Category Archives: Arizona Diamondbacks Store

Taylor Clarke Jersey

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PHOENIX — Triple-A Reno Aces right-handed pitcher Taylor Clarke will be recalled to make the start against the Giants on Saturday for the Arizona Diamondbacks, manager Torey Lovullo said Friday.

Clarke, who was on the 40-man roster but not the team’s 25-man active roster before Friday’s game, had a locker in the clubhouse. He’s on the “taxi squad,” a term that refers to players who have traveled to their next assignment but whose next assignment hasn’t actually been made official with the league.

Clarke’s helping the big-league club comes after the team placed left-hander Robbie Ray on the 10-day injured list on Thursday. Ray, who has a 3.99 ERA in 26 starts this season, went only two innings in his start on Wednesday. He was diagnosed as having back spasms.

“We pieced things together the best that we can. It’s going to give the ability to give us an extra day for [Merrill] Kelly and [Zac] Gallen,” Lovullo said. “The guys have been getting after it. To be able to push them back and give them that extra day was well-timed.
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“Taylor deserves this opportunity. He’d been throwing the ball extremely well before he was sent out, so I know he’s excited to be back here and I’m excited to see what he can help us out with.”

The 26-year-old Clarke has a 5.46 ERA through 14 games (13 starts) this season, his debut season in the major leagues. In his last four starts before his most recent assignment to Reno, Clarke had a 3.92 ERA over 20.2 innings pitched.

In nine of his 14 starts this year, Clarke has allowed three earned runs or fewer.

Mike Koplove Jersey

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The Phillies have two huge job openings to fill in their baseball operations department.

Obviously, they are looking for a new manager, and that process ramped up on Monday.

The team also needs to fill the important scouting director’s role. That job opened when Johnny Almarez stepped down in September.

The search for a new scouting boss is being led by assistant general manager Bryan Minniti and it is apparently well underway.

According to multiple major league sources, the Phillies have conducted a number of recent interviews for the position. Among those to interview are in-house candidates Greg Schilz, Mike Koplove and Darrell Conner.

Outside candidates, according to sources, include David Crowson of the Miami Marlins, Sam Hughes of the Chicago Cubs, Brian Barber of the New York Yankees, Dan Ontiveros of the Kansas City Royals and Scott Meaney of the Cleveland Indians. All have high-ranking scouting positions with their organizations.

It’s possible that there are other candidates or more will emerge. But these are the names being talked about in baseball circles at the moment.

Schilz ranked No. 2 in the Phillies’ amateur scouting staff behind Almaraz. He joined the club in the fall of 2016 after 12 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was elevated to assistant scouting director in the fall of 2017.

Koplove is an interesting candidate. He is a Philadelphia native who pitched at Chestnut Hill Academy and the University of Delaware before spending parts of seven seasons in the majors with Arizona and Cleveland. He earned a World Series ring with the Diamondbacks in 2001.

Koplove spent six seasons on the scouting staff of the Anaheim Angels before joining his hometown team as a special assignment scout prior to the 2018 season.

Conner is a longtime Phillies scout who has risen to the role of national scouting coordinator. He was influential in identifying Cole Hamels as having first-round potential and staying on the pitcher after he broke his left arm the summer after his sophomore year.

Mike Leake Jersey

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The Diamondbacks have worked out a last-minute deal for Mariners righty Mike Leake, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). Infield prospect Jose Caballero is going to Seattle in return, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link). Arizona is taking on only $6MM of Leake’s remaining obligations, according to John Gambadoro of ArizonaSports.com.

It’s been a precipitous drop for the 31-year-old Leake, who’s now accrued nearly 1,800 big-league innings since debuting straight from Arizona State in 2010. Leake’s walk and strikeout rates have remained mostly intact, but he hasn’t been able to withstand the league-wide homer onslaught this season, having allowed an easily-career-high 1.71 per nine in 137 IP thus far. His average fastball velocity’s cratered to a career-worst 88.3 MPH, though the always-crafty mix-and-match artist has adjusted: his cutter and changeup, long his go-to out pitches, have each seen an uptick in usage, with the former being deployed nearly 27% of the time at current.

Leake’s park-adjusted peripherals still place firmly in the fourth/fifth starter range – thanks mostly to a string of sterling outings in the latter half of this month – and his presence should stabilize the back half of a Diamondbacks rotation that’s leaned heavily on the mostly ineffective arms of Taylor Clarke and Merrill Kelly of late. After the trade of Zack Greinke to the Astros, Leake will line up with the newly-acquired Zac Gallen, the still-here Robbie Ray, and some combination of Clarke, Kelly, and rookie Alex Young, whose peripherals lag far behind the 2.51 ERA he’s posted in his first six big-league outings.

