Tag: Arizona Diamondbacks

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

Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta is dealing with a wrist injury. Though there’s no structural damage, it’s unclear when he will return to the field.

Continue for updates.  

Peralta Out vs. Giants

Friday, May 13

The Diamondbacks announced Peralta will not be in Friday’s starting lineup against San Francisco.

Peralta Provides Diamondbacks with Underrated Bat

This is a setback for Peralta, especially since he battled his way to the major league level and was looking to become a household name in 2016. 

Tony Blengino of ESPN.com called Peralta “the game’s most unknown—and unlikelystar” in a piece before the season because he started as a pitcher but never made it past the rookie-level Appalachian League. However, he reinvented himself as an outfielder and had a breakout campaign in 2015.

Peralta appeared to turn the corner in that 2015 season and hit .312 with 17 home runs and 78 RBI. According to ESPN.com, he posted an impressive 3.7 offensive WAR and an .893 OPS, and many expected him to be a critical part of Arizona’s push toward the playoffs in 2016.

Thus far, he is hitting .260 with three home runs in 2016. 

Peralta is versatile enough to play all three outfield spots if needed, which gives manager Chip Hale the ability to mix and match his lineup choices.

The Diamondbacks won’t enjoy that luxury while Peralta is out, but they still have Paul Goldschmidt to anchor the offense and a strong pitching staff that features Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller. 

With Chris Owings manning center field, Arizona will likely turn to Brandon Drury, Rickie Weeks Jr. or Yasmany Tomas to fill in for Peralta on the corners.

Arizona has enough depth to survive this injury, but it could use Peralta back and healthy to bolster what is already a promising lineup.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Tony La Russa Comments on Chip Hale’s Future, State of Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa disputed a report that manager Chip Hale’s job may be in jeopardy.

On Tuesday, Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic suggested that if the Diamondbacks suffer a poor month of May, then Hale could be looking for new employment.

La Russa rejected Bickley’s story Thursday, which made the claim without citing any sources, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:

There’s no sense to that — none. I have a lot of respect for Dan. I don’t know how he figured that. Maybe it’s because of the expectations. 

But if you backed up five days, we’re at .500, a (half-game) out of first place. We had a difficult three against Colorado. We’ve lost two in Miami. You take a snapshot when you take it. But no, the issue is not Chip Hale.

Arizona, which underwent a 15-win improvement in 2015, Hale’s first season, has lost six straight games and sits at 12-18 after back-to-back sweeps to the Colorado Rockies and Miami Marlins. The team is 3.5 games behind the first-place San Francisco Giants in the National League West.

While the team is struggling, it is too early to contemplate firing Hale. His two biggest stars, offseason acquisition Zack Greinke and Paul Goldschmidt, are off to slow starts.

Greinke is 2-2 with a bloated 5.50 ERA, and Mark Simon of ESPN Stats & Info noted the all-world starter is also getting hit as hard anyone in baseball:

Goldschmidt is hitting .232, well below his .297 career average, with 31 strikeouts. His home run (six) and RBI (16) numbers are still decent, which suggests that he just needs to break out of his contact slump. There is little reason to believe he will not, which should bode well for Arizona’s offense moving forward.

La Russa is a smart baseball mind, so expect him to ignore outside criticism and recognize that his team is fine at the moment and that Hale should not be going anywhere.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Shelby Miller Looking Early on to Be One of Worst MLB Trades in Decades

Shelby Miller could throw a no-hitter in his next start. He could rip off a streak of run-suppressing dominance and propel the Arizona Diamondbacks to the top of the National League West standings.

Those things could happen, and if they do, what you’re about to read will seem silly and alarmist and premature.

I’m willing to take that risk.

Because right now, “fresh” off another lousy start Sunday, Miller is a raging tire fire. And the trade that brought him to Arizona from the Atlanta Braves this winter is looking increasingly like one of the most disastrous in recent memory.

Before we delve into that, let’s survey the carnage that is Miller’s stat sheet.

Through 23.1 innings scattered over six starts, he has allowed 27 hits and 22 earned runs. He’s struck out 19, which is also the number of walks he’s issued. His ERA sits at a gaudy 8.49, and his FIP—which adjusts for factors beyond a pitcher’s control—is a still-ugly 7.22.

