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Battle For Nothing Coming Up

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Unlike the Dodgers, the Diamondbacks took to the role of spoiler like a Kavula takes to gin, sweeping the Rockies, and putting a huge dent in the Rockies post season hopes.  It was a bit of surprise given how hot the Rockies were,  and how bad the Diamondbacks are, but that is baseball.

Let us just start off where everyone wants to go. Coming into the season the Diamondbacks felt they they had the best young right fielder in baseball, just as the Dodgers felt they had the best young CF in baseball. Justin Upton hasn't  been as big a disappointment but then the expectations for Upton should have been more. Ever since being the number one overall pick in the 2005 draft,  super stardom has always been the expectation for Upton.

Instead of progressing in his age 22 year season into an elite player he's been simply average. In 2009 he flirted with a .900 OPS settling at .899, in 2010 he's flirting with .800, currently at .799.  Upton has actually had a decent season held down by two bad months (April/August) but from May - July he was pretty bad ass.  However, he is now hurt and probably not even going to play.  Too bad.

So on Sept 24th, the two worst teams in the NL West will do battle with nothing at stake. What kind of lineup will the managers use?

With the games meaning nothing we might see some of these players instead of the regulars.

Instead we might see this:

1st - Brandon Allen -  LaRoche is the regular but since this game means nothing maybe they give their 1st base prospect some at bats. He has some pop slugging 25 home runs in the PCL this summer. Adam LaRoche was one hell of a cheap asset in 2010, with a contract only paying him $4.5 Million. In 2011 that increases to $7.5M or the Diamondbacks can buy him out for $1.5 Million.  Since the Diamondbacks may not be competing and they have a possible solution in Allen, maybe they buy out the option. If they do, the Dodgers should be knocking because I'd rather be paying LaRoche between $5 - 7 Million than James Loney.

2nd - Tony Abreu - our PTBNL last year in the Garland deal, Tony might be auditioning for the full time gig in 2010.  The slick fielding switch hitter did get hurt again but didn't miss as much time as he usually does. Kelly Johnson was probably the best infield Free Agent bargain in 2010 making only $2.35 Million. He will be expecting a large increase this winter and I doubt that offer comes from the Diamondbacks.

SS - Tony Abreu - or we might see him at SS. Drew has been playing every day in Sept, so maybe he does not take a day off.

3rd - Tony Abreu - sick of him yet?  He has played 2nd/SS/3rd so far in Sept. Hopefully Reynolds will play because nothing is more exciting then seeing Reynolds swing and miss, or swing and connect. This should give you the idea that the Diamondbacks don't have much in infield prospects ready to contribute today.

C - Montero should still play, at least against all the RHP.  His power was down a little,  and he's really struggling in Sept.

RF - With Upton injured, Gerardo Parra has been getting the reps. Parra had been the regular LF, and struggled mightily but since moving to RF he's been hot.

CF - Chris Young - Young had a nice bounce back year but is struggling in Sept. He has only twelve hits in sixty-two at bats, with four of them being home runs. Kind of like his 2008/2009 seasons. For the first time in his career Chris Young has been able to keep his OPS just above .800 for a full season. 

LF - Could be anyone from Allen, Ryan Roberts, Rusty Ryal, to Cole Gillespie, and they all have no business starting in LF in the major leagues. Kind of like us having Russ Mitchell or Jamey Carroll playing LF.

For a team with nothing to play for the Diamondbacks have no one resembling a real prospect who could contribute in 2011 other then Brandon Allen. For a team who won't win 70 games that has to be disheartening. We can relate.

 

Who is going to pitch against us and throw a shutout or two?

Game One - Barry Enright - Xeifrank asked in August if Enright had broken FIP and the answer was no. He simply needed a few more games to normalize. In his last three starts he's given up 17 earned runs in 12 innings. This wasn't just one bad start, he's been whacked in all three games.  He's kind of their answer to John Ely. If the Dodger lineup cannot hit Barry Enright, then I won't know what to say. Andre might hit three home runs tonight, and should at least hit one, or not look his teammates in the eye. Enright has given up 17 home runs in 86 innings and ten against the last 90 batters he has faced.

Game Two - They traded Edwin Jackson for Dan Hudson, which, for a team not expected to compete next year, was a great deal.  Dan Hudson is someone I'd have loved for the Dodgers to target. He should be a good back end starter and has done an excellent job since becoming a Diamondback. He leads the rotation in ERA (1.65), FIP (3.26), and xFIP (3.58). He's probably not this good but he'll be a nice cheap asset to this rotation for the next few years. He's certainly better then any young pitcher we have not pitching for the Pirates.

Game Three - Terrible Dan Haren trade brought them Joe Saunders. Must have been an awful feeling for Diamondback fans this past week watching the show Carlos Gonzalez put on, knowing Dan Haren was now an Angel and Joe Saunders was what they got. Granted they got some other prospects but we are talking an MVP candidate and I won't even bring up Brett Anderson who many consider good enough that he might compete for a Cy Young. So I think I might be safe in saying no has ever traded two players in the same trade who could win a MVP and Cy Young.  We lament Carlos Santana; can you imagine if Ned had traded what amounts to Clayton Kershaw and the 2009 version on Matt Kemp for a guy you ended up trading several years later for jack shit compared to what you got when you traded him in first place?