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There’s Little Reason To Worry About The Dbacks, Zack Greinke be Damned

Zack Greinke

The Dbacks are sick of losing. They’ve been bad for several years now and finally decided to do something about it. They hired Tony La Russa as their new chief baseball officer and former MLB pitcher/agent Dave Stewart as their general manager. Then they went to work and made a big splash this offseason with a lot of hot stove activity. The first move was the stunning and deflating signing of former Dodger co-ace Zack Greinke. We were all shocked and disgusted, but they didn’t stop there.

The next big move would come at the expense of their already depleted farm system when the Dbacks traded number one draft pick Dansby Swanson, pitching prospect Aaron Blair and everyday outfielder Ender Inciarte to the Braves for Shelby Miller. The Dbacks made more moves bringing in Tyler Clippard to help strengthen the bullpen and then traded for Jean Segura to shore up the middle infield.

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After the flurry of moves many Dodgers fans are worried about the snakes this season. I think their worry may be a bit premature and Dave Cameron of Fangraphs agrees as well. Last season the Dbacks finished in third place with a 79-83 record. This season they are projected to finish with a similar record. Fangraphs is projecting them to finish in the neighborhood of 79-81 wins.

The Dbacks obviously improved their rotation with the additions of Greinke and Miller, and the acquisitions of Clippard and Segura look decent on paper as well. So why are the Dbacks projected to finish so poorly in 2016? One word answers this question….depth. Arizona has no organizational depth within their system. Their farm system is picked clean and if anyone gets hurt they’re stuck with replacement level minor leaguers to fill in.

Their pitching staff will be improved but not enough overall to make up for the lack of depth. Greinke and Miller will be good, but Patrick Corbin is only two years removed from Tommy John surgery only pitching in 16 games last season. The backend of the rotation is a huge question mark with Robbie Ray and former Dodger farmhand Rubby De La Rosa.

Things aren’t very good on the offensive side either. Three quarters of the starting infield consists of Segura, Chris Owings, and Jake Lamb. Segura had two consecutive below average seasons. Yasmany Tomas was completely underwhelming, and who knows if David Peralta can repeat his breakout performance from last season. A.J. Pollack and Dodger killer Paul Goldschmidt are great players but they’re bound to dip a little after both having career years last year. Losing Inciarte is really going to hurt them. The Snakes will miss his contact hitting, speed, and solid defense. He was worth over three wins last season.

So what happens if anyone gets hurt? As Cameron noted, there’s nobody above replacement level in their farm system. They don’t have anybody. Who do they have? Nick Ahmed? Brandon Drury? Tuffy Gosewisch? I was checking out their triple-a roster for the Reno Aces and it looks pretty bleak. The big arms down there are Tim Stauffer and Wesley Wright. When the biggest bat you can call up is former Dodger Kyle Jensen then you best pray everybody stays healthy.

This is why depth is so important to have. Major league clubs suffer so much attrition over the 162 game season. Having a dependable and productive farm system is so vital to survival. That’s why the Dodgers have such an advantage with their rich and talented system. The Dbacks won’t be terrible but I don’t think they’ll be very competitive this year. With a weak bullpen, question marks in the backend of their rotation, little production from three quarters of the infield and a barren farm system means the snakes will probably only be fringy competitive at best. Dodger fans shouldn’t be worried. I’m not concerned about the Snakes this season and neither should you.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

84 thoughts on “There’s Little Reason To Worry About The Dbacks, Zack Greinke be Damned

  1. Worry about Zack? He is no longer a Dodger. Why worry about things over which you have no control. I will be more curious about what kind of a reaction he will get the first time he steps on the Dodger Stadium mound as a D-Back. Anyone care to predict if he is booed or cheered>? I am far more concerned about a crowded outfield, and how the rotation will work out….

  2. The only “worry” is the fact the dbacks are better. We will face Greinke, Miller and Corbin several times this year. The question becomes how many L’s will they hang on us.

    1. Badger the Dbacks have that other top pitcher, that they drafted, I can’t remember his name, but he was hit in the face, when he was pitching. I haven’t heard anything about him. Do you remember his name?

      1. Archie Bradley. I’ve seen him up close. He’s good. Very good. Still don’t know his status but if he makes it back he’s a #3.

        1. Thanks Badger. It is really weird that we haven’t heard much about Bradley. I know he wasn’t seriously hurt, but why haven’t we heard more about him.

