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Arizona Diamondbacks News

Aaron Hill posted by Arizona Diamondbacks News

Born March 21, 1982, Aaron Hill plays MLB for Arizona Diamondbacks as second baseman. Hill belongs to the elite group of four players who have hit the cycle twice in a single season. He started playing college baseball in 2000, when he played for Louisiana State University's Tigers team, and posted a career of 150 RBIs, 23 home runs, and batting average of .335.

In 2003, Hill was the first pick in the draft for Toronto Blue Jays. In 2005, he made his MLB debut, when he was called from the minor league, to replace Corey Koskie, who was injured. Even though he was a shortstop, Hill became second baseman and the designated hitter during the season. He finished the season with .348 OBP, and batting average of .274. In 2006, he was the second baseman, and went on to win the Fielding Bible Award at that position for his excellence in fielding in 2007. In May 2008, Hill suffered a concussion and could not play for the rest of the season. In 2009, he was selected for the All-Star game, and he finished the season with 36 home runs, and a .286 batting average.

In August 2011, Toronto Blue Jays traded Hill and another player to the Arizona Diamondbacks to get Kelly Johnson. By the end of the month, Hill played against the San Diego Padres and scored his first home run for his new team. However, by the end of the season he was resigned to two-year contract extension for $11 million. In 2012, he was moved to the number two spot, in April, he hit two home runs, and the team won their match against the Giants at 5-4. In June, Hill made the record of hitting for cycle twice in one season, against Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers.

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Who ever said pitchers can’t hit? posted by David

While it should come as no surprise that a professional baseball player holds the state of Georgia's high school home run record, it may come as a shock that the record-holder is not a slugging outfielder like Jason Heyward, Mike Cameron, Jeff Francoeur, Nick Markakis, or J.D. Drew.  It isn’t a catcher with pop like Buster Posey or Brian McCann.  It isn’t even “The Big Hurt” Frank Thomas or “The Georgia Peach” himself, Hall of Famer Ty Cobb.  In fact, the record-holder isn’t a position player at all: it’s Diamondbacks pitcher Micah Owings.

Owings’s 69 career high school home runs are fourth in the United States behind Jeff Clement (75), James Peterson (73), and Drew Henson (70), who have combined to hit a grand total of 14 in the majors.  Peterson hit 11 in the minors but never even played in the big leagues, and Henson collected one hit in eight major league at-bats before deciding he had a better chance of succeeding as a quarterback in the NFL.  Clement has shown decent power in the minors but has yet to prove he can hit major league pitching.  If he doesn’t do it soon, Owings – who won a Silver Slugger as a pitcher during his rookie year (2007) and has hit nine homers in his brief big league career – will likely pass him.

Owings’s high school stats are staggering.  As a sophomore, he hit .630 with 21 homers.  As a junior, he “slumped” to .469 with 15 homers while going 12-1 with 69 strikeouts and a 1.85 ERA in 60.2 innings pitched.  As a senior, he hit .448 with 25 home runs; on the mound he went 12-1 with a 1.03 ERA, striking out 121 while surrendering a measly three walks in 75 innings.  Given his propensity for tearing the cover off the ball, you have to wonder why opposing teams did not simply refuse to pitch to Owings.

Continue reading "Who ever said pitchers can’t hit?"

Arizona Diamondbacks News

Miranda Ready To Breakout For D-Backs? posted by Arizona Diamondbacks News

The Arizona Diamondbacks have a bit of hole at first base after Adam LaRoche left via free agency, but it may not be for long.

Diamondbacks fans, fantasy players and MLB spread betting experts are quietly wondering whether there is a sleeper fill-in waiting in the wings.

Juan Miranda, a 27-year-old Cuban emigre, might finally be getting the opportunity he was hoping for.

Miranda signed with the New York Yankees in 2006 but never got a shot for steady at-bats with Mark Teixeira occupying the full-time duties. The Diamondbacks acquired Miranda from the Yankees for minor-league prospect Scott Allen. While he hasn’t had much time in the Majors, Miranda has shown plenty of promise while playing in AAA with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

In the three previous years in AAA, Miranda hit .287 with 67 doubles and 46 home runs. In the Majors, Miranda has three home runs, two doubles and a triple in 64 at-bats.