It’s perhaps a bit chastening for the M’s, who acquired the righty from the Cardinals in a now-defunct August swap two seasons ago, to recoup only $6MM from the some $25MM remaining (through 2020) on the his deal. Caballero, 22, didn’t assert himself as a top organizational prospect for the Snakes, so the swap mostly seems centered around the marginal amount saved and opportunity for the club to insert a young hurler, perhaps lefty Justus Sheffield, into its rotation for the remainder of ’19. Righty Matt Wisler, acquired after being designated for assignment by San Diego, should also be afforded a look: the one-time top prospect has finally flashed the bat-missing stuff that was so often absent from his repertoire in seasons past.

Lyle Overbay Jersey

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Jays…..please make some news.

Former Blue Jays’ first baseman Lyle Overbay turns 42 today.

Lyle came up to the majors with the Diamondbacks, he played a handful of games in 2001 and 2002 before making the Diamondbacks out of spring training in 2003, after being listed as Baseball America’s 65th best prospect. He didn’t do great and was sent back to the minors after playing in 86 games. In December of 2003 he was sent to the Brewers as part of a 10 player trade. The big name, going to the Diamondbacks, was slugger Richie Sexson. Sexson only played 21 games for the Diamondbacks, in an injury filled 2004.

Overbay played two seasons for the Brewers before being traded to the Jays with Ty Taubenheim for Dave Bush, Gabe Gross and Zach Jackson. Bush won 46 games (while losing 53) over 5 seasons, Gross played a bit hitting .251/.357/.440 in parts of 3 seasons and Jackson pitched 42 innings, for the Brewers, so the trade could be counted as slightly to the win side for J.P. Riccairdi. And, considering Eric Hinske played first for us in 2005, Lyle was a step up at the position.

The trade was the subject of the second post ever on Bluebird Banter. Marc Normandin liked the trade:

He’s a great defensive first basemen, one of the best in the league. He hits well for a first basemen, although he lacks home run power. He makes up for it with doubles though, and his plate patience is good. Acquiring Overbay most likely means that Shea Hillenbrand or Eric Hinske is on their way out of Toronto. The good news? The Jays may actually get a useful part in exchange for one of them, which would be a plus.

Lyle had a pretty good first season for us, he hit .312/.372/.508 with 22 home runs and 92 RBI in 157 games in 2006. He set his career high for home runs, RBI and batting average, as well as finishing 4th in the AL in doubles with 46.

After the season J.P. signed Lyle to a 4-year, $24 million contract. The contract didn’t help make him a favorite with Jays fans. mark w wasn’t sure about the signing, at the time. In his BBB post about it:

My views are on this signing are rather mixed. At first glance, it appears to be a thrifty signing, as the Blue Jays lock up a somewhat gifted hitter at a relatively cheap price. On the other hand, however, couldn’t the Blue Jays have waited another season, thus hedging their bets? I can’t imagine that Overbay’s value will skyrocket at this point of his career, especially considering he’s a likely candidate to “age quickly” — at least based on the career trends of statistically similar players from the past. In the end, I don’t think this contract will come back to bite them, if only because of its low cost to the organization. And Overbay appears to be a safe bet for at least the next 2-3 years.

Well, it did come back to bite them.

2007 wasn’t a good a year for Lyle. He missed more than a month with a broken hand, after being hit by a John Danks pitch June 3. He was hitting .256/.332/.464 when he was hit, but finished the season .240/.315/.391 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI. It’s pretty had to hit ball when your hand is hurting. He did manage to hit 30 doubles. Lyle had a big reverse split, that year, having a .794 OPS vs. LHP but just .676 against RHP.

Lyle bounced back a little, in 2008, hitting .270/.358/.419 with 15 homers, 32 doubles and 69 RBI in 158 games. He set a team record for getting on base 12 straight times at the end of May. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hit lefties at all, batting just .215/.285/.255 against them. It was the start of a bad trend, before 2008 he was able to hit lefties, at least not too badly, after, he couldn’t.

Overbay had a pretty good 2009, hitting .265/.372/.466 with 16 home runs (including his first walkoff homer against the A’s in April), 35 doubles and 64 RBI in 132 games. FanGraphs credited him with a 2.4 WAR, the best in his time with the Jays. They liked his fielding much better than back in 2006. He hit just .190/.256/.278 against left-handers (his platoon partner was Kevin Millar, who didn’t hit lefties all that much better that year).