  3. If we were to look at the 2016 rotation as a set of match ups, I think it would look something like this:
    Dodgers #1 vs opponent #1 = Dodgers better than 100% of teams
    Dodgers #2 vs opponent #2 = Dodgers better than 50% of teams
    Dodgers #3 vs opponent #3 = Dodgers better than 60% of teams
    Dodgers #4 vs opponent #4 = Dodgers better than 80% of teams
    Dodgers #5 vs opponent #5 = Dodgers better than 80% of teams
    Based on a rotation of Kershaw, Ryu, Kazmir, Anderson, Maeda,
    That should allow the Dodgers to win the Division again but they will need one more pitcher to go deep into the postseason. That pitcher might already be in the organization. If they keep Urias’ inning low going into September, he could not only get a September invite, but like Seager last year, stay on the playoff team. If Urias pitches 50 innings for the Dodgers after getting that call up, he would have to be limited to maybe 100 innings in the minors.

    1. Bum the Dodgers have a better 3 and 4 then other teams. And if Ryu is back to himself, the Dodgers can match up to any other team’s number two pitcher. In fact, Ryu is like a number one, for most teams.

  4. The Dodgers have plenty of outfielders both on the mlb team and in their minors. They don’t seem to have a third baseman that might be ready in 2 or 3 years. Verdugo will be ready to take over RF in 2 or 3 years thus freeing Puig to, ready for this, 3rd base.

    1. Bum Roberts said that Kike will be the back up for Cory, and Joc. He said that Utley and Howie are going to handle second, and Roberts said that they have third covered too. One thing I like what Roberts has said, is that he is going to keep Turner on third, and Cory will only play short.

  5. This just in: Dodger’s discover Puig is smart – they found he has “Wisdom” teeth.

    Now the bad news: They pulled them out!

  6. I am more worried about SF than the Snakes. Grienke will not have the same season as last year pitching in Arizona. Arizona paid to much for Grienke and Miller. Five years from now LaRussa and Stewart will be gone. Plan failed. All teams who have put all their eggs in one basket have failed.

    I do not see Puig playing 3rd. I like Turner, He is a junkyard dog.

    1. I think they can keep Turner, because I think he will take a team friendly contract, to stay in LA. That is if the Dodgers offer him, a decent contract three or four year contract. Turner might take that kind of guarantee, because he has had problems with knees. If Turner can stay healthy, and play in enough games, then the Dodgers might offer him a three or four year contract.

    2. I have long been a Turner supporter and said more than most that he should be the 3rd baseman when Guerrero’s bat briefly said he should be the 3rd baseman.
      Verdugo won’t vie for the RF job for at least 2 years and more likely not before 2019. By then Turner might be better as a utility player and if so, the Dodgers do not have someone yet identified as the heir apparent. That’s when an experiment with Puig could be plausible.
      Puig has the physical agility to play third if he keeps his weight down and in a couple of years, might have learned enough to play 3rd mentally as well. Wild shot, yes. Fun thought, also yes.

  7. I’m really happy for J.T. getting his starting assignment which he truly worked for and deserves…
    I don’t know why, but the thought of Puig at 3B reminds me of Garvey back in the day… Leave the children at home and extend the netting!!!

  8. If the Dodgers play well no one in the div will touch them. If they don’t play well then they’ll end up 2nd or 3rd. Pretty simple game, really. Just enjoy the season. Let the professionals worry. They’re way smarter than all the posters here.

  9. Michael, it’s the nature of the beast… We will be constantly reminded of the Hamels, the Chapmans, the Zack G’s ad nauseum… The only potential cure will be a Ring and many then will probably bitch “Why did it take 6 or 7 games”???
    ST will answer a lot of serious questions!!! Was my comparing Puig to a fencepost wrong??? Can Joc adjust to MLB pitching etc.,etc.??? Gonna be fun for sure…

    1. Why you bringing up those names? Hamels never was a Dodger, Greinke won’t pitch here again, Chapman is in New York. Yes, all of them would have made us better but the FAZ coughed up a hairball on every one of those non-moves. Time to move on.

      1. Are you being facetious? Those topics are obsessions for the FAZ haters. Some of us were over it as soon as it happened.

        ….you also mentioned that the Dodgers did little to nothing to improve the team. Yeah, we can go over ad infinitum about the new starting pitchers and whether they can really fill the void left by Greinke or whether Blanton is a signing of any consequence, or this or that, but it occurred to me that you omit the fact that Seager is beginning the season at SS instead of Rollins. To me that’s a big upgrade right there.