At this point, Miranda will be the front-runner to be the every day first baseman. The Diamondbacks took at a shot at Paul Konerko but the Scottsdale native wasn’t interested in their three-year, $30 million offer. That leaves Miranda as the no. 1 contender, but the Diamondbacks have some backup plans.

24-year-old Brandon Allen, who had 37 home runs 118 RBI’s in 145 games in Class AAA Reno. He strikes out at an alarming rate at this point, so unless he corrects that, he likely won’t be the every day option. Lastly, if both of those options don’t pan out, free agent acquisition Xavier Nady can play the position as well.

Continue reading "Miranda Ready To Breakout For D-Backs?"

Richard Kagan

Sox Obtain Jackson in Trade; Stymied in Getting Manny posted by Richard Kagan

You know, baseball is a funny game.  The Chicago White Sox have rescued their own season by winning games, and are a season high 14 games over .500 at 58-44.  Now, the front office wants to get into the act.

The White Sox added pitcher Edwin Jackson from the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Earlier this year, Jackson through a no-hitter.  He might be the first pitcher ever traded who has pitched a no-hitter for a club.  Jackson can pitch and give you innings.  The Sox gave up young promising pitcher Daniel Hudson and a minor leaguer prospect.   Jackson is to replace injured Jake Peavy in the starting rotation. 

Now, one hears of the last minute efforts to acquire Manny Ramirez, who is on the DL, from the Dodgers.  Ramirez, one of the feared hitters in the game would be an addition to any team.  But the White Sox don't need him now.  They are hitting just fine.  Last night they pounded out 13 hits in a win over Oakland.  Guys are warming up.  Alexei Ramirez, no relation to Manny, is one of the hottest hitters in the AL.  He has risen his BA from .235 to .290 in a little over a month.  and Gordon Beckham is coming out of his season long slump.  He is regularly getting 2 hits a night.  And driving in runs. 

The Sox don't need Manny.  They need good pitching and the offense to continue to produce.  Paul Konerko is hot, and hit his 4th straight homer the other night.  Carlos Quintin has 20 HR's.  Let these guys bring you over the finish line.

Continue reading "Sox Obtain Jackson in Trade; Stymied ..."


Buyer or Seller? posted by David

With the Dog Days of August about to begin, now is the time for teams to decide whether they are buyers or sellers – that is, whether they should mortgage their future and go for it this year or trade away their veterans for up-and-coming prospects.  “Going for it” says to a team’s fans that the organization thinks it has a legitimate chance to win it all, but a more conservative approach can send just as strong a message.  While a middle-of-the-pack team may have to acknowledge that this isn’t the year, going out and building for the future – as long as it is not the distant future – can usually be taken to mean that the front office is willing to sacrifice an outside shot at the playoffs in order to increase its chances of winning in the long term.  Buyer or seller, every GM will be busy until tomorrow’s trade deadline.

How ‘bout that?

How about Buster Posey?  The 22-year-old rookie has been on fire since taking over as the Giants’ starting catcher when Bengie Molina was traded to the Rangers.  Though his 21-game hitting streak came to an end on Thursday, Posey has helped San Francisco go 17-8 in the month of July, in the process taking the lead in the Wild Card race.  It won’t be easy to edge Jason Heyward and Stephen Strasburg, but Posey has a legitimate chance to claim the National League Rookie of the Year award.

How about José Bautista?  Bautista leads the power-happy Blue Jays with 75 RBI and a .585 slugging percentage (teammate Vernon Wells, who is second, has driven in 55 and slugged .515), but more impressively, leads the majors in homers.  The journeyman played for Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh before finding a home in Toronto, and while he has always shown some pop, the Dominican native’s previous career highs were 16 homers (2006), 63 RBI (2007), and a .420 slugging percentage (2006).

