Think Dan Haren wasn’t a little extra fired up to face his former team, the Arizona Diamondbacks? Think again. The DH went 3 scoreless innings and struck out 7 of the final 8 batters he faced. Who said it’s just Spring Training?
I’m sure glad Haren is in the AL West and the D’Backs, being in the NL West, don’t have to face him. Jered Weaver, Ervin Santana and CJ Wilson are 3 other reasons I’m glad the Angels don’t play in the NL West.
The D’Backs ended up getting Joe Saunders and Tyler Skaggs for Haren in a deal that worked out well for both clubs. Skaggs, who projects to be a future #1 or #2 pitcher for the D’Backs as soon as next season, had a rough first outing. He followed it up today with 2 scoreless innings and a K.
The Milk Man is delivering. These days, it doesn’t come in handy glass bottles and dropped off on your doorstep. It comes in the form of mammoth home runs deep into the lawn seats at Scottsdale Stadium. One of his shots almost hit the Salty Señorita patio in right field, where they do have glass bottles, but they ain’t filled with milk.
On Tuesday, Melky homered from both sides of the plate. How do you follow that up? Well, it’s tough, but how about a 3/3 performance with an RBI and run scored. I know, not quite as impressive, still three hits is solid no matter what league you’re batting in.
Quick Cactus League notes…. Jeff Samardzija pitched three scoreless innings with 3K’s as he makes his case for the Cubs starting rotation… Manny Ramirez has an injury, that didn’t take long…. Jesus Montero continues to impress for Seattle, adding 2 more hits to his total…. don’t look now but the Mariners are 5-1…. Josh Reddick had another 2 RBI for the A’s…. APB Alert, MIA Yoenis Cespedes, Jurickson Profar, Mike Trout… Wednesday marked a day of hitters catching up with pitchers… Tattooed were Trevor Cahill 3ER, Tyler Skaggs 4ER, Jonathan Sanchez 3ER, Tim Lincecum 5ER, all of those in one or two innings for each of them.
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.