2010 was Lyle’s last year with the Jays, and it wasn’t very good, he hit .243/.329/.433, with 20 home runs (his second highest total in his career), 37 doubles (his 7th consecutive season with 30 doubles) and 67 RBI. He played in 154 games, Cito wouldn’t platoon him as he was a free agent after the season (Cito had some strange ideas, as a often he was more interested in ‘doing right’ by his veteran players than doing what was needed to win games). On defense, Lyle lead AL first basemen in double plays (150) and assists (101). He had the 1000th hit of his career at the end of June.

After leaving the Jays, Lyle has bounced around, playing for the Pirates, Diamondbacks, Braves, Yankees and Brewers. He retired after the 2014, finishing with a .266/.347/.429 line, 151 home runs and 675 RBI in 14 seasons. 83 home runs and 336 RBI were as a Blue Jays.

Happy Birthday Lyle. Even though your time with the Jays wasn’t a huge success, but you were still a favorite of mine. I do wonder how much better his offensive numbers would have been if he hadn’t broken his hand.

It is also Bob File’s birthday, he’s also 42. Bob came up as a reliever with the Jays and had a very good rookie season, in 2001, putting up a 3.27 ERA in 60 relief appearances, 74.1 innings, but there was some luck involved. He only struck out 38 and walked 29. The .233 BABIP wasn’t something that was repeatable. Over the next two seasons he pitched 37 innings, with a 6.08 ERA and that was the end of his major league career.

Happy birthday Bob, hope it is a good one.

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Top of the ninth inning, bases loaded, no outs.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were threatening to swipe a win away from the Arizona Diamondbacks, who led 6-4 entering the final frame on Aug. 31. LA outfielder Matt Beaty was up against Arizona’s Archie Bradley, and he hit a sharp, low line drive towards the 3-4 hole.

First baseman Christian Walker dove to his right and snagged the ball on a short hop with his backhand. He rose to a knee and delivered a strike to shortstop Nick Ahmed at second base, who turned the double play as Chase Field erupted in the background. Bradley got the next hitter out and Arizona won its sixth-straight game 6-5.

Walker has never known to be a plus defender in the past, Ahmed noted on the Sports Info Solutions Podcast. But the 2018 Gold Glover discussed with host Mark Simon about how that has changed this season.
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“He is incredibly improved and underrated defensively,” Ahmed said. “Going back to spring training and the offseason, he was always picking my brain about defense and his footwork and hands. He has made every routine play, picked balls out of the dirt for us and he’s made phenomenal plays. He is a Gold Glover in my eyes.”

That is high praise from someone who has had stout defender Paul Goldschmidt to throw to for most of his career. But, Ahmed may not be wrong, as the numbers suggest that Walker could be a dark horse to contend for the award.

Walker is third among National League first basemen in defensive runs saved with five. This stat measures how many runs a defender saves his team compared to an average player. He only trails Goldschmidt and Cincinnati’s Joey Votto who each have six. There is a real possibility that Walker could end the season on top of that list.

The D-backs first baseman is also third at his position in the NL in UZR/150 (ultimate zone rating per 150 games). This metric may look alien to some, but Fan Graphs has a simple explanation for it.

Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) is one of the most widely used, publicly available defensive statistics. UZR puts a run value to defense, attempting to quantify how many runs a player saved or gave up through their fielding prowess (or lack thereof).

It takes into account range and errors among other aspects, and in this category, Walker trails just Goldschmidt and Chicago’s Anthony Rizzo.

The increased awareness of defensive metrics helps Walker’s chances immensely but there are some that aren’t as favorable. He has a solid fielding percentage of 99.3%, the sixth-highest mark in the NL, and also has more errors than other contenders like Goldshmidt, Rizzo and Votto.

But, his ability to make plays on harder to get to balls makes him one of the best defensive first basemen in the NL and has helped the D-backs in some big moments like in that win over the Dodgers. That makes him a good candidate to be nominated for a Gold Glove this season.

Caleb Joseph Jersey

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Longtime Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph was non-tendered by the team last week and delivered a heartfelt tribute to O’s fans and the organization on Twitter, but it is still possible that he could be back in orange and black next spring.

The non-tender means that the team decided not to go through salary arbitration with him, but that does not disqualify the Orioles from trying to sign him to a contract on their own terms.

If Joseph’s lengthy tweet seems to indicate that he doesn’t expect that to happen, well, who knows? He has been a very valuable part of the club in spite of his spotty offensive production and would seem to be someone who could still help with the development of the organization’s young pitchers.
Orioles nontender infielder Tim Beckham, catcher Caleb Joseph at Friday’s deadline

Orioles

Orioles nontender infielder Tim Beckham, catcher Caleb Joseph at Friday’s deadline
Nov 30, 2018 | 8:20 PM

“What I WILL NEVER FORGET is the way the fans, staff, and my teammates embraced me and my family,’’ the last paragraphs of the Tweet read. “To each and every one I came in contact with as an Oriole and all of its affiliates I want to extend my sincerest gratitude for the love and support you showed us over a decade.