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Michael McGauley

"Where Have You Been Pablo Sandoval?" posted by Michael McGauley

Could "The Panda" be snapping out of his slump? Pablo Sandoval was hitting bullets all over the place Friday night as the Giants finally offered some run support behind Matt Cain in a 5-0 win. Sandoval went 2-for-3 with a home run, a single, and a sac fly, driving in three of the team's five runs which was MORE than enough for Cain. The Giants' right-hander tossed a complete game, one-hit shutout with nine strike outs and zero walks in 122 pitches. Cain pitched well enough to win his last start against the A's, going 8-innings, and getting knicked for an unearned run in a 1-0 loss. The Giants scratched out seven hits off Arizona pitching, but were the beneficiary of six walks, five of which were courtesy of starter Edwin Jackson, who only allowed four hits through seven innings. Sandoval's eighth-inning blast over the center field wall came off struggling reliever Chad Qualls, who may be in jeopardy of losing his closers' job with the D-Backs. By the way, Freddy Sanchez banged out two more hits and drove in a run, boosting his average to .290 while playing brilliantly at second base. Sandoval's average was bumped up to .283, and inched closer to the .300 plateau that we've come to expect (.330 in 2009). NOW FOR THE NEWS... Buster Posey's time is now! The Giants have called up their prized prospect to play some first base and maybe catch once a week, as he continues to get his feet wet at the major league level (after last year's brief September debut). Posey has been tearing up Triple-A with a .349 average, .442 on-base percentage, and 32 RBI's. ApContinue reading ""Where Have You Been Pablo Sandoval?""

Michael McGauley

"Is Aubrey Huff the Final Piece to the Off Season Puzzle?" posted by Michael McGauley

 Hey, we all wanted another bat, right?   I like Aubrey Huff, but I certainly like the 2008 Aubrey Huff better than the 2009 version. I was lucky enough to go to the old Yankee Stadium in July of '08, and saw the Yanks beat the Orioles on a sweltering Wednesday afternoon. Aubrey Huff was smack in the middle of a potent Baltimore Line-up with Brian Roberts at the top, Adam Jones second, Nick Markakis batting third, followed by Huff in the clean-up slot, and Melvin Mora hitting fifth. Huff was batting over .300 at the time, and drove in his 72nd RBI in that game (in July!) -- I remember, because I just looked it up; July 30th, 2008. He went on to finish the season with 108 RBI's, 32 homers, 48 doubles, 182 hits, 96 runs, a .360 on-base percentage in 598 at-bats and 154 games played. Sounds pretty awesome, right? Well, last year was not so good. His average dipped to .241, with 15 home runs and 85 RBI's in time split between Baltimore and Detroit; following a mid-season trade. He had far fewer at-bats though (430), and only 109 hits, so I think it's a matter if consistency and playing everyday for Huff to be successful. I would say probably not a 30 home run guy at A.T.& T. Park, but I would be thrilled with 100 RBI's and 40 doubles and maybe twenty-something home runs, especially hitting behind guys like Freddy Sanchez and Pablo Sandoval. Let's re-visit that opening line-up scenario with the addition of Huff: 2B SanchezSS Renteria3B Sandoval1B HuffLF De RosaRF Schierholtz (Byrnes???)CF RowandC   PoseySP Lincecum  O.K., who hits lead-off? I was thinking Velez would get a look, but that was before they signed Huff, and now have to move De Rosa to left field from third base. My assumption is Sanchez would be at the top, but I would prefer to see him in the number two hole, and bat Renteria seventh where he belongs. Is Buster Posey going to be the opening day catcher? Who knows? Remember, Aaron Rowand was at his best last year in the lead-off slot.   And what's the deal with Adam LaRoche? He turned down a two-year deal for more money from the Giants to accept a one-year deal with Arizona? I thought it was location (East Coast versus West Coast), but apparently, it's all about the ball park. Let's be sure to boo La Roche heartily when the D-Backs come to town. It's kind of like Colorado's Todd Helton, who openly displays his disdain for hitting in the Giants' yard (although I saw him launch a home run in S.F. last season).  To make room on the 40-man roster, Arizona released Eric Byrnes, who has suffered through two miserable, injury-riddled seasons. To me, he would be an ideal fourth outfielder. He's a local guy who grew up here, and still has a home here. In 2007 in 160 games for Arizona, Byrnes had 626 at-bats, 179 hits (.286 average), .353 on-base percentage, 21 homers, 83 RBI's and 50 stolen bases. That was the year Arizona played Colorado in the NLCS. Anyway, I don't know if his body is breaking down as a result of age (33-34ish), or if there's another explanation, but he would be a great get. Hey, Eric Byrnes at 85% is better than Fred Lewis as a fourth outfielder (sorry Fred). If the lead-off slot becomes and issue, Byrnes could (I didn't say "should") be considered an option, and play right field.  Oh, and good bye Merkin Valdez -- you freaking gas can! Great fast ball, but no control. The Giants dumped Valdez to make room on their 40-man roster for Aubrey Huff, and look; we're right back at the beginning of this conversation.  Spring training is getting closer everyday. Let's go!   
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The Big Unit hangs ‘em up posted by David