        1. The Braintrust had nothing to do with Seager. I agree that he should be a big upgrade over Rollins. The rest of the position players are the same as last year, with question marks all over the place. Will Puig be the guy from 2013 or 2015? Will Joc be the 1st half guy or 2nd half guy? Will Grandal and Turner and Kike recover from off-season surgery? Will Ethier be 2015 guy or 2014 guy?

          I assume that they will marginally more competent than they were after May last year but since it is the same guys, I’m not sure how much better they will be. They are still slow as a group, and the offense is still based on the 3 run HR like in the old Earl Weaver days. I don’t see them being good at manufacturing runs if necessary or at situational hitting – they haven’t been in the past and with the same players it seems unlikely to change.

          You belittle guys who complain that Greinke was allowed by the Braintrust to a team in the same division, but don’t have an answer that makes sense. They have “depth” now instead, but the depth is guys who are coming off of injury (Ryu and McCarthy) and we don’t know how they will do, and the 2 new guys that they have signed to replace Greinke (Maeda and Kazmir). None of these are as good as Zach – and having injured players isn’t really depth. I doubt that Ryu will break camp with the team as they are going slow, and the rotation that they will have to start the season isn’t as good as last year’s:

          2015 – Kershaw, Greinke, McCarthy, Anderson and ?
          2016 – Kershaw, Kazmir, Maeda, Anderson and Wood

          The bullpen is the same as last year’s except they have Blanton instead of Nicasio. I don’t like Blanton but admit I haven’t seen him since he was reborn as a reliever with his shiny new slider. This is just fiddling around the margins though since he will be a middle reliever and we still have the same problems in the 7th and 8th innings as we have had for the past 3 years – how do we get the ball to Jansen?

          The D-backs will be better than last year but are projected to win as few as 78 games next year by PECOTA (who project the Royals to only win 79 next year by the way and they projected them to finish last in the AL West last year) or as many as 86 by USA Today. Most fans believe that the Giants will be the Dodgers’ primary competition next year. It’s just that the D-backs will be better making it tougher for the Dodgers to win the division (and the Giants too) and many fans just don’t think that the Braintrust has done enough to improve the team for 2016.

          1. Why is everything a referendum on the “Braintrust?” No, the current FO didn’t draft Seager, but that wasn’t my point. If the perpetual whiners here make the argument that this year’s team is not upgraded over last year’s, then I can argue that a full year of Seager is a most definite improvement over what the team got from Rollins last year. I don’t know why that somehow has to facilitate an argument on the “Braintrust”. It’s really not that controversial.

            That argument you’re making about injured pitchers not being depth is rather weird. The whole idea of this exercise we keep having here when we post is that we’re projecting. I think we can reasonably PROJECT that, at some point, those pitchers WON’T be injured, will be at full strength, and pitching based on their past abilities. So….ergo…we can factor them into the future depth of the starting rotation.

            Our upgrade of the pen is Blanton …NOW, but it’s unlikely that things will remain static. Can Hatcher pitch a little more like he did at the end of last year? That’s an upgrade. Will Montas and his 98 MPH fastball and plus slider be contributing after the ASB. That’s an upgrade. Will the team acquire someone else?….or will the bp be absolutely set with no possibility of any change over the course of the season? I think that answer is obvious.

          2. The Giants have to play the same number of games vs the DBacks as we do, so any improvement should cut both ways. Remember last season it was the lowly Padres who brought the Giants down while we struggled at AT&T.

            You know I agree about the bullpen; it’s been an Achilles’ heel for three seasons. Yet the club keeps trying to turn failed relievers into starters. Maybe some of our “depth” can be traded for a reliable setup guy or maybe one of the young guys will step up–otherwise it could be another disappointment.

            I wasn’t a Weaver fan, but his clubs did win a couple of rings.

          3. Dodger rick how can a team, and a team’s offense, play, and score runs as a team, when the line up is being constantly changed, almost everyday? Mattingly changed this line up, way to much, and platooned by match ups, way to much. And because of this, a player like Heisy, was playing over players, who were much better players, merely because he hit from the right side, and because he once, was able to play all of the outfield positions. Most baseball players, and hitters, produce much better, when there is constance in there game, and there at bats. With out consistent playing time, and at bats, players can’t perform as well, and hitters, can’t make the right adjustments, to keep up with the adjustments, that the opposing team’s pitchers, will make, to try to beat the other team’s hitters.

        2. Yes. I was being ironical.
          They f’d it up and you were over it as soon as it happened. You don’t live in the past. Good for you! But you are willing to live in the future, which has as little to do with the now as the past does.
          We’ll see. Maybe going with the same lineup will yield different results. Maybe Arizona and SF signing the better free agents will cave in on them. Maybe Maeda and Kazmir will both pitch 200 innings of 3.0. Maybe Puig. Maybe Pederson. We could maybe be good maybe. It’s going to be interesting.