“I married my wife and had two kids while being an Oriole. Baltimore will always have a special place in our hearts. This isn’t ‘goodbye,’ but hopefully ‘see you later.’
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“Thank you Birdland.”

Joseph has been in the organization so long that — during his lengthy stay at the Double-A level — he was light-heartedly known as “the mayor of Bowie.” He finally got his chance to play regularly at the major league level when Matt Wieters had to undergo elbow surgery.

His ups and downs at the plate are well-documented, but he was always a solid defender behind it and will land somewhere as a dependable backup if he does not end up re-signing with the O’s.

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Drayton McLane wanted to change things for the Astros and early advice told him that pitching was the key. To accomplish this, McLane decided to make his front three guys Doug Drabek, Pete Harnisch, and the big arm of Greg Swindell.

Swindell started his career in the Indians organization and quickly found himself pitching against major league players. “It was a dream come true. I never thought I would be called up after only three weeks. It was all a blur pitching for the Waco Pirates, Liberal BeeJays, and then the Indians.” Swindell would quickly dominate the competition with 72 wins and an ERA of 3.60, which was fairly low for the Steroid Era.

Astros fans were excited to see the new owner seemingly dedicated to returning to a playoff-contending team. Swindell was equally excited to join the Astros. “Growing up in Houston and then playing for the home team was fun!” But fate had a different plan for Swindell. His ERA ballooned past 4.50 and suddenly he found himself battling an injury. “I wish I would have pitched better from a personal basis. We had really good teams, the start of what was to become a contender. I just couldn’t get over the hump.”

In 1996, giving up on Swindell, the Astros released him. It was a huge mistake. He would join a few other clubs before his luck changed. In 1999, joining many other former Astros, Greg Swindell was signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks. This crew of former Astros players would take a World Series victory out of the jaws of the Yankees and Swindell was almost perfect. “It was a dream come true. From start to finish, the chemistry was there. The ownership wanted to win. It was awesome.” In typical Astros fashion, the team gave up on a pitcher right before they turned into one of the best in baseball.

Currently, Swindell is now working with the Longhorn Network. “I spend my time working for the Longhorn Network, baseball games, and loving Texas living my life at fifty years old.” It is not his only passion. “My son is autistic and I just try to raise awareness about Autism and try to help families cope.” If you are interested in donating in the name of Swindell’s son, Autism Speaks does amazing work and every dollar helps!

Andrew Chafin Jersey

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The Red Sox may not be able to land Mets closer Edwin Diaz by the trade deadline, so they’re turning their attention to other relievers on the market. San Francisco closer Will Smith is the reliever who has “most intrigued” the Red Sox over the past week, Sean McAdam of BostonSportsJournal.com tweets. The Red Sox have also shown interest in Diamondbacks left-hander Andrew Chafin, per McAdam, and Blue Jays right-hander Daniel Hudson, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription link).

Smith would clearly give the Red Sox the stable game-ending option they’ve lacked this year, but it doesn’t appear the team will be able to swing a deal for him. They’ve found the Giants’ asking price for Smith to be prohibitive, McAdam reports. Smith isn’t signed past this season – one of the reasons the Red Sox aren’t aggressively pursuing him – though it’s no surprise the Giants want a haul back for him. They’re still in playoff contention, for one, and Smith’s eminently affordable ($4.225MM) and highly effective. The 30-year-old has logged a 2.72 ERA/2.77 FIP with 12.82 K/9 and 2.14 BB/9 in 46 1/3 innings this season. He has also converted 26 of 28 save opportunities.

Meanwhile, either Chafin or Hudson could help improve the Red Sox’s setup situation. This is the latest in a growing line of solid seasons for the 29-year-old Chafin, who has pitched to a 4.17 ERA/3.69 FIP with 11.05 K/9 and 3.19 BB/9 across 36 2/3 frames. He also ranks second among all relievers in infield fly rate (24.2 percent), has held left-handed batters to a subpar .272 weighted on-base average, earns a relatively meager salary ($1.945MM) and comes with another year of arbitration control. Unsurprisingly, Chafin’s drawing plenty of interest from around the league – not just Boston – Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.