By any measure, Miller has been one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball.

“We are trying everything. We are working with him,” Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said Sunday after Miller lasted just 3.2 innings in a 6-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies, per ESPN.com. “We want him to stay positive. It’s tough. He’s not very happy about it.”

The Diamondbacks should be unhappy, too. To land Miller along with 21-year-old lefty Gabe Speier, Arizona coughed up a package that included outfielder Ender Inciarte, shortstop Dansby Swanson—the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draftand hard-throwing pitching prospect Aaron Blair.

Inciarte has played just three games for Atlanta because of a hamstring issue, but the 25-year-old is coming off a promising season that saw him hit .303 with 21 stolen bases and 5.3 wins above replacement (WAR).

The 22-year-old Swanson has lived up to his pedigree, posting a .978 OPS in 24 games between High-A and Double-A, and appears destined to make an impact in the big leagues sooner than later.

Blair, meanwhile, made his MLB debut April 24 after posting a 1.42 ERA in three starts at Triple-A.

It’s easy to weigh the trade now and scoff in light of Miller’s early struggles. But it was widely panned at the time, as well.

As ESPN.com’s David Schoenfield opined back in December, “Heck, Inciarte may be worth more than Miller by himself and is certainly proof that executives Dave Stewart and Tony La Russa are out of touch in the analytics game.”

To be fair, Miller was an All-Star in 2015 despite his 6-17 record. He eclipsed 200 innings for the first time in his career and posted a 3.02 ERA.

There was reason to hope Milleralong with big-ticket free agent Zack Greinke—could shore up the front end of Arizona’s rotation.

The price, however, seemed unreasonably exorbitant before Miller threw a single pitch in a D-backs uniform. Now, it looks like straight-up highway robbery.

Troll through the last few decades, and you can find some seriously lopsided deals.

In 1992, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired Curt Schilling from the Houston Astros for right-hander Jason Grimsley, who never pitched an inning for the ‘Stros.

In 1997, the Boston Red Sox sent two serviceable arms in Carl Pavano and Tony Armas to the Montreal Expos for a guy named Pedro Martinez, who wound up doing a few good things in Beantown.

In 2003, the Minnesota Twins snagged Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser from the San Francisco Giants for catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Nathan went on to become an All-Star closer, and Liriano blossomed into an ace-level arm. Pierzynski had one of his worst seasons by the Bay and promptly skipped town via free agency.

In 2008, the Baltimore Orioles got Adam Jones, Chris Tillman and George Sherrill from the Seattle Mariners for left-hander Erik Bedard. Jones became a five-time All-Star, Tillman slotted into the front of the O’s rotation and Sherrill saved 51 games out of the Baltimore bullpen. Bedard battled injuries and never did much for the M’s.

There are more examples, but that’s a representative sampling. Suffice it to say, the Miller swap is in the mix.

If things continue like this, it could well pace the pack.

Again, there’s time for a turnaround. Miller is just 25, and he proved what he’s capable of a season ago.

In fact, some of his troubles could be the result of pressing and trying to live up to the trade, as Stewart recently suggested.

“Shelby Miller, I think it’s more, really, he’s just feeling some pressure: of the trade, the players that we traded for him, trying to fit in,” the D-backs general manager told SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio. “I think the whole ordeal has just been different for him than it was leaving St. Louis going to Atlanta.”

The only problem with that take is Miller went from St. Louis to Atlanta in exchange for Jason Heyward, a Gold Glove winner and five-tool talent, and pitched well. Surely there was pressure then, too. What’s the difference?

Since arriving in Arizona, Miller has battled wonky mechanics and a slight dip in velocity, as MLB.com’s Mike Petriello outlined.

Correcting the first issue could well correct the second. And, Petriello added, “Nothing seems unfixable. It doesn’t seem to be a health issue, and if Miller turns it around quickly to pitch the rest of the year as he did with Atlanta, no one will remember this.”

There’s your glass-half-full perspective.

If, on the other hand, Miller can’t turn it around, everyone will remember thisfor all the wrong reasons.


All statistics current as of May 4 and courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

How Worried Should Diamondbacks Be About $206.5 Million Man Zack Greinke?

