Position Player Andy Green
There were plenty of strong candidates on the Sidewinders in July.
Carlos Quentin was explosive, hitting over .300 with six homers and 22 RBI,
Brian Barden hit .354 with a .425 on base percentage, Matt Kata left via trade
after hitting .350 and slugging .550, and Conor Jackson had a 'down' month that
consisted of a .286 batting average, and .435 on base percentage, with 10 runs
But there really was no question, Andy Green was the man Tucson.
Green led the Sidewinders in virtually every category. He hit .378,
cranked nine home runs, carried a .461 on base percentage and a Bonds-like .739
slugging percentage, all tops on the team. Despite leading off every game
in which he played Green tied Quentin for the team lead in RBI, with 22, and he
scored an amazing 34 runs in 27 July games.
He hit in his first 16 July games, scored runs in 10 straight during the
month, and played four different positions, five if you count designated hitter.
In fact there is really only one question, after a month like this (and it's not
like it's just this month, Green's hitting nearly .350 on the season), how is it
that Green is still in Tucson, and not playing at the BOB?
"The whole call up situation is a really tough thing," Sidewinders manager
Chip Hale says, "We knew from the beginning of the season that as long as this group
[of Major League Players] was healthy that they weren't going to make a whole lot of moves.
The Diamondbacks thinking is sound, because even if Green got
called up and because one of the bench players wasn't there, he's not going to play
very much. So the problem becomes, when he gets called up and doesn't play
maybe he cools down, we'd rather see him here, getting four at bats a day, than
up with the big league club, getting four a week. That way he stays hot,
and if something happens and they need him he'll be ready to go."
Currently Alex Cintron is holding down the fort in Arizona as the
Diamondbacks go to utility guy, but the front office, as well as manager Bob
Melvin, are well aware that they've got a potent force waiting in Tucson.
Pitcher Mark Freed
For pitcher of the month the candidates seemed endless, reliever Randy Choate
didn't allow a run and held opponents to a .154 batting average, Jason Bulger's
ERA was a scant 2.53 and he struck out 16 hitters against only four walks, and
reliever Matt Herges is officially back on track after going 1-0 in July with a
1.69 ERA and striking out eight in 10.2 innings. There were strong
candidates from the starting rotation as well. Jon Cannon carried a 1-2
record, but his 3.48 ERA and .223 opponent's batting average made strong
statements. Chris Michalak was even better, going 3-2 with a 2.83 ERA and
.243 opponent's batting average but both Cannon and Michalak had trouble with
Then there was Mark Freed. The just-turned-28 years old left hander is
well aware that the purpose of the minor leagues is to serve the Major League
club, and Freed never made a peep as he was shuffled in and out of the starting
rotation, often as the 'unofficial' starter, charged with entering the game in
the second or third inning after relievers like Oscar Villarreal and Brandon Lyon got their mandatory work in. It isn't easy to go back and forth, and
it's even more difficult to go five, six or seven innings without starting, but
Freed performed admirably. He was 3-0 in July with a 2.35 ERA, he struck
out 21 and walked only six. Two of his wins came out of the starting
rotation, the third came on July 28th after he entered in the second inning and
went six innings, allowing four hits and zero runs, striking out four and
walking just one.
For Freed this might have been his most difficult month, and he handled it
like a veteran, a professional, and a guy who's looking for a spot on the big
league roster. His versatility could prove valuable to the Diamondbacks,
especially with the uncertainty surrounding guys like Villarreal, Lyon, Shawn Estes and Russ Ortiz, all of whom will likely be rejoining the Diamondbacks
shortly after stints on the DL.