Results tagged ‘ Max Scherzer ’

D-backs trade complete

The three-team trade between the D-backs, Tigers and Yankees has officially been completed.

An announcement is expected at 4:30 p.m. EST.

The trade sends Detroit center fielder Curtis Granderson to New York, Tigers right-hander Edwin Jackson and Yankees right-hander Ian Kennedy to Arizona, and D-backs pitchers Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth — along with Yankees prospect Austin Jackson and lefty Phil Coke — to Detroit.

The deal was completed Tuesday pending a review of medical files, which was completed Wednesday.

Analyzing the Jackson deal

Now that we know the three-way blockbuster is complete pending review of medical reports, let’s take a closer look at some questions that either popped into my mind or into my inbox:

How good is Ian Kennedy?

Kennedy is a one-time No. 1 pick who missed much of last season after having surgery to take care of an aneurysm under his right armpit May 12. He pitched in four Minor League games for Scranton last year and made one appearance for the Yankees and tossed a scoreless inning.

The D-backs got a long look at him in the Arizona Fall League and liked what they saw. His fastball can reach the low 90s and he’s got a good curve to go along with his change and also throws a slider.

It seems the D-backs are higher on him than the majority of teams out there, but they feel pretty strongly about him so we’ll see how he pans out for them as their No. 4 starter next year.

Why would they give up Max Scherzer?

While there’s no questioning Scherzer’s potential, there are several hurdles still for him to get past in order to reach it.

The right-hander still needs to improve his pitch efficiency so that he can pitch deeper in games, needs to further develop his secondary pitches and also needs to show that he can cross the 200-inning barrier.

The D-backs must have felt that the above were real challenges for him and felt more comfortable with the combination of Edwin Jackson and Kennedy.

As for Schlereth, the potential is there, but there have always been concerns about his command.

What does this mean for the rest of their offseason?

They certainly are not done. When you factor in the salaries of the players involved as well as the prorated signing bonus of Scherzer the deal wound increasing the D-backs’ payroll about $4.25 million. That leaves them still with around $6 million to spend.

It’s likely that they will turn their attention to adding to the bullpen while also possibly adding a position player to strengthen the bench.

What position will they be looking to add?

It seems at this point they are flexible in that regard. With a versatile roster — is Conor Jackson going to play left or first — they have the ability to fit in just about any player into their plans.

What’s the bottom line?

If Kennedy pans out like the D-backs think he will and Jackson gives them two good years before becoming a free agent then this will wind up being a good deal for the D-backs. Is there risk involved in giving up someone with Scherzer’s ability? Absolutely and the D-backs are well aware of that. In their eyes this trade gives them a two-for-one in terms of pitchers and allows them to spend money they were going to have to spend on a fourth starter instead on improving the bullpen and the offense.
In the end you have to trust your scouts and if the D-backs feel as strongly as they do about Kennedy they have to follow that.

Thoughts on proposed blockbuster

It is sounding like the reported three-way blockbuster between the D-backs, Yankees and Tigers has cooled, but let’s review what the FOXsports.com report said last night:

D-backs get:
Ian Kennedy
Edwin Jackson

D-backs give up:
Max Scherzer
2 Prospects

Now, obviously without knowing the identity of the two prospects it’s impossible to fully evaluate the deal, but two thoughts jump to mind:

1. You can see how this makes sense for the D-backs in terms of getting two pitchers for the price of one. Plus that would free them up to spend the bulk of the $10 million they have left to spend this winter on shoring up the offense rather than having to get a free agent pick up someone’s bad contract in order to land a starting pitcher.

2. Boy, it sure would be hard to part with a pitcher like Max Scherzer, who has such a tremendous upside.

Even if the deal is not likely to happen, I am curious as to your initial thoughts/reactions.

Lineup

Here’s a look at tonight’s lineup: Ojeda (2b), Jackson (lf), Tracy (1b), Reynolds (3b), Upton (rf), Montero (c), Young (cf), Wilson (ss) and Scherzer (p).

I put this note in my preview for today about Max Scherzer, but forgot to add that the date was 1914: Scherzer has a 3.43 ERA in his 11 career starts. The only pitcher in big league history to go winless in his first 11 starts with a lower ERA, according to Elias Sports Bureau, is Guy Morton, who posted a 3.33 ERA in his first 11 starts.

Lineups and Roster Move

Before we get to the lineup, the D-backs made a roster move this afternoon. In order to activate Max Scherzer to start tonight’s game they optioned RHP Billy Buckner to Triple-A Reno.

You could see this move coming with the way Buckner struggled in his last couple of outings. I’ll have more on this on the site shortly and will check to see whether the club plans on using Buckner in a starting or relieving role in Reno.

