not substantive and did not advance,” according to Rosenthal’s sources. Still, it shows the door to a Greinke-Dodgers reunion is cracked open.

Ace Clayton Kershaw returned strong from a back injury that cost him two months in 2016, and Japanese import Kenta Maeda was a steady No. 2.

Trade-deadline acquisition Rich Hill is a free agent, however, and the rest of the Dodgers rotation is a mishmash of promising-but-untested youngsters (Julio Urias), middling veterans (Scott Kazmir) and uncertain injury comebacks (Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu). 

Simply putting a Dodgers uniform on won’t return Greinke to his former glory. There are causes for cautious optimism, though.

The Dodgers had the third-best team defense in the NLand all of baseballin 2016, while the D-backs had the Senior Circuit’s second-worst, per FanGraphs. Arizona’s Chase Field was baseball’s second-most hitter-friendly yard, per ESPN’s Park Factors statistic, while Dodger Stadium was the second-least. 

That’s not to suggest all of Greinke’s 2016 struggles can be pinned on shoddy defense or his home-field disadvantage. It’s possible, however, that a return to Chavez Ravine could rekindle his All-Star flame.

Like Boston and New York, Los Angeles could hang on to its top MiLB talent and still put together an enticing package. Catcher Austin Barnes—an Arizona State alum and the team’s No. 10 prospect, per MLB.comwould make for a nice centerpiece, as would 21-year-old right-hander and No. 8 prospect Jordan Sheffield. 

The biggest impediment, however, may be the Dodgers’ financial situation.

L.A. boasted baseball’s highest payroll in 2016, but the team is under pressure to tighten its belt to conform to MLB’s debt rules, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times

That could hinder the club’s ability to bring back key free agents such as third baseman Justin Turner and closer Kenley Jansen, let alone shoulder part of Greinke’s contract. 

The safe bet is on Greinke staying put. The Diamondbacks should keep asking, however, and see if they find a pliable taker.

Last winter’s prize has become this offseason’s toxic asset. What a difference a year makes.


All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted.

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New Diamondbacks Skipper Torey Lovullo Fits Prototype of Modern MLB Manager

Managers matter, and anyone who doesn’t think so must have missed the World Series.

No, this isn’t about whether Joe Maddon misused his bullpen or about whether Terry Francona could have done anything more to help the Cleveland Indians close out a series they led three games to one.

This isn’t about any decision Maddon or Francona made this week or last. It’s about the decision the Chicago Cubs made two years ago to hire Maddon and the one the Indians made two years earlier to bring in Franconadecisions that paid off and brought both teams to the World Series this year.

It’s about the decision the Arizona Diamondbacks made Friday to hire Torey Lovullo, who has many of the same abilities that make Maddon and Francona two of the best managers in baseball. Like them, he not only understands the game, but also understands the culture, and more than that, he understands dealing with people.

Who knows, maybe it even helps to have a connection with the Boston Red Sox, the team Lovullo served for the last four seasons as John Farrell’s bench coach. Francona managed the Red Sox, and Maddon interviewed there and was runner-up when Francona got the job. Even Dave Roberts, a first-year hit as the Los Angeles Dodgers manager, was previously best known for his part in the Sox’s curse-breaking run to the 2004 World Series title.

Roberts and Lovullo have other similarities, sharing an alma mater. (Although, the 51-year-old Lovullo played at UCLA nearly a decade before the 44-year-old Roberts.) Both have an appreciation of the numbers that play such an important part in the modern game, and both have the ability to connect with anyone they meet.

“Dave makes everyone he talks to feel like they’re his best friend, and it’s genuine,” Dodgers first base coach George Lombard said in September.

Lovullo is like that, too.

It’s why he was able to fit in so seamlessly as the acting Red Sox manager late last season, when Farrell left the team for cancer treatment. Lovullo handled a touchy situation with such ease that he instantly went to the top of the list of managerial candidates.

Because Farrell’s health status remained somewhat uncertain when the season ended, Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski worked out a deal where Lovullo would agree to stay on in Boston for another year, working as the bench coach as long as Farrell was able to return.

Farrell returned, the Red Sox won the American League East and Lovullo’s star didn’t dim. In fact, when the Diamondbacks hired Mike Hazen to run their front office, Lovullo immediately became the leading candidate to join him as manager.