Somewhere in the executive offices of Chase Field, there may be a finger moving closer to the button marked “PANIC.”

After Zack Greinke debuted with seven earned runs in four innings against the Colorado Rockies, the Arizona Diamondbacks were surely hoping the right-hander would look more like the ace they deemed worthy of $206.5 million in his second outing Saturday.

Instead, he only went from bad to less bad. In six innings against the Chicago Cubs, the veteran paced Arizona to a 4-2 loss by allowing four earned runs on seven hits and three walks.

All told, Greinke has allowed 11 earned runs on 16 hits and four walks in 10 innings. Those numbers look especially big on a guy whose 1.66 ERA with the Los Angeles Dodgers almost won him a second Cy Young Award in 2015. As ESPN Stats and Information notes, it’s now going to take a Herculean effort for Greinke to do that again:

You probably already know what the good news is, but here goes anyway: It’s only been two starts. That’s not a small sample size. It’s an itty-bitty sample size.

Still, it’s only human to be nervous about Greinke. Itty-bitty sample size be damned—just how worried should the Diamondbacks be?

For starters, there’s no getting around the fact that Greinke‘s first outing in his colorful new duds was a legit stinker. The Rockies did not rack up Texas Leaguers and seeing-eye singles against him. Three of their nine hits left the ballpark, and according to FanGraphs, 47.4 percent of their balls in play off Greinke qualified as hard-hit.

Greinke‘s trademark control, however, was not the problem. After walking only 1.6 batters per nine innings last season, he walked only one Rockies hitter. And overall, slightly more than half of his 82 pitches found the strike zone.

With that being the case, one might expect that Greinke‘s stuff was the problem. He is beginning his age-32 season, after all, and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that Greinke was pitching through the flu.

Nope. Per Brooks Baseball, Greinke‘s four-seam fastball was sitting at 92.5 miles per hour. That’s only a shade below where he was sitting at the end of 2015, and it’s well ahead of where his average fastball velocity (91.1 mph) was last April. 

This takes care of two easy explanations and opens the door for a more nuanced theory for what was dogging Greinke. Cue Pedro Martinez to insinuate that maybe Greinke was tipping his pitches:

When asked about this, Greinke told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that it was “possible.” But he wasn’t so much worried about that as he was about what he knew he did wrong.

“I know I probably threw too many pitches away early in the game and didn’t throw in enough,” he said. “Sometimes that’ll let the other team feel more comfortable in the box. I thought that was more of a possibility than tipping.”

Survey says: Eureka!

As Brooks Baseball shows, Greinke mostly stayed away from both lefties and righties. By the righties in particular, that’s where he was hurt.

There could be something to this. As I noted recently, Greinke dominated last year by feeding lefties fastballs and changeups away, and righties fastballs and sliders away. But though it worked wonders for him last season, his 2016 debut raised the question of whether the jig is up.

Which leads us to the big question: Did Greinke make any changes Saturday?

Sure did! He was much more proactive about working Chicago’s left-handed hitters inside than he was with Colorado’s left-handed hitters. It was largely the same story against Chicago’s right-handed batters, who had to put up with Greinke working both sides of the strike zone.

Meanwhile, Greinke‘s velocity was fine. He sat at 91.9 miles per hour with his four-seam fastball. That may be about a half a mile per hour off where his heat was in his debut, but it’s still well ahead of where he was last April.

Armed with a better approach and decent velocity, it’s no wonder Greinke was a tougher nut to crack. After striking out only two Rockies, he struck out eight Cubs. And though the batted-ball data isn’t yet available, the Cubs didn’t seem to make a ton of loud contact off Greinke after a rough three-run first.

Even the three walks Greinke allowed don’t look too bad from one perspective. Check out all his pitch locations together:

That’s not a pitcher who was all over the place. Even when Greinke missed, he mostly didn’t miss by much. Had he gotten more favorable calls, maybe we wouldn’t be talking about a three-walk performance.

But rather than hope for better luck, this is where Greinke may have to make his next adjustment.

As Brad Johnson of FanGraphs noted in his breakdown of Greinke for the 2016 season, the pitcher’s move from the Dodgers to the Diamondbacks involved swapping an elite pitch-framer (Yasmani Grandal) for a mediocre pitch-framer (Welington Castillo).