Here’s the lineup: Lopez (2b), Byrnes (lf), Drew (ss), Tracy (3b), Clark (1b), Young (cf), Montero (c), Upton (rf) and Scherzer (p).

D-backs manager Bob Melvin said Conor Jackson is simply getting a day off and that he wanted to give Upton a couple of starts in a row. Reynolds sits against the tough right-hander and Clark will get his crack at it.

Scherzer and Davis pitched today

While the D-backs took on the White Sox at Chase Field on Friday night, pitchers Doug Davis and Max Scherzer threw in a Minor League game back in Tucson.

Davis went six innings and allowed six runs (five earned) on seven hits while walking one and fanning seven. The left-hander threw 95 pitches. Davis will start the third game of the season against the Rockies on Wednesday.

Scherzer, who will start the year on the disabled list until his start rolls around on April 14, threw five innings and allowed two runs on four hits while walking three and fanning seven. Scherzer threw 80 pitches.

Sunday notes

Here are a few notes on this beautiful Sunday morning…

– Conor Jackson was possibly heading over to Minor League camp to get some extra at-bats. I talked to him just before batting practice and he said whether he did so or not would depend on how his BP session went.

I’ll have more on his struggles this spring in a story later on.

– Manager Bob Melvin fielded questions about Mark Reynolds defense on Sunday. The third baseman has committed six errors in Cactus League games this spring and one against Team Mexico, which led a reporter to ask Melvin if he would replace Reynolds with Augie Ojeda for defensive purposes late in games.

It sure sounded like Melvin would be hesitant to do that at least early in the season because of the impact it could have on Reynolds’ confidence. I mentioned earlier this spring and I’ll say it again, I think the biggest challenge for Reynolds this year is going to be mental.

“He’s been a little bit hit and miss,” Melvin said of Reynolds at third this spring. “I moreso look for if he does make an error how he reacts to that. How does he handle the next ball?”

– Tony Clark was back in the lineup on Sunday after missing a few days with a sore right hand. Melvin said he would probably limit Clark to hitting right-handed on Sunday and hopefully have him in the lineup again on Monday.

Clark has swung the bat very well this spring compiling a .375 average with four doubles and a homer. If he can once again be the late-inning threat off the bench that he was from 2005-07 that would certainly be a big boost for the D-backs.

– Speaking of swinging a good bat, Chad Tracy has looked good all spring. On Saturday he did a nice job going to other way against a left-hander.

– Stephen Drew (abdominal strain) was back in the starting lineup on Sunday.

– There is plenty of debate inside the organization as to whether they will carry 11 or 12 pitchers to start the season.

Melvin has tended to like having seven pitchers in the bullpen, which usually means a 12-man staff, but with Max Scherzer set to begin the year on the DL, the club could still have seven relievers with just 11 men on the staff.

Roster news

OK, so this is not exactly breaking news here because we’ve all expected it, but Max Scherzer will start the year on the disabled list.

I’ll post a full story on this later this afternoon, but since they don’t need a fifth starter until April 14 they will have him pitch in an extended Spring Training game before activating him for his big-league start.

That could mean there are now four spots open in the bullpen, or it is possible the D-backs could instead carry an extra bat on the bench for the season’s first eight days.

D-backs vs. Giants rotations

Got an email this morning asking me which team had a better starting rotation, the D-backs or Giants?

Tough to beat a one-two punch of Brandon Webb and Dan Haren and Max Scherzer in the fifth spot has a chance to really be good, though, he still has to show it for a full season.

Let’s take it on a spot-by-spot look:

Webb vs. Tim Lincecum: Pretty even match here, though if you want to give a slight edge to Lincecum I can understand.

Haren vs. Matt Cain: Cain’s got a load of talent, but I think if you have to choose between the two for this year, Haren’s got to be the guy.

Doug Davis vs. Randy Johnson: If RJ is healthy he would have to get the edge in this spot, but health is an issue.

Jon Garland vs. Barry Zito: I think Garland’s consistency wins out among these two.

Scherzer vs. Jonathan Sanchez: Maybe you look at this as a wash right now, but given Scherzer’s potential, I would take him.

It’s an interesting question and I am curious to see what you guys think.

Update: I neglected to mention that my pick would be the D-backs, but not by a lot. San Francisco’s rotation will certainly be a big positive  this year. However, that offense…well, we’ll see.

Get your Tuesday tickets

It looks like Tuesday could be a day of debuts for the D-backs when they take on the A’s at Phoenix Muni.

Manager Bob Melvin just told us that right-hander Max Scherzer will make his first start of the spring in that game and there is a good chance Eric Byrnes also sees his first Cactus League action.

Byrnes will run the bases in a simulated game over at Minor League camp this morning and if that goes well he could get the start on Tuesday against his former team.

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