          1. Badger you were right about Joc’s swing. It isn’t a compact swing, like I read. It is a better swing because he was not swinging from his heels, but it is still a long swing. I read the rest about Joc, and Joc worked with the same coach, that taught him the big swing. I don’t think that was a good idea. I know the new hitting instructor has worked a little with Joc, but I am worried because you are right, it is still a very long swing. I know he eliminated picking his foot up, for better timing, but it does look like the same long swing, once I took another look.

          2. It’s always preferable to live in the now. Thing is, as it relates to the Dodgers, that means that the players jogging around and playing long toss. *yawn* So we speculate, project, analyze, or, in the case of the FAZ haters, ruminate.

    2. Peterj I think you are right. There is a lot to be excited about this year. With a new manager, and new coaches, it isn’t going to be the same old thing this year. And just being able to watch Cory start his major league career, will be fun to watch. I am excited to see Maeda pitch in the majors. Meada might have more energy then Kike, with all the energy he puts out, with that pregame work out, that he does, before he pitches.

  10. Badger, because those names are brought up in most every new posting… To you it’s a hairball, to some common sense!!! I’m thrilled to have the NL ROY here and Urias and De Leon waiting in the wings….

  11. One needs to absorb the phrase, “revert to the mean.” Greinke is projected to have an FIP of around 3.30, which is a far cry from the 1.66 he had last year, and is in the ballpark of his career average. So why did he pitch so well for the Dodgers in his contract year (there’s a hint right there)? For one, his BABIP was an improbably low and impossible to maintain level. Perhaps, we can speculate, this was due in part to his preferred battery mate, who the Dodgers signed in large part because they valued his pitch framing ability. Yup, Greinke’s success was due entirely to Yasmani Grandal. And to think, some of the losers here STILL pine for Matt Kemp!

    Both Kazmir and Maeda have projected FIPs of 3.66 – a tick below for sure, but not that far off from Greinke when he settles back into his normal self….and ages another year. Ryu should be a tad better than those two, and doesn’t rank as highly only because he’s not expected to be at full strength until later in the season. McCarthy is already pitching off a mound. He and Ryu just need to build up arm strength and endurance. The Dodgers were different teams last year before and after the all star break. I think the same applies this year, but for the better as it applies to pitching. Montas will be available in the bp by then as well.

    The Dodgers were the 27 Yankees before the ASB last year. They destroyed pitching. They were a juggernaut. … They sputtered big time during the 2nd half. It’s anybody’s guess why, and the travails of Joc are like the team in a microcosm. Somewhere in the tale of those two halves there has to be a mean. I expect the Dodgers to be a better hitting team than they were in July and September. I think it’s reasonable to assume they will be one of the better offenses. The Dbags were good last year, but they lost one of their best players in Enciarte, and have some pretty significant offensive mediocrity in that lineup. They better hope Goldschmidt and Pollock never miss a single game.

    The Giant’s team – offensively and defensively is worrisome. Cueto scares me. Smardijada not so much. He was actually terrible last year. The Giants overpaid for him based entirely on his ability to eat innings.

    1. Patch, I have stated previously that Greinke will very miss much pitching to Grandal. The Grandal doubters have continually discounted his contributions to the pitchers. Some here have stated that pitch framing is an overstated metric. Greinke differed. Grandal was Greinke’s chosen catcher. Wellington Castillo is nowhere close to the catcher Grandal is, and Greinke will feel that. Greinke will still be an outstanding pitcher for the snakes, but not the same 2015 pitcher.

      While I would have liked to have had the Dodgers re-sign Greinke, there is no doubt that he is a mercenary. I have no concrete evidence, nor heard any rumor, but it was always my belief that Grandal did not go on the DL because Greinke wanted/needed him behind the plate. Greinke continued to win so it worked without Grandal being able to hit. Grandal started games 2, 3, and 5 in NLDS. Games 2 and 5 were Greinke games. Game 3 was a Mattingly screwup.

      1. Greinke lost game 5. It was Grandal’s fault. Trade the bum.
        I’m going way out on a limb here and predicting Greinke will out pitch the holy bejesus out of both Kazmir and Maeda. I’m also predicting Grandal will have a better offensive year than he did last year. He’d better. And it should be easy for him to do it. He sucked. I’m also predicting pitch framing will go the way of the ’76 Bill Veeck shorts. Bad ideas both. Badgerdamus has spoken.

