As we all know, the first half of the baseball season has been nothing short of a disaster for those of us who claim the Diamondbacks as our team.
As painful and embarrassing it is to admit it now, I am one of those poor fans.
Even with the shame and disappointment of the season, this second half still holds value for me as a fan.
Now, since the team is completely out of contention, the priorities change.
There is no way that they can win the division or even get close, but there are some things I wish to see in the final 73 games of the season.
The team's current roster does not work.
The mix of players, however individually talented, is not working as a team. There are issues with strikeouts, starting pitching consistency, and relief pitching in general.
Additionally, a once heralded farm system is now seemingly bare.
Who should go? First should be Chris Snyder (this saddens me because he is No. 2 on my favorites behind Mark Reynolds—I mean, be honest, how can you not love a guy who literally busted his balls for the team AND THEN FINISHED CATCHING THE INNING. I WAS THERE AT THAT GAME!).
Miguel Montero is turning out to be the best hitter on the team. Snyder is starting worthy and deserves to go somewhere to have that shot.
Plus, if you want a low average, defensively-minded catcher, John Hester is a lot cheaper. Moving Snyder would mean adding some young talent.
Honestly, I think a change of scenery will be beneficial. I seem to recall another very similar catcher that played for Arizona that left. He was a defensive catcher, hit poorly, but had power.
His name was Rod Barajas, and he has been a starter now for a few years. He still only hits about .240, but has hit over 20 home runs in a season three times since leaving Arizona and been considered a solid player.
I foresee this type of play from Snyder if he leaves.
Who else should go? I think that Kelly Johnson should go so that Tony Abreu can play everyday, even though some doubt that he is an everyday player.
I would let Stephen Drew go for a pitcher like Ricky Porcello, as it is rumored that is being discussed.
I waver on Adam LaRoche because of his glove. He drives in runs, but he is like so many other players and strikes out a lot.
Both have reasonable contracts for next season and have value. Dan Haren should go only if there is a great deal on the table.
Without the pressure of a pennant race, the players should focus on development. I want to see my man Mark Reynolds (currently on pace for 222 strikeouts) NOT pass his previous two records.
I want to see his average end up at about .250 (meaning he hits between .270 and .280 for the second half). I want him to end up with at least 35 home runs and 110 RBI.
I want to see both Chris Young and Justin Upton end up with 30/30 seasons. I want Upton to avoid 200 strikeouts (currently he is on pace for 202).
I want to see Upton hit .300 for the second half and stay healthy. He needs to be that type of player to fulfill the expectations we all have.
I want Miguel Montero to finish the year with a .300 average or better. I want to see Upton, Reynolds, and LaRoche (if he is on the team the rest of the season) all have at least 100 RBI.
I want to see either Cole Gillespie or Gerardo Parra to establish who should be the starting left fielder of the future.
Personally, I want to see Parra develop into the high average, slap and gap hitter that the team lacks in the lineup. Those attributes would be nice combined with his solid defense.
I want to see at least ONE guy in the bullpen claim the closer job and be at least okay. I don’t EVER want to see Chad Qualls closing a game.
I want to see Brandon Webb actually pitch in a game.
What I hope to see out of the team is emotion.
I want the players to be fired up, win or lose. If a bad loss, I want to see pain and disappointment, like it matters.
I want to see grit and determination. I want to see Kirk Gibson having a tangible influence on the squad.
Wins and losses:
I know the season is shot, but I want to see the talent start coming together, especially offensively (since the bullpen seems to be a lost cause).
I’m not expecting much, but I would like .500 play the rest of the way. The team is on pace for a 61-101 record.
If they can go 37-36 for the second half, the record will still be a putrid 71-91, but it would be solid progress considering what has happened thus far.
What will likely happen:
As much as I want to believe that all these things will happen, more than likely we will see more of the same.
Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds will both have 200-plus strikeouts, but Reynolds will hit 40 home runs. However, he will probably hit only about .230. Upton will stay about .260.
I would be surprised if Webb pitches in the majors. It will have officially been the biggest con in history, as he would have weaseled the team out of over $8 million for doing nothing.
No one will take over the closer’s role effectively. The bullpen will continue to be disastrous and will set the record for futility in ERA.
The team will make no meaningful moves and not change much, which means little will change this year or next.
So, while I am not oblivious to the likelihood of continued meagerness on the field (in fact, I already am hoping for new and exciting ways to lose just for entertainment, like a sort of loser bingo ), I want to find hope and excitement about the future of the club.
We shall soon see how it goes.
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