Big news from the Big Unit: 46-year-old Randy Johnson announced his retirement, concluding his career with a record of 303-166, a 3.29 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.  His five Cy Young Awards – one with the Mariners and four in a row with the Diamondbacks – rank him behind only Roger Clemens, and his 4,875 career strikeouts are second only to Nolan Ryan.  He was a 10-time All-Star, starting the Midsummer Classic four times – twice for each league. Johnson made history in 2004 when he became the oldest player – at 40 – to throw a perfect game.

Johnson was a crucial member of his Diamondbacks team in the 2001 playoffs: after pitching well but losing his only start in the first round, he went 2-0 with 1.12 E.R.A. in the National League Championship Series against the Braves, including a 2-0 complete game shutout against Greg Maddux.  Then in the World Series, Johnson shut down the three-time defending champions from the Bronx with absolute dominance.  He picked up three wins, including a complete game shutout in Game 1 and back-to-back victories in Games 6 and 7, to end the Yankee Dynasty.  He surrendered only nine hits and three walks in 17.1 innings for a remarkable 0.692 WHIP to go along with a 1.04 E.R.A.  For his extraordinary performance, he was named co-MVP of the Series.  A fan attraction everywhere he went, Randy Johnson will surely be missed.

How ‘bout that?

How about Matt Holliday?  Christmas came late for the biggest name on the free agent market this offseason, as Holliday was rewarded for his huge numbers (.353/.419/.604) after his arrival in St. Louis with a very big payday – $120 million over the next seven years.  Though it was painful to watch as it happened, Holliday has been forgiven for his costly error in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Dodgers.  The slugging outfielder hopes to lead his team back to the playoffs in 2010, and with Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter, and Adam Wainwright working together, expectations will be high once again for the Cardinals.

Continue reading "The Big Unit hangs ‘em up"


Run production and slugging: not always hand in hand posted by David

While researching ballplayers of the nineties, I discovered that in 1993, Jeff King of the Pirates drove in 98 runs while hitting only nine home runs and slugging just .406.  I then wondered if any player has ever driven in 100 runs with fewer than 10 homers or with a slugging percentage under .400.  Upon further investigation, I found that in 1996 – the year he turned 40 during the Dog Days of August – Paul Molitor hit just nine homers but accumulated 113 RBI’s while playing for the Twins.  Thanks to his American League-leading 225 hits and batting two hitters behind leadoff man Chuck Knoblauch in the midst of his best season (.448 OBP), Molitor led the Twins in both hitting (.341) and Runs Batted In.  I have yet to find a player with a season of 100+ RBI’s despite a slugging percentage under .400 (Molitor’s was a healthy .468), but I will continue searching.

How ‘bout that?

How about Roy Halladay?  In a classy move following his trade to the Phillies, Halladay wrote an open letter to Blue Jays fans in a full-page ad in the Toronto Sun, thanking them for their “overwhelming passion and devotion.”  Halladay, the longest-tenured member of the Jays, will remain in the team record books for quite some time.  He is second to Dave Stieb in wins by a Blue Jays pitcher with 148, and during his big-league career, which began in 1998, he represented the Jays in six All-Star games, came within one out of a no-hitter in his second major league start, and set a single-season franchise record with 22 wins in 2003, when he won the Cy Young Award.  He also threw 49 Complete Games, including 15 shutouts, good for third and second, respectively, in Blue Jays history.  Halladay’s good-bye makes me feel good as a baseball fan.