That already seems to be having an effect. According to Baseball Savant, Greinke got more called strikes outside the zone than all but four other pitchers last seasonvindication for Bryce Harper! He got only four calls outside the zone in his debut, and the eye counts just three in his second outing.

But as far as concerns go, Greinke having to worry about the number of calls he’s getting outside the zone is a minor one. It would be a much bigger deal if his overall control, his velocity or his approach to pitching were all sending up red flags, but they’re not. The first two are fine, and the third looks like a problem he’s already on his way to figuring out.

Through two starts, Greinke has a 9.90 ERA. It doesn’t take a mind-reader to know the Diamondbacks were hoping their $206.5 million man would make a better first impression than that. But rather than being broken, it looks like their big investment just needs a little more assembly.


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

Follow zachrymer on Twitter

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

A.J. Pollock Injury: Updates on Diamondbacks Star’s Recovery from Elbow Surgery

Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock left the field with a fractured elbow during Friday’s spring training game against the Kansas City Royals. The injury will require surgery, and it’s unclear when Pollock will be able to return to the lineup. 

Continue for updates.

Pollock Comments on Injury

Saturday, April 2 

“It felt like a nightmare,” Pollock told reporters. When asked if he plans to return this season, the outfielder said, “That’s going to be my goal,” per Steve Gilbert of MLB.com

Pollock to Undergo Surgery

Friday, April 1

Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reported Pollock fractured his elbow and requires surgery. 

Pollock Has Become Outfield Staple for Diamondbacks 

Pollock had an MRI on his right elbow during spring training in March, but it came back negative, ensuring he’d be healthy in time for the start of the 2016 campaign. He appeared in 157 games last season and batted .315 with 20 home runs and 76 RBI.

The 28-year-old did only appear in 75 contests in 2014—mostly due to a freak injury, as he fractured his right hand when he was hit by a pitch. That required surgery, but Pollock showed no ill or lingering effects in 2015.

In addition to his prowess at the plate, Pollock is an exceptional defender, winning a Gold Glove Award last season as well. His all-around exceptional play can’t really be emulated by anyone else on the roster, so Arizona will have to hope he can return soon.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Diamondbacks Threaten to Move If Chase Field Doesn’t Undergo Repairs

Chase Field may be fewer than 20 years old, but the Arizona Diamondbacks are already considering playing elsewhere in the future.

Craig Harris of the Arizona Republic reported Thursday the team is upset that Maricopa County is unable to provide what it feels are necessary $187 million stadium renovations.

The Diamondbacks released a statement from chief executive Derrick Hall:

Harris noted the team’s lease with the county runs through 2028, and ownership can’t begin making concrete plans to move until at least 2024.

Baseball writer Ken Arneson joked plenty of teams would love to play in Chase Field:

Similarly, Brad Denny of 3TV Sports argued the stadium isn’t in dire need of a makeover:

Thursday’s news comes after the Arizona Coyotes and Phoenix Suns both ran into stadium issues of their own.

The city council for Glendale, Arizona, voted to terminate its lease with the Coyotes in June 2015, and the two sides eventually agreed to a two-year deal. According to ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside, the plan in January was for the Coyotes to play in Glendale until they found a permanent home, potentially in Tempe, Arizona.

Meanwhile, the Suns’ push for a new arena was mentioned as early as October 2012, per Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal.

In September 2015, Sunnucks also described what were “mythical blueprints” of new venues for the Diamondbacks and Suns on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Hall first publicly broached the topic of Chase Field renovations in a February interview on Arizona Sports 98.7’s Doug and Wolf Show (via Steve Krafft of Fox 10). He argued the stadium is too big relative to the current demand.

According to ESPN.com, the Diamondbacks finished 23rd in attendance in 2015, averaging 25,680 fans a game. That represented only 52.9 percent of the stadium’s capacity.

It will be particularly important that the club is able to draw fans this year after a busy offseason. According to Spotrac, the Diamondbacks climbed from 28th in team payroll in 2015 to 21st in 2016. Signing Zack Greinke to a six-year, $206.5 million deal was a sign of ownership’s intentions.