Hazen and Lovullo were close in Boston, where Hazen worked under Ben Cherington and then under Dombrowski. They go back further than that, back to when Hazen worked in the Indians front office and Lovullo was just getting started as a minor league manager.

Lovullo spent 10 seasons managing in the minors, experience that doesn’t guarantee big league success (Ryne Sandberg spent plenty of time in the minors, too) but can’t hurt. (Both Maddon and Francona did it, too.)

What matters most, of course, is whether Lovullo will be given players capable of doing what Maddon’s Cubs or Francona’s Indians did. He starts with a team that was one of baseball’s biggest underachievers in 2016, a team that had championship aspirations but instead lost 93 games.

Still, the Diamondbacks have a perennial MVP candidate in Paul Goldschmidt and a Cy Young winner in Zack Greinke. They have A.J. Pollock, whose injury on the eve of Opening Day helped sink the 2016 season.

It would be nice if they had Ender Inciarte and Dansby Swanson, too, but the Shelby Miller trade with the Atlanta Braves turned out to be the worst move of last winter.

It’s not the best of situations, especially with a history of ownership intervention and limitations on payroll. But ownership seems committed—for now, anyway—to the new front office. There’s no doubt Hazen will be committed to Lovullo.

He’ll walk in facing a challenge, but every new manager does. Maddon came to Chicago with a big budget and plenty of young talent on the way, but he took over a team that had five straight losing seasons and a century of failure. Francona came to Cleveland with some nice talent beginning to develop, but he took over a team with a limited budget coming off a 94-loss season.

In his first year with the Cubs, Maddon won the NL Wild Card and Manager of the Year award. In his first year with the Indians, Francona did the same in the AL.

Neither one has had a losing season since.

Both came in and changed the culture completely. Talk to anyone in Chicago or anyone in Cleveland, and you’ll hear volumes about the difference the manager made.

Can Lovullo do the same in Arizona? We’ll see, but I think he can.


Danny Knobler covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report.

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Torey Lovullo to Diamondbacks: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

The Arizona Diamondbacks filled their manager vacancy by hiring Boston Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo.

The Diamondbacks confirmed the move on Monday, sharing an image of Lovullo signing his contract:

“I want to aim as high as possible,” Lovullo told reporters afterward. “I am very optimistic that we have the capabilities of doing something special.”

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 in Phoenix initially reported the Diamondbacks would hire Lovullo on Nov. 4.

Lovullo had been Boston’s bench coach since 2013 after previously serving two seasons on manager John Farrell’s staff with the Toronto Blue Jays.

He was interim manager for the Red Sox in 2015 for 49 games while Farrell underwent chemotherapy, posting a 28-21 record.

The 51-year-old former MLB infielder played for seven different teams during parts of eight seasons, spending most of his time in the minors.

Aside from his stint as Red Sox interim manager, Lovullo managed at the Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A levels from 2002 through 2010. He won a World Series title with Boston as a coach in 2013.

Lovullo takes over a D-backs team that finished under .500 in each of the past two years under Chip Hale. They haven’t reached the postseason since 2011 and have just one playoff berth in the past nine years.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports believes Lovullo may prove to be the right man for the job in the desert:

ESPN’s Jim Bowden agrees with that assessment:

Arizona won only 69 games last season despite making a big splash during the offseason, but there is plenty of talent in place.

With Zack Greinke as the ace starter and a lineup that includes the likes of Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, Jake Lamb, Jean Segura and Yasmany Tomas, Lovullo has a lot to work with.

Lovullo has a winning pedigree as a bench coach, and if he can alter the losing culture that has overtaken the Diamondbacks in recent years, they have a chance to be contenders in 2017 and beyond.


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Mike Hazen to Diamondbacks: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

The Arizona Diamondbacks have appointed Mike Hazen as their new general manager and executive vice president, the team announced Sunday.

“We feel very strongly that we have found the ideal candidate to lead our baseball operations,” managing general partner Ken Kendrick said in a statement, via the Boston Herald. “Mike’s reputation throughout the game is impeccable, and his championship experience gives us great confidence in naming him to this position.”

And Hazen noted: “I’m extremely grateful for this incredible opportunity to help the [Diamondbacks] reach the next level.”