Continue reading "Run production and slugging: not ..."

Joe Gunderson

Action starting to heat up in free agency, trade market posted by Joe Gunderson

Hello Everyone,

Sorry I've been absent for a few days.  There really wasn't that much to report or discuss.  However, that has changed in the last 24 or so hours as the annual Winter Meetings are underway.  First, the Twins offered pitcher Carl Pavano arbitration as I said earlier and as of last night he has accepted this offer which essentially means he will be in the Twins rotation in 2010.  To make room for Pavano on the 40 man roster, the Twins designated pitcher Boof Bonser for assignment or release which means he will either be released by the Twins and be with another club for this coming season or he will start the season in the minors. 

There's not much else currently cooking on the Twins front other than that they could possibly look to trade starter Glen Perkins now that Pavano is most assuredly back.  The reason they could do this is because one, there doesn't seem to currently be a spot for him, unless he earns it in Spring Training, and two, he is not on managements greatest side after last season when he did not come forth with the fact that he'd been pitching with an injured shoulder until he had a really rough outing.  Then, when he was ready to return, he was sent to the minors, which upset him, because it meant that he does not have enough service time to qualify for arbitration himself.  He filed a grievance against the club to try and obtain some or all of his service time back, which he did get some, but not enough to qualify for arbitration.

Also, look for the Twins to look into the market for third baseman to see if they can come up with anything.  Former Angel Chone Figgins is apparently off the market already as he has agreed to a four year contract with the Seattle Mariners, however, I'm not sure that this really affects the Twins because he was probably too expensive for the Twins likes.  However, be on the look out for names such as Adrian Beltre, Pedro Feliz or last year's starter Joe Crede, as well as prospect Danny Valencia as possibilities for the hot corner.

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Arizona Diamondbacks News

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Diamondbacks and Giants clash in Free Game of the Day (Big League Stew)

The Arizona Diamondbacks are not the competitive team many expected them to be following their aggressive offseason. At 38-50, they sit dead last in the National League West, 17 games behind the first-place San Francisco Giants, and there’s no clear fix in sight. In fact, the Diamondbacks seem resigned to their fate after trading away a key piece to the bullpen late Friday night. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Crawford's 3 hits power Giants past Diamondbacks 6 (The Associated Press)

Giants manager Bruce Bochy didn't take kindly to what he believed were two intentional pitches thrown inside at Buster Posey, and wound up getting ejected for the first time this season. Brandon Crawford felt the same way and paid the Diamondbacks back the best way he could. Crawford drove in three runs and came within a triple of hitting for the cycle, Jeff Samardzija overcame a shaky first inning to win and San Francisco beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-2 on Friday night. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Diamondbacks trade closer Ziegler to Red Sox for 2 prospects (The Associated Press)

The Arizona Diamondbacks have traded closer Brad Ziegler to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for two minor league prospects. The deal was announced late Friday night after the Diamondbacks' 6-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants. Ziegler, who owns Arizona's club record of 43 consecutive saves, is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the season. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Diamondbacks-Giants preview (The Associated Press)

Having been shut out twice in his bid to make the National League All-Star team, Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb will be seeking some individual glory when he faces Jake Peavy and the San Francisco Giants on Saturday. Lamb was denied a spot among the first 33 players to make the NL squad when the fans voted Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs into a starting role, and Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies was picked as the backup. Lamb finished fourth out of five in the NL balloting that ended before Friday's games, with Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, who took the field Friday with far fewer home runs (10) and RBIs (46) than Lamb, getting the nod. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Three reasons the Diamondbacks are ready to bail on 2016 (Big League Stew)

Arizona traded closer Brad Ziegler to the Red Sox on Friday. The Arizona Diamondbacks are not the competitive team many expected them to be following their aggressive offseason. At 38-50, they sit dead last in the National League West, 17 games behind the first-place San Francisco Giants, and there’s no clear fix in sight. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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