I haven’t decided yet if I’m excited about baseball starting in a month. This is partly due to the fact that the Diamondbacks are so up in the air. They made many changes over the the break, but none big enough for most fans to take notice. I would think this wouldn’t be the case considering the Dbacks are coming off back to back losing seasons. I think more people heard about the name change of the stadium than they did about Glaus being moved out of town or the return of Miguel Batista. This brings me to my first point: Chase Field? What’s up with that? How can you build inflatable slide for sale tradition and history when you change the name of the park? I’m not sure I like it. I’d rather the Diamondbacks played in a ball park and not on a field. And how do you abbreviate Chase Field? “I’m going down to CF to see a game.” That doesn’t sound as cool as, “I’m going down to the BOB to catch a game.” Change. Change isn’t always good.
The Diamondbacks seem to be up in the air with their pitching rotation. Yes, we unloaded Javier Vasquez, but there’s no surprise there. We also lost Shawn Estes through free agency to San Diego. I know. No tears there either. Okay, how about Lance Cormier and Oscar Villareal? We traded those two to Atlanta for a catcher, Johnny Estrada. I’m excited about Estrada, but I sure hate to see Cormier and Villareal go. I think we gave up some good talent. I know our bull pen pretty much stunk last season, but that trade might come back to haunt us. Keep your eyes on those two in Atlanta this season. Okay, back to the rotation. Who’s left? and who did we get?
In a trade with the Whitesox, we got pitchers Orlando Hernandez, Luis Vizcaino and infielder Chris Young for Vasquez. Hernandez was 9-9 for the World Series champs last year. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, try “El Duque” from the Yankees. Yeah, he used to be something. Let’s hope he still is. But we traded our #1 starter for their #5. He only pitched in relief in the World Series last year. Vizcaino is a relief pitcher, so add him to the bull pen if you’re keeping track. As I mentioned before, Miguel Batista returns to the Dbacks in a trade that sent 3rd baseman Troy Glaus and top prospect short stop Sergio Santos to the Bluejays for Batista and 2nd baseman Orlando Hudson. Josh Byrnes, that’s our GM in case you “really” haven’t been keeping up with the Dbacks, said that Batista will be in the starting rotation. Hmmm. I like Batista, but the guy has been a closer for the last two years, 31 saves last year. Now we are going to plunk him right back into the rotation and expect what in his first year back? I wonder. Please let me be surprised with this one.
Okay, so that’s two new starters in (Batista & Hernandez) and two old starters gone (Vasquez & Estes). So who was left from last year? Well, Brandon Webb just signed a new contract, $19.5 million for 4 years. That’s sweet! I’m thinking Webb might be our #1. Don’t forget about Russ Ortiz. What a disappointment he was last year. He had not won fewer than 14 games in the past 8 seasons, and last year he wins a measely 5. Sad. At 31, can he turn it around and be like Randy and Curt? How about just a little consistency and health for Ortiz. Lastly, but certainly not in talent, is Brad Halsey. He was only thing that made me feel good about the Randy Johnson trade. Remember we got him from the Yankees in that trade. He is really good, but he’s also 24. Last year was good for him being in the starting rotation. He only won 8 games, but that was more than Estes and Ortiz, and that was his first year as a starter. I wonder what we can expect out of him this year?
So that’s it: Webb, Hernandez, Batista, Halsey and Ortiz in that order. Oh, but wait. What about Claudio Vargas? I’m not sure how we ended up with him, but I do believe I saw his name on the roster, and I remember reading something about him signing with the Dbacks this month. He went 9-9 last year for Washington; where does that put him in this rotation and does it get him in the rotation? If so, who’s out? Let’s hear it Dback fans. What do you think about this 6 man rotation and Dbacks?