The 40-year-old had been with the Boston Red Sox since the 2006 season. He served as a director of player development and amateur scouting before becoming the assistant general manager under Ben Cherington. He was then named the team’s senior vice president and general manager under Dave Dombrowski in Sept. 2015.

Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball had more on the hire:

Buster Olney of ESPN added:

Turning around the Diamondbacks won’t be easy, as the team hasn’t had a winning season since 2011 and went 69-93 this past season. 

One of Hazen’s first major decisions will be appointing a manager. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe speculated on one potential hire:

Torey Lovullo was Boston’s bench coach this past season. If Hazen doesn’t pursue Lovullo—or if Lovullo isn’t interested in the position—Bob Nightengale of USA Today floated the name of another potential manager:

It will be the first of many big decisions to come for Hazen as he looks to turn the Diamondbacks into a contender in the highly competitive National League West.


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Chip Hale, Dave Stewart Fired by Diamondbacks: Latest Comments, Reaction

The Arizona Diamondbacks fired manager Chip Hale and general manager Dave Stewart on Monday after the team failed to reach expectations following an offseason of high-profile moves. 

Fox Sports Arizona’s Jody Jackson shared a statement from the Diamondbacks:

ESPN.com’s Dan Szymborski thought Stewart deserved more blame for Arizona’s disappointing 69-93 record:

Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra wrote more changes are needed in order for the Diamondbacks to turn things around:

Hale is a victim of circumstance more than anything else. He took over the Diamondbacks ahead of the 2015 season and led them to a 15-win improvement during his first year in charge, which gave the organization hope of contending this season.

In turn, the Arizona front office made a couple of blockbuster moves. It signed prized free-agent starting pitcher Zack Greinke to a monster long-term contract (six years, $206.5 million) and acquired fellow starter Shelby Miller from the Atlanta Braves as part of a trade in which it gave up 2015 first overall pick Dansby Swanson.

The Miller trade by itself was a fireable offense. In 38 games with the Braves this past season, Swanson batted .302 with three home runs and 17 RBI. The 22-year-old looks like a franchise cornerstone for Atlanta. 

Miller, meanwhile, was demoted to the minors in the middle of the year because he was badly struggling. He finished the year 3-12 in 20 starts with a 6.15 ERA.

The arrivals of Greinke and Miller, paired with some minor roster tweaking, considerably raised expectations heading into this season. As it became clear the D-Backs weren’t going to compete for a playoff berth, frustration began to mount in the desert.

One could sense the letdown in comments from Hale passed along by Michael Wagaman of the Associated Press after the team traded closer Brad Ziegler to the Boston Red Sox in July.

“I don’t [have] really any words to say about it, it’s just something that has to happen,” he said. “It’s partially [because] we haven’t played well enough to keep him. We should have played better and these things wouldn’t be happening.”

Ultimately, somebody had to take the fall for Arizona’s failure to contend, and ownership identified Hale and Stewart.

It’s difficult to pin most of the blame on Hale. Greinke (13-7, 4.37 ERA) didn’t pitch like an ace and spent time on the disabled list after suffering an oblique injury, and Miller was downright terrible. Meanwhile, losing outfielder A.J. Pollock to a broken elbow for most of the year was a huge blow to the offense.

Stewart, on the other hand, was the engineer of his own demise, and his replacement will have a difficult time undoing the damage he did to the roster.

The Diamondbacks couldn’t stand pat given the hype they entered the season with, so a complete overhaul is necessary this offseason.


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A.J. Pollock Injury: Updates on Diamondbacks Star’s Groin and Return

Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock suffered a strained groin during Friday’s game against the San Francisco Giants and will miss an extended period of time down the stretch.

Continue for updates.

Pollock Out at Least a Week Before Starting Rehab

Saturday, Sept. 10

According to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, Pollock will not start rehab for at least a week but could return before the regular season comes to a close. However, Jack Magruder of FanRag Sports noted the team will not rush him back to the field.

Pollock suffered a fractured right elbow before the start of the 2016 season, but he returned to the lineup Aug. 26.

“It’s tough going through an injury and saying you’re really fortunate to be where you’re at, but it’s the truth,” Pollock said, per MLB.com’s Jake Rill. “The cards I was dealt wasn’t really the most ideal, but I had an unbelievable doctor that went in there and just did a great job with my arm.”

Since returning, Pollock has batted .244 with two home runs and four RBI. 