Should Arizona fail to see a marked rise in attendance, it could only strengthen the team’s resolve to either renovate Chase Field or seek a new home.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Chip Hale, Diamondbacks Agree to New Contract: Details, Comments, Reaction

According to Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi on Thursday, the Arizona Diamondbacks have extended the contract of manager Chip Hale through “at least” the 2017 season. 

In his first year with the club in 2015, Hale led the Diamondbacks to a 79-83 record. He made significant improvements with the Diamondbacks. After recording 64 wins under Kirk Gibson in 2014, Arizona improved by 15 games with Hale. 

The Diamondbacks were a bottom-six team in runs scored and runs allowed per game in 2014 under Gibson. With Hale, Arizona ranked eighth in runs scored per game at 4.44, but its pitching still struggled, ranking 19th. 

After the offseason the Diamondbacks just had, though, that number might be changing soon. Arizona went out and got one of the top free-agent pitchers in Zack Greinke and dealt one of its top prospects in Dansby Swanson to the Atlanta Braves for Shelby Miller. 

Greinke went 19-3 with a league-leading 1.66 ERA in 2015 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and will be the Diamondbacks’ ace moving forward.

For Hale, there was little thought needed to make Greinke the team’s Opening Day starter, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert:

Miller, on the other hand, garnered an All-Star appearance despite a 6-17 record with the Atlanta Braves. The win-loss ratio is misleading, though, as Miller posted a 3.02 ERA in over 200 innings pitched. 

Add those top-caliber arms with a lineup headlined by 2015 MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt, and the Diamondbacks are going to be a solid team in a National League West that includes the Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants

With those teams’ recent success, Hale is going to have his hands full when it comes to navigating the Diamondbacks toward the postseason in such a difficult division. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks Agree on New Contract: Latest Details, Reaction

Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock turned in a career season in 2015, and the team rewarded him financially as a result.

According to Buster Olney of ESPN The Magazine, the Diamondbacks and Pollock avoided arbitration Monday with a two-year, $10.25 million deal.

Steve Gilbert of MLB.com noted the deal “covers his first two years of arbitration.”

Gilbert also shared a quote from Pollock: “It’s an exciting time to be a Diamondback. I’m glad to get the business side taken care of and focus on helping this team win.”

Jeff Todd of MLBTradeRumors.com added some context to Monday’s news:

And for Pollock, he won’t have to worry about injury or a performance decline sapping his earning power for 2017. Certainly, the new deal builds in a substantial raise for the burgeoning star. He’ll be promised nearly a $6.5MM raise — assuming the filing numbers’ midpoint as a baseline for 2016 — for the added season covered in the pact. … A longer-term arrangement still seems plausible for the 28-year-old, who cemented himself as the D-Backs’ center fielder with an excellent 2015 campaign. If nothing else, the major raise baked into the deal suggests that the team doesn’t expect him to fall off in the coming year.

As long as that falloff doesn’t come, the Diamondbacks will get what they paid for. Pollock appeared in 157 games in 2015, which was a significant increase in playing time after he tallied a combined 243 games in his first three seasons (31 in 2012, 137 in 2013 and 75 in an injury-marred 2014).

Pollock finished with a .315 batting average, 20 home runs and 76 RBI at the plate. He also stole 39 bases, scored 111 runs and turned in an OPS of .865 and WAR of 7.4, per ESPN.com. All of those numbers were career highs, and the outfielder earned his first All-Star nod as one of the league’s best all-around center fielders.

Pollock did more than provide on the offensive side, as the WAR number indicates. He won his first career Gold Glove in 2015 and was responsible for 14 total defensive runs saved above average in the outfield, per FanGraphs.

If Pollock replicates or even improves on his 2015 numbers, it will mean critical production for a team that could challenge the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants in the loaded National League West.

Arizona has bolstered its pitching staff with the additions of reliever Tyler Clippard and starters Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller in the offseason. Considering the Diamondbacks were eighth in the big leagues in runs scored last year, even a marginal improvement on the majors’ 16th-best team ERA could be the formula for a strong season.

