The Arizona Diamondbacks provide plenty of fodder for rank relief between Heath Bell and JJ Putz. This time it was our man JJ stepping up to the plate. Like our other rank relief feature tonight, the Diamondbacks took a 1-0 lead into the 9th inning. Putz hasn’t been awful this year, but tonight he had to face the wonderfully plump Kung-Fu Panda. Angel Pagan continued his solid season by getting a hit and stealing second – but he didn’t really need to – he’d be trotting home very soon. Sandoval crushed an 0-1 pitch to deep left center field.
The damage: 2 Ks but one big long home run. JJ should be fine though. He’ll have Bell to talk him through the grieving process.
It wasn’t long ago that the Diamondbacks were the feel good story in all of baseball. It seemed like that 2011 team was Justin Upton and a bunch of guys, and they rolled into the NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers where they came ever so close to advancing to the 2011 NLCS. The model worked as it should, a team built around a young superstar overachieved a year ahead of schedule. Bruce Springsteen was being played on the stadium organ. Good times were had by all. With some luck and decent moves, a supporting cast would be built around Justin Upton for years to come.
It would never be more than a mirage for Arizona. This offseason wasn’t about who they added, but rather the trade that sent their franchise player to Atlanta to play with his brother. The package the Dbacks received in return for Upton wasn’t all that exciting, and it’s clear that they settled for much less than they could have yielded at other points if they were so set on trading Upton.
The organization continually remarked behind closed doors that Upton wasn’t “a winning player”. Go ahead and Google it now, you won’t find any other reasons behind why Upton was dealt. That’s because there were no good reasons. It was a stupid move and even when Arizona makes it back to the postseason in another eight or so seasons, it still won’t be a good move. It didn’t have to go down this way, and the Dbacks have unofficially stuck their flag in rebuild mountain.
They traded Trevor Bauer for being a dipshit, too.
Major offseason moves:
Traded Justin Upton for Martin Prado and Randall Delgado
Signed Eric Chavez
Traded for Tony Campana
Signed Rod Barajas
Traded Trevor Bauer for Didi Gregorius
Signed Brandon McCarthy to a 2-year, $15.5 million dollar contract
After the jump we’ll take a look at the 2013 Diamondbacks projected lineup and pitching staff.