Before his 2016 season was marred by injuries, Pollock emerged as a dynamic force in the outfield for the Diamondbacks. In 157 games during the 2015 campaign, the 2009 first-round pick clubbed 20 home runs and drove in 76 runs while stealing 39 bases en route to his first All-Star Game nod. 

Now on the shelf again, Pollock will need to focus his energy on getting healthy as he seeks to make the most of a lost year.

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David Peralta Injury: Updates on Diamondbacks OF’s Wrist and Return

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale announced on Wednesday that outfielder David Peralta will undergo season-ending surgery on Thursday to repair a wrist injury that he suffered last Friday when running into an outfield wall, via Fox Sports Arizona:

Continue for updates.

Peralta’s Frustrating Season Comes to an Early End

Wednesday, Aug. 10

Peralta had battled a wrist issue earlier this season that caused him to miss almost four weeks of action. 

The 28-year-old was in just his third major league season, all with the Diamondbacks, as he was set to build off a stellar sophomore campaign. 

In 2015, Peralta looked as though he would become a vital part of Arizona’s outfield, batting .312 with 17 home runs and 78 RBI while leading the league with 10 triples. 

But in 2016, he appeared in just 48 games, hitting .251 with four home runs and 15 RBI. Not only did he miss time due to the wrist, but he missed 36 games from June 15 to July 28 due to a lower back sprain.

He spoke with the media about the latest injury and his frequent trips to the disabled list, via Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com:

It’s part of the game. Being on the DL three times, it’s tough being on the bench and watching these guys play and not feel like I can do anything to help the team. … 

It hit the wall and it started to get tight. We had to do something. … 

There’s a ligament here in my wrist. I don’t know how to explain it. The doctors talk their language, you know? But he explained there’s a ligament here and when I dove, I guess the ligament moved and it was loose.

Socrates Brito was recalled from Triple-A and will continue starting in right field for the Diamondbacks now that Peralta is done for the season. 

The 23-year-old Brito is the Diamondbacks’ second-ranked prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and this is now a great opportunity for him to get some major league playing time. 

Arizona is 47-66 and hasn’t been in the playoff picture for quite some time. Because there’s no reason to rush Peralta back into a non-contending situation, Brito can gain some experience at the top level without any pressure and continue developing into a future asset the Diamondbacks can use to build a contender around. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Zack Greinke Injury: Updates on Diamondbacks Star’s Oblique and Return

The Arizona Diamondbacks‘ big offseason acquisition has gotten off to a so-so start this season and is now on the shelf, as right-handed ace Zack Greinke suffered an injury to his oblique. 

Continue for updates.    

Greinke Injury Details Revealed 

Tuesday, July 28

Grienke’s injury is being descried as tightness in his oblique, according to Bob McManaman of AZCentral.com.  

McManaman provided additional details regarding how Greinke left: 

The right-hander appeared to wince in pain while throwing a warm-up pitch to catcher Welington Castillo to start the inning. Manager Chip Hale and head athletic trainer Ken Crenshaw came out to the mound to check on him.

After a few short moments, Greinke left the field and appeared to go inside the Diamondbacks’ clubhouse at Chase Field. He re-emerged quickly and threw a couple of warm-up pitches. He reached for what appeared to be his back area after one of them and then left the field again, this time for good.

Greinke had one the best seasons of his career in 2015, posting an ERA of 1.66, a 0.844 WHIP and a 5.9 FanGraphs wins above replacement. That prompted the Diamondbacks to swipe him away from the National League West rival Los Angeles Dodgers with a six-year, $206.5 million deal. 

However, Greinke’s tenure in the desert got off to a rocky start, as his ERA was over 6.00 for most of April. Despite the rough start, Greinke entered Tuesday’s game with a 10-3 record, a 3.62 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. 

While the Diamondbacks don’t have another pitcher on their roster capable of dominating like Greinke at his best, the front office did do a good job of adding quality depth behind him. Shelby Miller, who has also struggled early this season, is a good No. 2 starter. Patrick Corbin, when healthy, has been a quality mid-rotation arm. 

The Diamondbacks went all-in by signing Greinke and trading for Miller to win in 2016. Losing Greinke for even a short period of time puts a huge dent in their plans, in addition to giving the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants an advantage in the division race.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

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