Let me preface this entire post by first saying I lived 99.99% of my life in Arizona. My blood is thin. With that out of the way, it was freezing last night at Petco Park in downtown San Diego. Temperature: 58 degrees. Wind: 12MPH, blowing from the West, aka the Pacific Ocean. AKA, cold as balls. It felt like 40 degrees.
I’m surprised the Arizona Diamondbacks were able to play under such severe conditions. And most of the players on the field had short sleeves on. What are they nuts? The Arizona bullpen was bundled head to toe in long sleeve jackets and hoodies. I always knew pitchers were the smart ones. And speaking of the Diamondbacks bullpen, another solid performance from them. Clearly, they are one of the strengths of this team. 3 IP, 4K, 1BB, 0 H, 0 ER, 1S. That’s how you get it done boys. And thank God, because if they had blown that lead and made us sit in the Southern Cali blizzard for extra innings I would have been pissed!
Chris Young continues to carry the D’Backs so far this season. Ho hum, just another homerun for CY at Petco, where he seems to hit one every game. Last night was a solo shot to extend the D’Backs lead t0 3-1, which against the Padres, is essentially 15-1. If San Diego doesn’t keep the opponents below 2 runs, they pretty much have no shot at winning. It really is sad. I feel bad for Padres fans. I’m just glad I’m not one of them.
Arizona is now 5-1 and heading to Denver to take on the Colorado Fossils. Daniel Hudson on the mound. Let’s get it done, DHud and make the good guys 6-1.
Westside Culture is moving up in the world. The world of baseball blogging that is. From 28th up to 23rd (Ryne Sandberg style) and taking a shot at the Top 20 next month. To celebrate I’ve decided to give you, the fans of Westside Culture, an exclusive interview. (For those of you who may not know, I Kevin Rehberg, aka Westside Culture, do most of the interviews for Westside Culture, thus I will be interviewing myself. Or is it my alter ego? Either way.)
WestSide Culture: So, what’s it like being
the biggest bad ass on the planet ranked 23rd in MLB’s Fan Blogs??
Kevin Rehberg: You know, it’s a daily grind. Let me put it this way. Beat writers constantly talk about the daily grind for baseball players and having to get up for 162 games per year, even when you’re playing the Rockies and the Mariners. For me, I have to be ready 365 and always prepared. I’ve found shots of espresso and RedBull throughout the day do the trick.
Recently Ubaldo Jimenez threw at Troy Tulowitzki and was suspended 5 games, what are your thoughts?
Troy, if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Ubaldo and Tulo had been yapping back and forth for weeks, Troy had to know in the back of his mind getting thrown at was a possibility. Get over it. It’s baseball. With that being said, a 5 game suspension for a starting pitcher means he misses one start. What Ubaldo did was bush league and warrants at least missing a couple of starts.
D’Backs take on the Giants tonight in Arizona. Predictions?
D’Backs win. Ian Kennedy owns the Giants, although any time your opposing pitcher is Tim Lincecum, you cannot guarantee a win. I’ll say 1-0 Arizona and Paul Goldschmidt’s solo HR off of Lincecum in the 4th is the only scoring.
Sorry to cut you short, but I’ve got shit to do. Do you mind if I post this as is and we can reschedule for later this evening to finish up the rest?
Do what you gotta’ do.
## update, interview continued
Well, you were wrong about the Giants v D’Backs game.
Yes, still I picked the correct winner and nailed the Paul Goldschmidt solo HR off of Tim Lincecum. So there.
Give me your 2012 World Series picks.
A please would be nice. An American League team will play a National League team.
Who is your favorite MLB Blogger, besides yourself?
Hmm… I’m really feeling Dallas Latos’ blog, I also like Diamond’s are a Girl’s Best Friend, and for obvious reasons, Down the Line with the Phillies Ball Girls. Although that blog is definitely not West Coast. Shame on them.
The second game in the final stretch of Kevin’s Cactus League Road Trip 2012, featured the Arizona Diamondbacks versus the Chicago Cubs. The game was at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, which is home to both the D’Backs and Rockies. I’ll give you the highlights of said game and then some photos.