          1. He was eight years younger and threw about 3 mph faster.

            If Zack were to give credit where credit is due, he’d kick over a portion of that 200 million to Grandal.

  12. I know this is the time of the year for the optimists, but Maeda hasn’t thrown a pitch to a big league hitter yet and Ryu hasn’t pitched with his repaired shoulder. Realistically, go down from there in comparing staffs. I am more worried about the bullpen, though. I think Blanton will be a big help and will pitch a lot. Don’t be surprised if he is the #5 guy before the season is over. If that happens, the season is done and the giants will win in a walk.

    1. Blanton a #5 starting pitcher? Wow, you must really anticipate a total collapse of the starting rotation to anticipate that. Blanton will never start again. He was washed up as a starter and only had a renaissance when he started throwing that slider more and took a reliever mentality.

      Starting pitching options for this year:

      …….additional options after ASB or September
      possibly Urias

      You’re right in thinking Blanton will be a big help in the pen, but barring some catastrophic epidemic sweeping through the locker room, I don’t see how he ever starts a game.

  13. I think the bull pen will be a strength before the season ends. Frias, Baez, and Garcia will all be a year older. All three struggled last year which is typical of all young players. Avilan and Howell will be the left handers. I would be surprised if Blanton is on the team. If you could just teach Ravin to have some movement on his fast ball, he could be dangerous. Secondly, I like the fact that Maddox will be with the pitchers all spring.

    The video certainly shows that Pederson has a different swing. He is saying all the right things. I cannot wait until next Thursday to see the first ST game

  14. The ‘plan’ that’s been being discussed here has been around longer the arrival of the newer front office. How the newer F/O is executing the plan is fairly abstract from my viewpoint. In several ways I can see how it’s beneficial for the team in case of injury and also in check if they think they’re too special to fallow any and all instructions, like the whole team is almost in their contract year. But to me it sure seems the long way around the fix what problems were obvious. I think this years rotation is improved over last years the way Bum explained. That makes much sense Bum. The closest viewpoint I have is from my couch and while I think the Dodgers are going to be better this year than last I’m not sure FAZ should get all the credit as our top prospects were also around longer the the F/O. Most here are Colletti haters. I am not. His draft picks don’t look so shabby to me and on that the jury is still out on FAZ. I’m not believing anyone here is clear on how FAZ is executing the plan and if you’re not scratching your head on some of these signings then you must think FAZ walks on water. At any rate, if you even do have complete understanding of what FAZ is doing then you’d also have to be aware how it’d be complicated to someone like me. If it’s to be chalked down as to my stupidity then I’m okay to being stupid. Rightly or wrongly it came to me by way of my couch that Kasten and company gets the credit for Roberts being manager. Kasten and company are also who can be credited for ‘the trade’. I am crediting FAZ for heading towards growing home talent as depending on free agency has always done more harm that good in the long run. But they better start thinking human.

      1. Quas give yourself, and your meds credit. What you wrote does make sense. Almost everyone, has meds at this point, unless yours are strickly natural.

          1. Quas I was in a pain management program, but now I only go to my main doctor. I was injured in a car accident when I was 24, and I didn’t start taking pain meds, until Twenty years later. And Badger my brother wants me to try medical marijuana, but that is to expensive, compared to the other, and they drug test.

      2. You’re pretty even when you’re not medicated Quas.
        I didn’t just say that.
        It seems to me all this depth is planning for injury. So, a dead pool must be constructed.
        First to the DL? I got Ryu starting the season there. Second – Turner. Third – Kendrick. Fourth – Anderson. Fifth – Grandal. Fifth.5 – Crawford. Sixth – somebody from the bullpen. Seventh – Puig. He’s gonna scroinge a plesius latissimus trying to carry this team.

  15. Why are some of our comments spaced out properly, and some are just a long line, of short sentences, or half sentences? And it looks like they have changed from earlier comments, that had the proper spacing. It is very hard to proof read before posting.

  16. MJ, I suspect that Mattingly platooned as much as he did and changed the lineup based on match-ups on instruction from the Braintrust. Saberguys like platooning as it maximizes the abilities of your players based on match-ups. Expect more of the same from Roberts this year.

      1. no – that’s my point. we will see platoons this year and we should. MJ said that the team would be better this year without Mattingly because we would see the same lineup daily without all of the platooning. I disagree.

    1. Dodger rick Mattingly made the line up, not the front office. Do you really think that this front office continued to play Grandal and Pederson, who had not hit for a long time? Both hit 188 since the Allstar break. In fact Joc hit under 200, since the start of the second month of the season. This front office does know stats, and these line ups, and platoons, we’re not based on good stats. Friedman didn’t make the line ups for Joe Maddan, and didn’t make the line up, for Mattingly.