Hudson, 32, would be the easiest reliever in this trio to acquire. He’s had a productive year, though peripherals don’t quite back up his above-average run prevention, and would be a pure rental for his next team. Nevertheless, Hudson’s the cheapest of the group ($1.5MM salary) and has been popular in the rumor mill leading up to the deadline. The hard-throwing journeyman has notched a 3.00 ERA/4.21 FIP with 9.0 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 over 48 innings. Righties have mustered a weak .276 wOBA off him.

Joel Payamps Jersey

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Joel Payamps career is a case study in patience and perseverance. Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic as a 17 year old Amateur free agent by the Rockies back in 2011, he toiled 4 years in the low minors for that organization, the last two of which did not go well. Consecutive seasons of 6+ ERA in 2013-14 resulted in the Rockies releasing him. After not pitching at all in 2015, he was signed by the Diamondbacks as a Minor League Free Agent at the end of 2015. Since joining the DBacks organization he has steadily progressed, appearing in both AA Jackson and AAA Reno each of the last three seasons before earning a brief callup to the majors in 2019.

Sometimes described as wiry and lanky, standing at 6’2” and 200 lbs, Payamps throws a Fastball, Sinker, Slider and Change. If used as a reliever, he’ll mostly use the 4 Seamer and slider. His 4 Seamer averages 93 MPH, maxing out at 96. He may be able to add a little to that velocity working strictly as a reliever. His command has been inconsistent, but when he has it, he strikes out a lot of batters and can dominate.
2019

The year did not start off Well for Payamps. In his first start on April 6th he took a comebacker off his foot which caused him to miss two months with a fracture. But when he returned in early June he was lights out. In his 41 IP at Jackson he walked just 2 while striking out 39, and allowed just 2 HR, good for a 2.17 FIP and a promotion to Reno.

Upon arriving in Reno in mid July, his success continued. In his first 4 starts, 22.2 IP, he allowed just 6 earned runs, 2.38 ERA. However the K/BB ratio fell to just 12/10. He then got roughed up in his two subsequent starts allowing 9 runs in 9.2 IP on 11 hits and 2 homers. Ironically he struck out 10 and walked just 3 during those two starts. Overall it was enough to earn him a callup to the big club in August.

Making his major league debut on August 21, he came on in the 6th to relieve Mike Leake with the Dbacks down 5-0 to the Rockies. He pitched 3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, all singles, walking one batter and striking out three. In his second appearance he pitched a scoreless 8th inning in a 4-0 loss to the Brewers.

The two mop up appearances were all he would get in 2019. He was sent back to Reno and made one more appearance there on August 30th, his last of the season. He was not added to the MLB roster in September, which was somewhat of a surprise to me at the time as I had projected him to be among the September Callups . I’m not quite certain what happened there.
Whats Next in 2020 ?

As a member of the 40 man roster, he’ll likely start the year in Reno, and could be called up to either relieve or spot start as needed in 2020. He has an intriguing arm, and while I don’t think he will ever be more more than a very back end rotation option, he still has some upside as a reliever in my view. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get a shot at the 2020 bullpen in spring training. He has the stuff, but will need more consistent command to be successful.

Jake Lamb Jersey

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The Arizona Diamondbacks are missing one of their most well-known infielders as Jake Lamb recovers from a quad injury.

The D-backs put Lamb on the injured list with a Grade 2 left quad strain near the start of the season when Lamb hurt himself on April 3. He has since been on the shelf to recover, but the D-backs got their former All-Star on a rehab assignment on June 8.

The Athletic‘s Zach Buchanan cited manager Torey Lovullo as saying it’s “unlikely” Lamb will rejoin the D-backs this next homestand, which spans from Tuesday to next Wednesday, June 26. Lovullo added that he thinks Lamb will be back before the end of June, though.

In getting back Lamb, the D-backs would be adding a left-handed bat that can play corner infield — two positions where Christian Walker and Eduardo Escobar have been getting the everyday playing time. Lovullo has said that upon Lamb’s return, getting everyone time on the field could mean having Escobar play second, Walker stay at first and Lamb play third. That would bump Ketel Marte to center field, where he has spent some time this season, anyway.
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In six games in his rehab assignment with Triple-A Reno thus far, Lamb has hit .263 with a double and a home run to go with six RBI. Lamb hit his lone home run on Friday before going 1-for-3 with a double on Saturday.

An NL All-Star in 2017, Lamb hit .222 in 2018 and appeared in only 56 games due to a shoulder injury. Before he went down this season, he was hitting .267 (4-for-15). In his six-year big league career, Lamb averages .247 with 24 home runs every 162 games. He is hitting .159 against left-handed pitching in his career and .270 against right-handers.