****A major trade was pulled off by the Diamondbacks this week, as more than two dozen players will be changing addresses. The St. Louis Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks exchanged...AA baseball cities. The Diamondbacks will move their AA affiliate, the El Paso Diablos, to Tennessee while the Cardinals take their AA affiliate and move them to Springfield, TX at least temporarily cutting El Paso out of the minor league picture. In the Politically Correct name choice of the year the new club will be named The Smokies. No word yet on whether they will have a 'Complimentary Zippo' promotion.
****Wouldn't it be nice to reassemble the team that could be in the playoffs right now? The Red Sox feature Curt Schilling and Mike Myers, and are awaiting their chance to play in the ALCS. The Dodgers will likely not make it past the first round, but they are chock full of former D'Backs as a result of trade deadline deals in 2004. In addition to Steve Finley and Brent Mayne, Elmer Dessens also made the Dodgers playoff roster. Meanwhile the Dodgers' first round opponent, the Cardinals, have Reggie Sanders and Tony Womack getting significant playing time. Take it a step farther and had Matt Williams not vetoed the trade in 2002 Larry Walker could have been a Diamondback too.
****The Arizona Fall League rosters are set, and the AFL season has begun. The Scottsdale Scorpions are the Diamondbacks affiliate in the league, with all but one of the D'Backs representatives coming from the now defunct El Paso Diablos. Though each team is allotted six slots, the Diamondbacks actually send eight players, with two being designated for the 'taxi squad.' While there was a lot of speculation that the Diamondbacks would send their trio of talented lefty pitchers (Clint Goocher, Billy Murphy, and Matt Chico) it was actually three right handed closers that made the trip to Scottsdale. Jason Bulger and Mike Schultz make the trip from El Paso while Justin Wechsler is on the taxi squad as one of two non-Diablos on the D'Backs AFL roster, after posting excellent numbers for (Hi) A affiliate Lancaster.
|Jason Bulger (AA El Paso)||0-3||3.91||25/19||8|
|Mike Schultz (AA El Paso)||1-1||3.00||14/13||2|
|Justin Wechsler (Hi A Lancaster)||4-1||2.48||96/27||18|
Two catchers make the squad and while Chris Snyder is officially listed as an El Paso Diablo he has certainly moved up, spending the last month of the regular season on the Diamondback's roster, but it appears that the Tucson Sidewinders' Corey Myers is the one getting more repetitions. Finally it was the entire El Paso outfield getting the AFL call. Conor Jackson and Carlos Quentin will generate the most interest, as both will at least challenge for spots on the big league club in Spring Training, while Marland Williams joins Wechsler on the taxi squad. In addition Watch for FutureBacks.com to give you the best AFL coverage.
|Chris Snyder (@ AA El Paso)||.301||15||57|
|Marland Williams (@ AA El Paso)||.257||8||43|
|Conor Jackson (@ AA El Paso)||.301||6||37|
|Carlos Quentin (@ AA El Paso)||.357||6||38|
|Corey Myers (@ AAA Tucson)||.289||7||25|
****The Pedrique predictions have started, with the interim Diamondbacks manager making his case to return. Pedrique is a long shot to be asked back, but there really is not a clear cut favorite. Names mentioned include Mark Grace, Jim Riggleman, Jim Fergosi, Jaime Quirk, and recently fired Mariners manager (and former Diamondbacks bench coach) Bob Melvin, a Phoenix resident in the off season, as reportedly been contacted by Diamondbacks GM Joe Garagiola Jr.
****Another oft mentioned name has been Lancaster JetHawks Manager Wally Backman. Backman led the JetHawks to the California League Championship Series, and the former Major League 2nd baseman won a World Series with the New York Mets. A source inside the front office says that the club feels that Backman might be the front runner because of his combination of name recognition and managerial experience. Though Backman downplayed his chances of getting the job during the season the Diamondbacks have apparently contacted Backman about interviewing.
****Will Randy keep going past the upcoming season? He has one more year left on his contract but rumors have swirled that he might ask to be traded in the off season, when a deal with the Yankees might be able to be worked out. The Diamondbacks have held firm that they would like to see Randy finish his career a Diamondback, and comments made earlier this week by Johnson indicated that might not been after next season. "You guys expect me to do well and when I didn't do well and I had a bad knee a lot of people said that I was done. I took offense to that. I'll know when I'm done. I wasn't done last year. I'm not done this year. I won't be done next year." His work in 2004 certainly did not look like the work of a pitcher at the end of his career, but still at 41 years old one wonders how much of a contract extension the Diamondbacks would be willing to offer.