1st inning: J-Up, Justin Upton, doubles. Miguel Montero hits the world’s longest single, scoring Upton. (1-0 D’Backs)
3rd inning: J-Up doubles again, scoring Aaron Hill. (2-0 D’Backs)
4th inning: Paul “Gold-Finger” Goldschmidt homers deep to center field. I estimate about a 440 solo shot. (3-0 D’Backs)
7th inning: Ian Stewart doubles, scoring Blake DeWitt. (3-1 D’Backs)
8th inning: Micah Gibbs singles, DeVoss scores. (3-2 D’Backs) <—- no idea who they are
9th inning: D’Backs closer J.J. Putz shuts the door on the Cubbies retiring two players with the best names of the day, Dave (not Chappelle) Sappelt and Blake Lalli-pop.
Witnessed: Ian Kennedy mowing down Cubs hitters left and right. 7IP, 4K, 1ER. Ian Stewart throwing his mac down on a couple of shorties pre-game.
Not witnessed: Anthony Rizzo, Jed Hoyer, Theo Epstein. Grrr. Stupid split squads.
Here at WestSide Culture, we like to save the best for last. So, our final Cactus League Spring Training Preview will be the Arizona Diamondbacks. Last year, the D’Backs came from nowhere, pulling the worst-to-first rabbit out of their 59FIFTY caps. This year Los Diamondbacks have el gigante target (yo no se the spanish word for “target”) on their backs.
Arizona’s pitching staff is stacked like the dishes in my sink. Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Trevor Cahill, Josh Collmenter have all proven themselves at the big league level to be very, very good. Kennedy was in the running for the NL Cy Young a season ago. His record of 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA is downright disgusting. Others to watch on the AZ staff are prospects Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer, who apparently has 9 big league pitches. Both feature top-notch, ace like stuff. Joe Saunders will eat up innings, probably some doughnuts, too. The bullpen is lights out with David Hernandez and closer J.J. Putz.
Expect the D’Backs offense, which finished 2011 ranked 9th overall in runs scored, to be even more powerful this year. Justin Upton (not to be mistaken for Kate ‘meow’ Upton) is an MVP candidate. J.D. Drew will be back from an injury which forced him to miss much of 2011. His bat, along with new D’Back Jason Kubel’s stick, give the Snakes serious venom.
NL Manager of the Year, Kirk Gibson, promises his team will remain hungry. I say, “If hungry is what they need, than let them fast.” D’Backs win over 95 games and repeat as NL West Champs.
Bet on it. Just don’t blame me if you roll Snake eyes.
MLB.com recently came out with a list of the top 100 prospects in all of baseball. The Arizona Diamondbacks have 3 of the top 21 best prospects and they all are pitchers. It would have been 4 in the top 25, but the D’Backs traded away their best prospect, Jarrod Parker. Parker, the #8 overall prospect, was sent to Oakland in exchange for the former ace of the A’s staff, Trevor Cahill.
The top prospects in the D’Backs organization are as follows: Trevor Bauer (#9 overall in MLB), Archie Bradley (#20 overall) and Tyler Skaggs (#21 overall). Add them to the mix with dominating righties Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill, Josh Collmenter and Daniel Hudson and you begin to see why the D’Backs are becoming known for their pitching.
Trevor Bauer is from North Hollywood, CA and went to UCLA. The D’Backs drafted him with the #3 overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft and he has a very good chance of making the big league club this season. Find out more about him on twitter @baueroutage.
Tyler Skaggs is from Santa Monica, CA and was originally drafted by the Angels. Skaggs along with Joe Saunders were sent to Arizona in exchange for Dan Haren. Skaggs started the 2011 All-Star Futures game in Phoenix, along with Paul Goldschmidt. Follow him on twitter @TylerSkaggs23.
Archie Bradley was drafted with the #7 overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft, which along with Bauer, gave the D’Backs two of the top 7 overall picks. Bradley is all kinds of nasty and is big. He throws 98-99 MPH and check out this breaking ball. Unlike Skaggs and Bauer, he is just 19 and not quite major league ready. Bradley’s twitter handle is @archiebradley7.
These 3 players legitimately give the D’Backs 6 potenital aces, including Cahill, Kennedy and Hudson. Provided they all can stay healthy and the prospects live up to projections, Arizona has an incredible front line of arms, unmatched by the rest of the NL West.