      1. I can guarantee you that the Braintrust has a lot to do with the lineup. Every front office makes suggestions about what players should play and so forth. With all of the statistical “suggestions” available from the Braintrust, I know that Mattingly received more instruction about whom to play and when.

        I have read enough about Billy Beane and his relationships with managers to know how it works. Beane doesn’t think that managers are important and fires managers who won’t do what he says (Art Howe for example and the Dodgers’ new bench coach, Bob Geren). Friedman and Zaidi are cut from the same pattern.

        Pederson played every day until they couldn’t stand it any more mostly because he is the best defensive CF on the team and they wanted to give him a chance to hit his way out of it. Grandal was hurt and should have been benched earlier but he is a great pitch framer (if you believe that can be measured) and so he kept playing.

        1. DR you are 100% correct! FAZ influence: lineups, shifts, who gets the call in the bullpen.
          I wouldn’t doubt they are trying to call the actual pitch in specific situations.
          Remember the question “who is running the team?” In traditional baseball it’s the manager; in modern baseball it’s this holistic endeavor which I don’t understand 🙁
          Maybe one day I will 🙂

          1. Why doesn’t Billy just suit up and manage the team if it’s so easy? I’ll bet nobody’s looking over Bochy’s shoulder.

    2. But Rick Mattingly’s platoons were not based on the true stats. He would have any right hander, hit against a lefty, even though that player, hit rightys better. It did this all the time. Some hitters have reverse figures against the basic righy hits a lefty, and vice versa.

  17. Scott, good article. I agree that the DBacks may be improved, but still not at the level of SF or LA. I would have considered them more lethal had they signed Leake instead of trading for Miller and losing Inciarte (plus Swanson and Blair), and signed Howie Kendrick. So were the DBacks fiscally irresponsible by signing Greinke and then overreaching with Miller because they could not afford additional FA pitching? Are they really going for it this year by not signing Kendrick because of the loss of a #2 draft pick? The DBacks will come in 3rd again in the NL West, and have absolutely no depth to improve in future years. Greinke will be in the CY discussion for the next 2-3 (maybe even 4) years but after that he will be AZs version of Ethier, AGon, and CC.

    The loss of Inciarte is quality offense and defense over 162 games, while Miller will give AZ 33 starts. My guess is that at the end of the year, Inciarte will have a greater WAR than Miller. Plus the DBacks will not have that great SS coming up in the next couple of years, and some believe Blair will be comparable to Miller. Or maybe the DBacks like Segura over Swanson’s potential. Bum’s comparison of #1 vs #1, etc. is important also for the DBacks. Greinke is an Ace, but this year he will have to go up against the other team’s Aces. So instead of Kershaw taking on the #1s and Greinke the #2s, Grienke now gets to face Bumgarner, Arrieta, Wainright, Fernandez, and Kershaw. And he gets the privilege of pitching to Castillo rather than Grandal.

    While I expect Goldschmidt, Pollock, and Peralta to have solid years, they cannot play much (if any) better than they did in 2015. While the Dodgers can improve greatly if Grandal, Puig, and Pederson have modest improvement. Seager will be much improved over Rollins.

    Archie Bradley may be better than Robbie Ray or Rubby De La Rosa, but I am amazed how some on here can say that he can be a #3, but discount Kazmir, even though Kazmir is proven better. Or some can state how improved the DBacks will be with Patrick Corbin, but discount Ryu’s chances of coming fully back. The DBacks are not comparable to the Dodgers now, and if the Dodgers do need that something extra come trading deadline, they have options, while the DBacks do not.

    1. Clearly you missed the “compare and contrast” exercises in you composition class. You can compare anything to anything if you just open your mind and give it a try.
      Do you even know who Archie Bradley is? 7th overall pick. You know who else was a 7th overall pick? Yeah, you do. You know who Bradley beat in his debut? Yeah, you do. Same guy. You better hope he isn’t healthy because if he is his ceiling is front rotation pitcher, and on this particular Dbacks team could easily slide in mid rotation.
      Kazmir? Now there is a mid to back end of rotation guy. 32, soft tosser, 168 innings of 1.3 WHIP, 3.6 ERA. Write it down.
      Why the fascination with Kendrick? 125 games max, less than .750 OPS. 103 wRC+. Write that down too.

      1. I agree about Kazmir. For me he is a #5, with the hope there are enough days off to never pitch him in an official game.

