Post-Season Thoughts

It seems Father Time is a baseball fan as the Diamondbacks and their Olden Gloves hang on to win the National League Western Division by 2 games over Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants. It seems like sweet vindication to the aging stars of the Arizona Diamondbacks to show that hey maybe they weren’t so old after all.

There are still a lot of question marks regarding the starting rotation going into the play-offs. Currently, the Diamondbacks have scheduled Curt Schilling to face Matt Morris in Game 1 at Bank One Ballpark and Randy Johnson will face Woody Williams. The questions begin with Game 3 as Miguel Batista will face Darryl Kile. Not exactly the way the Diamondbacks drew things up at the beginning of the season when Batista was battling to even make the club. Don’t get me wrong, Miguel is probably the most valuable guy on the pitching staff right now since his rubber arm allows him to start and relieve with little or no rest. The question is, how will he fair in the post season? In his past few appearences, Miguel seems to be tired as he should be considering he has thrown 139.1 innings this year. To put that into perspective, Batista has thrown just 524 innings total in his 7 year career. His ERA is hovering around 3.50 and the Diamondbacks are hoping he has enough gas left to finish the year.

Will the real Albie Lopez please stand up? I will be the first to admit I was not a big fan of the trade that brough Lopez and Mike DiFelice to the Diamondbacks in exchange for Nick Bierbrodt, Jason Conti and $625,000 in cash. To give up a promising young left-hander and an outfield prospect and maybe more importantly to the Diamondbacks, a truck load of cash made little sense. Then to see DeFelice get a single hit for the Diamondbacks before imploding in Pittsburgh and trying to beat up a woman in a bar. (Geez, this guy can’t even get a hit against a woman!), this trade made even less sense. Now, Brenly must be pulling his hair out trying to decide which Albie Lopez is going to show up to pitch. Is it going to be the guy who allows just 6 hits in his last two games or will it be the 19 game loser who lost 4 out of 5 decisions between August 27 and September 25? I have to admit, having Lopez as the Diamondbacks fourth starter isn’t going to make me sleep any better at night. There will be a lot of Diamondbacks fans who will be praying for a three game sweep just so Lopez won’t take the mound.

The Diamondbacks are still worried about Damian Miller. His shoulder is in much worse shape than the team is letting on and it is unclear how long he will hold out during the play-offs. Considering the two candidates for back-up catcher spent a substantial amount of time in the minor leagues this year, the Diamondbacks cannot afford for Miller to be out of many games. Back-up catcher is at the top of the Diamondbacks list of things to find once this season is complete.

One bright spot from the injury front shows Matt Mantei being ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation. Mantei has been traveling with the team during September and he has had several sessions with the trainer tossing the ball. Granted, he is still months away from pitching but at least he is beginning to lightly toss the ball and is reporting no pain. This is good news as it might mean Matt will be back before All-Star break next season.

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