Saturday, May 25, 2024

Walker Bout


First the Nats uniforms, now these D-Backs uniforms are reminding me of the mid-2000s Reds jerseys. The red-and-black-on-grey just harkens back to that. And the D-Backs aren't even the ones rebranding to avoid being lumped in with a political party. Perhaps this is why the Diamondbacks have gone downhill this year. You're not trying to be like the 2023 D-Backs with these uniforms, you're trying to be like the 2005 Reds! Who wants to be the 2005 Reds? How often do you see Austin Kearns jerseys out in the wild?

It's really turned into a disappointing year to be a Diamondbacks fan, even if expectations may have been set a bit too high after last year's World Series appearance. The team is 24-27, 4th in the NL West behind two teams exactly at .500, and missing Geraldo Perdomo, Alek Thomas, Merrill Kelly, Drey Jameson and Eduardo Rodriguez. This is a team that was supposed to be a heavy competitor in the race to take down LA, and as of right now LA's sped ahead without much competition. 

What the D-Backs, at the very least, have going for them is the heart of their lineup, which is still insanely strong. Ketel Marte's having his best season in years, and is reestablishing himself as a big star. Joc Pederson's been hitting beautifully, with a .311 average and 6 homers, an improved emphasis on contact for the premier power hitter. And somehow, a 33-year-old Christian Walker is still one of the most versatile 1st baseman in the game. Walker is still an excellent defensive corner infielder, and along with Marte is one of the best defenders on the team. And he can still hit, not only for power but for contact. He's got 10 homers and 32 RBIs, and he's got an .810 OPS. I used to think Walker was a very simple one-dimensional power hitter, but he's gotten so much better over his many years in Phoenix. Proof that an everyday guy can come from literally anywhere.

Last year the issue was the back half of the rotation, and even with Jordan Montgomery and Brandon Pfaadt joining Zac Gallen as rotation mainstays, it still really is. If Kelly was still around at least you'd be limited to one weaker start per go-round, but without him, you have to start Ryne Nelson, who still cannot seem to hold things together, and get a bullpen guy like Brandon Hughes or Joe Mantiply to open. Logically they should throw Tommy Henry back into the ring, and I think they've thought of this, but at this rate it may be too much of a risk. The good news is Paul Sewald can finally work the ninth again, and he's been wonderful so far, with 3 saves in 6 appearances. 

But the D-Backs are dealing with too many guys who were supposed to be exceeding expectations and are currently just playing alright. Kevin Newman's been covering short for Perdomo, and he's at least good defensively,'s clear Newman's a replacement level player. Suarez and Gurriel are both extremely okay right now. And it looks like either the MLB has just figured out Corbin Carroll, or he's suffering from one of the worst sophomore slumps in recent memory. But either way, it's not fun to watch.

At the very least, the D-Backs get to play the Marlins and Mets this week. But yeah, the upcoming Rangers-D-Backs rematch series isn't shaping up to be as exciting as last October's.

Coming Tomorrow- I feel like every year, this guy's started to get things going and it hasn't completely panned out. Til now, that is. 

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