        1. Well you have obviously done the comparison for me. Comparing Archie Bradley to Clayton Kershaw. Yes I know who Archie Bradley is. I have seen him pitch on multiple occasions in Reno in both 2014 and 2015. He hardly showed that he was ready to be a #3 in 2016. The DBacks apparently agree, thus the idiotic trade for Miller. And yes I do know who he beat last year. Tough time for #22 at the beginning of 2015. But you like your #7 pick…I’ll stick with Kershaw. I bet Dodgers #7 pick does better. I’ll take the over on Kershaw vs. Bradley.

          Once again you are saying something that I did not say. I never said I have a fascination with Howie Kendrick. I think he is a solid pro who will help Seager around 2B. He will hit .290, but yes probably .750 OPS. Good, solid Pro 2B. What I did say was that if the DBacks really were going for it in 2016 they would have signed Kendrick. But they stayed with Chris Owings, .227/.264/.322 OPS+ of 58. But hey, if you prefer Owings, good for you. I think I would have signed Kendrick. Segura & Owings vs. Seager and Kendrick…I’ll stick with the latter.

          Kazmir 32 soft tosser. Greinke is a 32 year old soft tosser. And before you say anything, I am not comparing the two. But just because he is 32 and a soft tosser he should not be discounted. He had 158 IP, 190 IP, and 183 IP the last three years. I think I will take the over on your 168. 3.55 ERA and 3.1 ERA the last two years. I think I will take the under on your 3.6. I for one do not think 32 is too old to be effective.

          You seem fascinated with the DBacks. You have been touting them for months. You go ahead and root for them. I’ll stick with the Dodgers. The Dodgers will be at least 6 games better than the DBacks. Go ahead and write that down.

          1. Bradley isn’t a 3 now. I didn’t mean to suggest he was. I meant in a short time he most certainly could be. He’s got way more potential than Ray or De La Rosa.
            Signing Kendrick would be an upgrade for them but it is hardly a go forbid move. Kendrick won’t hit .290 this year. .281.
            I like what the Diamondbacks are doing. They. Are clearly sending a message to their fans! You don’t see that? You don’t appreciate that? And why suggest I would root for them instead of the Dodgers? That’s just being ridiculous. If I say I think the Cubs will win the NL pennant does that make me a Cub fan? Of course not. Accept it or not, it’s a zero sum game in baseball. The Dbacks and the gints are better. How does translate to wins? We’ll see. And the Cubs will win the NL pennant.

          2. I think it’s safe to say Kendrick will out-hit Owings. And some of those soft-tossers have given the Dodgers fits over the years. People think you can’t pitch in the majors without a 95mph fastball but just ask Greg Maddux.

  18. I think there will be interesting and robust competition between Lee, Beachy, and Wood for Ryu’s spot in the early season rotation. I give Lee an edge over Beachy because he is on the 40 and Beachy isn’t. Wood might lose out if he is seen as a set-up 8th inning reliever.

  19. Can having 4 lefties in the starting rotation be an issue. Having for right handers doesn’t so I guess four lefties also doesn’t.
    But I assume other teams will have mostly right handed lineups.

  20. “You belittle guys who complain that Greinke was allowed by the Braintrust to a team in the same division, but don’t have an answer that makes sense. ”

    The answer is short and simple and has been propounded several times: The Dodgers were smart and unwilling top pay Greinke that much for that long. Just because the D-Bags were stupid does not give the Dodgers license to do the same.

    Some of you are mad because the Dodgers wouldn’t cough up that much money. Smart people would have been mad if they did!

    1. You took the first sentence of my comment out of context. The comment in full:

      “You belittle guys who complain that Greinke was allowed by the Braintrust to a team in the same division, but don’t have an answer that makes sense. They have “depth” now instead, but the depth is guys who are coming off of injury (Ryu and McCarthy) and we don’t know how they will do, and the 2 new guys that they have signed to replace Greinke (Maeda and Kazmir). None of these are as good as Zach – and having injured players isn’t really depth. I doubt that Ryu will break camp with the team as they are going slow, and the rotation that they will have to start the season isn’t as good as last year’s”

      My point is that depth in the form of average pitchers or injured pitchers does not really replace Greinke. There isn’t an adequate answer to that.

      1. Depth is a good thing up to a point. As you point out, having eight or nine average pitchers is not as good as having three aces and another four average guys. But KC did pretty well last year with a rotation that had a lot more holes than ours. Keep your fingers crossed.