With Paul Goldschmidt as one of the best offensive players in baseball, Pollock as an all-around star in the outfield and Greinke leading the way for a formidable pitching staff, Arizona could reach the postseason for the first time since the 2011 campaign.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Tyler Clippard to Diamondbacks: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

For the third time in just over one year, Tyler Clippard is on the move after agreeing to a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports first reported that Clippard signed a contract worth $12.25 million over two years, which MLB Network’s Jon Heyman supported. Rosenthal added that the deal includes a $4 million signing bonus, a $4.1 million salary in 2016 and a $4.15 million salary the following season.

The team went on to confirm the move.

Jack Magruder of FanRag Sports added that Clippard will serve as the setup man to closer Brad Ziegler.

Clippard was traded to the Oakland Athletics in January 2015, pitching 37 games before being traded to the New York Mets prior to the July 31 deadline. He had a successful season overall, posting a 2.92 ERA with 64 strikeouts, 49 hits allowed and 31 walks over 71 innings.

During the Mets’ playoff run to the World Series, Clippard did show signs of fatigue, with a 6.75 ERA over 6.2 innings. 

Given New York’s depth in the starting rotation, along with more pressing needs in the outfield and second base when the offseason started, he seemed like an expendable piece.

Early in the offseason, one executive was confident that Clippard would get a good deal, per ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick:

It’s a reasonable assessment because even in a down year, he had his third straight season with an ERA under 3.00 and sixth straight season with at least 70 innings pitched.

Relievers are naturally volatile, so finding one who is dependable with a long track record of health is going to generate a lot of interest from teams.

Crasnick referred to another reason the Diamondbacks should be eager to welcome Clippard into the fold: He’s made 440 appearances since 2010, the most among MLB relievers.

Arizona was able to wait out the market for Clippard and add depth to its bullpen, which is often hard to find. The 30-year-old may not be the 85-90-inning hurler he was in 2010-11, but there are few relievers who can take the ball for one or two innings and provide better results. 

The Kansas City Royals have proved the last two years that teams can win with a dominant bullpen, so the Diamondbacks are certainly hoping to embark on a similar path to success by acquiring Clippard to help close out games.

Pitching was a clear weakness for Arizona in 2015. The team finished 25th in quality starts and 17th in team ERA at 4.04.

After landing a legitimate ace in Zack Greinke to headline the staff, the Diamondbacks did well to bolster their bullpen with Clippard coming aboard.


Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Tyler Wagner to Diamondbacks: Latest Trade Details and Scouting Report

The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired right-handed pitcher Tyler Wagner in a five-player trade with the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday, the team announced.

Along with Wagner, the Diamondbacks received 2013 All-Star infielder Jean Segura, while the Brewers acquired infielder Aaron Hill, pitcher Chase Anderson and shortstop Isan Diaz.

MLB.com ranked Wagner as the No. 15 prospect in the Brewers farm system. Milwaukee drafted the 25-year-old Las Vegas native in the fourth round of the 2012 draft. Wagner had a stellar 2015 campaign with Double-A Biloxi, going 11-5 with a 2.25 ERA and striking out 120 batters.

He also had a small stint with the Brewers in 2015 but struggled heavily in his three starts. Wagner pitched 13.2 innings and gave up 11 earned runs, finishing with an ERA of 7.24.

MLB.com highlighted Wagner’s fastball as his strongest pitch, while he continues to improve his changeup:

Using that closer mentality from his days at Utah, he goes right after hitters, inducing weak contact early in counts. His slider is a solid average hard breaking ball with bite that misses bats. While his changeup isn’t quite as good, it is effective at neutralizing left-handed hitters. His walk rate has gone down each year since his summer debut and he continues to get a good amount of groundball outs.

His brief big league debut was just a taste, with Wagner very close to being ready to fulfill a ceiling as a mid-to-back of the rotation type of starter at the highest level.

He may need another year or two before making it to the main roster, but Wagner will be a good addition for Arizona. The Diamondbacks have already bolstered the top of their rotation by signing star pitcher Zack Greinke and trading for 25-year-old Shelby Miller in the offseason. Wagner proved in his Double-A stint last year that he has a high upside with plenty of room to grow.

In two years, the Diamondbacks may have one of the best pitching rotations in the major leagues, and Wagner could be a part of it.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress