Saturday, January 28, 2012

How D-backs are shaping up in '12

All in all, I'm feeling good about the off-season moves by D-backs GM Kevin Towers.  Three names that stand out are Trevor Cahill, Takashi Saito, and Jason Kubel.  In Cahill they're picking up a very solid middle of the rotation guy who the D-backs are hoping will return to more of his 2010 form when he went 18-8 with a 2.97 - outstanding numbers for an AL guy.  Saito might be 42 when the season starts, but this guy is as nasty as he's ever been coming out of the pen...I really like this signing.  Kubel was a surprise pickup to most of us, but I can see why KT wanted to put a little more pop into LF.  Should be real interesting to see how Parra works his way into the lineup...he's certainly a valuable piece and his defense should still allow him to see the field on a semi-regular basis.

Looking forward to heading out to Salt River Fields in a few weeks!  I certainly recall the D-backs of '11 looked awful during Spring Training....maybe they can kick it around the yard even more in ST of '12 and turn that into bigger and better results come playoff time...Regardless...it's almost time for baseball....

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Where are the D-backs heading right now?

I see this rubber game matchup tonight with the Rockies as fairly pivotal in the grand scheme of the long 2011 season.  If they can win the series against the NL West leader (and I believe the division champion at the end of the year), it will set the proper tone going forward for what this team is able to accomplish.

Nobody is foolish to believe that the D-backs will contend at all this season, but I still believe in my prediction that they can be a .500 ballclub.  That's a lofty goal to be sure for a team coming off of 97 losses of a year ago, but they should have enough hitting and defense (and just enough pitching) to finish in the middle of the division.

Losing this series with the Rockies will obviously not kick them to the basement, but it will bruise their psyche a bit and push them a step in the wrong direction.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

DbacksBuzz interview with Barry Enright!

D-backs starting pitcher Barry Enright was gracious enough to take some time out of his schedule to share with us his thoughts and opinions on a multitude of topics.  Since becoming a Twitter regular last year, Barry has endeared himself to not only D-backs fans, but to the Twitter baseball community as a whole.  His passion for both life and baseball is clearly evident for all of those who follow.

Andrew Ryan:  What were your favorite sports to play growing up as a kid?
Barry Enright:  Loved almost everything growing up. I played Soccer, basketball, baseball, and golf. Soccer turned into Football when I got to High school and football is one of the sports I miss most. Played four sports in High School. I'm a big believer in playing everything for as long as you can.

AR:  Were there any family members or friends that were particularly instrumental in forming your love of sports?
BE:  Everyone in my family has played their part. My dad (who past away when I was 13) played the biggest part as he coached all my sports growing up. If it wasn't for my mom staying committed to all my camps and my schooling along the way I wouldn't have had the opportunities that I did tho. Also my brothers, I would make them play with me everyday, sometimes I even make them play catch with me when I'm home to visit haha.
 
AR:  What was your major at Pepperdine, and were you more of a stay-at-home studier or a partier?
BE:  My major was Advertising with an emphasis on Business. I wasn't much of a partier. I came from a small Catholic High School and the transition in a 2,800 student body and Pepperdine wasn't too different. It made it easier to focus on school and especially Baseball. 

AR:  If you weren't a professional baseball player, what would you envision yourself doing?
BE:  If I wasn't playing baseball I would probably be coaching or something along the lines of helping people. I love to teach and love to be able to make a positive influence on peoples, especially young kids lives.

AR:  How would you describe your diet (the good, the bad and the ugly)?
BE:  I try to do the best I can. Its hard sometimes after a game when you are hungry and there isn't much variety to eat. I try to "eat in" more often because I'm able to dictate what I'm making.  When I eat out I eat tons of Sushi. Not always the best for you, but much better than most and it's my favorite!

AR:  Favorite movies, TV shows?
BE:  My favorite movie is "Boondock Saints" and I have a lot of guilty pleasures when it comes to T.V. Shows. Some embarrassing some not haha! 

AR:  What inspires you to strive for greatness in life?
BE:  What helps me wake up and be motivated everyday is knowing I'm so blessed in getting to do something I love. With my dad passing away when I was 13 it showed me life and anything in life can be taken away from you at any moment. I try my best to never take anything for granted. God has blessed me and I do my best in glorifying him.

AR:  You are a great addition to the Twitter nation, as it's so rare for a professional athlete to engage with fans the way you do (and seem to enjoy). Do you have any concerns with athletes giving real-time criticism of players in their own sport, or do you find the impromptu and candid expression a positive addition overall?
BE:  When it comes to anything like that I'm a very positive person. I try not to bash other players because I know someday someone might not always agree with what I'm doing or have done. Some people might be different and that doesn't mean I agree with all that other players have done. I just like to "try" to keep most of that stuff to myself. 

AR:  Where do you call home now in the offseason? With the new Salt River Fields complex now complete, will that make it any more likely for you to be in the Phoenix area year-round?
BE:  I actually just bought a home out in Chandler Az. I love it out here and hope to be a part of the Dbacks for a long long time. We need to bring another ring back to the desert and that starts with putting some wins together this year. I can't wait to see everyone out at the ballpark! It's almost here!!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

D-backs/Rockies getting set for ST at Salt River Fields

It's almost showtime for the new $100 million Spring Training complex in Scottsdale to be shared by the D-backs and Rockies.  The facility has put together a very nice website at http://www.saltriverfields.com, where among other things, you can use the live webcam to watch the progress (http://www.saltriverfields.com/the-project/live-webcam.aspx).  D-backs President Derrick Hall has a quick video of the site as well (http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=13089877).

With an 11,000-seat capacity ballpark along with 12 practice fields on 140 acres, it's an impressive venue for not only the 6 weeks of Spring Training, but also for use as a general purpose facility for concerts, festivals, baseball, and soccer tournaments the rest of the year.  It also looks to be a good offseason location for player use.  One cool idea developed here is that both the Rockies and D-backs will each have a practice field that has the exact dimensions of their respective ballparks, Coors Field and Chase Field.

While the new complex will be fun to go see for the first time this Spring, I'm really just looking forward to baseball again.  Nothing beats the smell of fresh cut grass as you approach the practice fields for the early spring team workouts.  Come on February...get here already!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

D-backs moving to the future after trade deadline

With the trading deadline now come and gone, it's time to reflect a bit on what the D-backs were able to accomplish.  Overall, I think that interim GM Jerry Dipoto did an admirable job given the circumstances he was placed in.  He managed to shed about $47M of payroll over the next few years ($23.8M for next season alone), which should allow for much more flexibility moving forward in terms of future acquisitions.

To be honest, the team is certainly in no worse shape than before the trading started, and I would argue a better team.  The Dan Haren deal falls in the D-backs favor in that Joe Saunders is a very respectable starter in this league, and whose numbers almost exactly mirror those of Haren's this year, and gives them the lefty starter they've so desperately needed.  It also clearly appears that Tyler Skaggs will be the PTBNL in the deal once August 7th rolls around, and he is a much coveted LHP that the D-backs could see in the bigs within a couple of years.
19-year old LHP Tyler Skaggs

For the Edwin Jackson dealing to the White Sox, I like getting Dan Hudson in return.  Jackson was clearly not providing top of the rotation performance for the money for AZ, and Hudson is a young starter who had remarkable AAA stats this year.  It remains to be seen if he will pan out, but don't see any downside over Jackson.

The Chad Qualls deal was a no-brainer...and I'm shocked the D-backs actually managed to get a PTBNL out of it.

As for Chris Snyder going to the Pirates, I'm not really sure what to make of this one, although dumping his salary was first and foremost for the front office.  Getting a couple of veterans in Bobby Crosby and Ryan Church doesn't look to be long-term in nature, and guessing these guys were pushed on the D-backs in order to make this deal happen.  RHP D.J. Carrasco struggled in his debut last night, but he'll be given a chance for the rest of the season to see if he can stick around.

As for the guys that were not dealt, sure glad that Kelly Johnson remains a Diamondback.  He is an outstanding hitting 2B, and his price tag is well worth it.  Let's hope he remains in uniform through next year as well.

Overall I'm quite pleased with how they fared.  Let's see if the next month of waiver deals provides any additional movement.
 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

D-backs in serious tailspin....good thing

It reminds me of early 2009, when nothing seemed to go the D-backs way.  This team is in such a skid right now that you wonder where to look next for help.  But maybe that's actually a good thing....huh???  It's analogous to the stock market where the market runs out of sellers and it truly hits a bottom.  Hopefully the sellers have dried up in the National League now as well and there's nothing but up now for Arizona. 

Get the offense rolling again....get Haren back on top of his game....shore up the bullpen....

It's still only May, I have to think this way :-)