      2. Dodger rick you said that Beane doesn’t think a manager is important and fires any manager that doesn’t do what he says. Did you know that Friedman had only one manager, before he came to the Dodgers, and Maddan wasn’t only there for a minute. So Friedman has only hired two managers. He isn’t Billy Beane.

        1. So – did Maddon always do what Friedman wanted him to? We don’t know how much latitude that Friedman gave him, do we?

  21. I have to say this about Archie Bradley:

    I do not think he will ever be a good Major League Starter. He really has only two major league quality pitches and has poor command.

    I see him more as a closer than a starter.

  22. Badger, I will not question your Dodger fan bona fides, but you need to quit mis-characterizing or over-embellishing what I write. You think the DBacks have improved much more than I do. Greinke will not pitch as well as he did in 2015. And IMO the DBacks gave away much of that improvement in the Miller trade. So maybe they are an 81-82 win team IF Goldschmidt, Pollock, and Peralta have the same 2016 as 2015. Possible but doubtful. Signing Greinke has handcuffed them for 2016 and beyond. They will not be able to add that piece at trade deadline because they have no farm.

    The Cubs are certainly the favorites, but they are beatable. Will Arriata repeat? Kluber didn’t. Will Lackey continue 2016 as he did in 2015. For some on here 32 is too old, but Lackey is 37. What Lester is going to show up? Hammel and Hendricks are not better than LAD #4 and #5. Will Zobrist be better than Castro at 2B? Maybe, but I am not convinced. Bryant, Rizzo, and Russell are bona fide stars. But Schwarber is a fish out of water in LF.

    My big issue with many is that the “naysayers” tout the other team’s “ifs” but dismiss the Dodgers and any chance for them to improve. Or dismissing what they did the last couple of years as an aberration (like Kazmir). Or dismiss that Anderson was finally able to stay healthy last year, but will not do so again. Or quit on a 24 pitcher who one year ago was a 2.78 ERA pitcher. I can’t count the # of times Wood has been described negatively. Or Pederson is a bust, and Kike’ should replace him now and send Pederson back to AAA. Yes the Dodgers have a lot of “ifs” but so do other teams. IF Puig, Pederson, and Grandal have some improvement, and IF Roberts can change the hitting/running culture of this team, they are more than capable of winning NL West. Just don’t dismiss them because of a dislike of FAZ.

    1. AC I agree about the Castro and Zobrist. Zobrist has to face national league pitchers, that he hasn’t faced that much. And the Cubs just signed Flower, and Shane Victorino. Where will everyone play?

    2. “but you need to quit mis-characterizing or over-embellishing what I write.”

      Welcome to the club – he has done that to me for 15 years!

      BTW, I agree 100% with your take on the Cubs. They are the favorites and I think they have a chance to crash and burn.

    1. Just saying velocity alone does not a pitcher make. I agree Wood doesn’t seem to get due consideration. Everybody should be competing for a spot in the rotation (OK, not Kershaw) or the starting lineup.

  23. Kazmir a #5? WOW!




    Kazmir was 4th in the AL in ERA last year. David Price, Dallas Keuchel and Sonny Gray were the only staters who had a better ERA.

    I just don’t get how anyone with a modicum of sense can think that he’s a number5. But that’s just me… OK, me and most other baseball people.

  24. Badger wrote this to AC:

    Clearly you missed the “compare and contrast” exercises in you composition class. You can compare anything to anything if you just open your mind and give it a try.

    Badger is passive-aggressive – he likes to jump on me for calling him stupid but he just cloaks what he says. He’s so full of it.

    Do you even know who Archie Bradley is? 7th overall pick. You know who else was a 7th overall pick? Yeah, you do. You know who Bradley beat in his debut? Yeah, you do. Same guy. You better hope he isn’t healthy because if he is his ceiling is front rotation pitcher, and on this particular Dbacks team could easily slide in mid rotation.

    I have to say this about Archie Bradley:

    I do not think he will ever be a good Major League Starter. He really has only two major league quality pitches and has poor command.

    I see him more as a closer than a starter. Watch and learn!

    Kazmir? Now there is a mid to back end of rotation guy. 32, soft tosser, 168 innings of 1.3 WHIP, 3.6 ERA. Write it down.

    Moronic Drivel!

    Read this about Kazmir:

  25. Wow. Wow. Wow. The articulate response of someone who can only respond with anger. Should be used to this. But it’s getting old.
    This is going downhill fast. Mark isn’t capable of being anything but an asshole. I’ve heard it from several posters who are just fed up with his incessant sniping. Up the dose on your bipolar meds. Until you do, you aren’t worth responding to anymore.

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