The MLB trade deadline is a little more than two months away, but the speculation surrounding the Arizona Diamondbacks is already starting to swirl. Despite their slow start to the 2012 season, there is still plenty of time for the team to make a move in a weak National League West.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the D-backs may deal veteran lefty Joe Saunders regardless of whether or not the team is in contention for a playoff birth.
According to Rosenthal's latest video update, the club is prepared to listen to offers for Saunders regardless of their record. With young guns Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson and Trevor Cahill already in place in Arizona, prospects Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs breezing through the Minor Leagues with dominant stuff. Saunders is only signed through the end of the 2012 season and it would appear that he would not be re-signed in the offseason, so it only makes sense for general manager Kevin Towers to test the market.
The return for Saunders would not be high, but the move could free up a little bit of salary space for another move. Again, no deal is imminent, but Rosenthal's video leads one to suggest that Arizona will be very active in the coming months as the trade deadline looms.
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley was spectacular again as the team ended their road trip and interleague series against the Kansas City Royals. He pitched another seven scoreless innings, allowing only six hits and the Arizona Diamondbacks blanked the Royals 2-0.
Ian Kennedy is not playing as well as he did last season. In that regard, he joins many (most) of his Arizona Diamondbacks teammates. Kennedy managed just five innings with six runs allowed on eight hits. Instead of the staff ace extending a rare two-game winning streak, Kennedy got shelled by the Kansas City Royals.
Of course, it's hard to blame Kennedy when the offense made Bruce Chen look like Justin Verlander (6.1 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 4 SO, 2 BB). Apparently, having Chris Young back in the lineup isn't a silver bullet after all.
The Royals got to Kennedy for one run in the second inning off a Chris Getz RBI single. They score two more in the third, another in the fourth and a couple more in the fifth before Ian was sent to the showers. The pen (lefty Mike Zagurski) gave up another in the sixth just to keep the Royals scoring streak alive.
The D-backs finally broke up the shutout in seventh inning with a minor rally started by a Paul Goldschmidt double. Ryan Roberts doubled in Goldy and then scored himself off a Willie Bloomquist single. Aaron Hill's double-play ball ended the threat.
Wade Miley (4-1, 2.52), who's been the Snakes most consistent starter, takes the hill Sunday against the Royals Nathan Adcock (0-1, 2.51). That day game starts at 11:10 a.m. Arizona time and will be on Fox Sports Arizona.
For more on the slumping Diamondbacks, visit AZ Snakepit.
For one night at least, the 2012 Arizona Diamondbacks looked a lot like their brethren from last summer. Solid starting pitching. Clutch hitting. Late taking of a lead. Bullpen shutting the door. That's a recipe for success in a lot of baseball games but it only works with the right ingredients.
Chris Young, back for the first time since going on the DL after an April 17 meeting with the wall, was the missing piece. Maybe.
Young had a ridiculous start to the season going (.410 BA, 1.397 OPS) before a spectacular catch injured his right shoulder. In his first game back he was "relegated" to the DH role (which must have killed the defensive stud) against the AL Kansas City Royals. All he did was line drive a double that plated the tying and go-ahead run in the sixth inning.
Montero wasn't over-swinging at every pitch and as a result "gently" drove a ball to the opposite field that gave the D-backs the two-run margin of victory. Upton went 2-3 with a walk and scored three of his team's six runs.
On the mound, Joe Saunders bounced back from a couple of bad outings to give his team what they'd come to expect.
We knew he wasn't the guy who had a .090 ERA in April and we also know he isn't the guy who gave up 13 runs in his last two starts. Instead, Joe gave up eight hits but only three runs in his six innings. It was a very Saunders-like start which is exactly what his team needed.
Sure, Brad Ziegler gave up game-tying run in the seventh that cost Joe a win, but a glimpse of the late-inning heroics we were spoiled by last summer quickly got two back of the aforementioned Montero double.
Craig Breslow and J.J Putz finished off the Royals night.
The slumping Arizona Diamondbacks will be betting one of their big bats back in the lineup as the team announced Friday afternoon that they have reinstated outfielder Chris Young from the 15-day disabled list and optioned outfielder A.J. Pollock to Triple-A Reno, according to D-backs' Executive Vice President & General Manager Kevin Towers.
Young was placed on the 15-day DL after suffering a right shoulder contusion back on April 18. He played four rehabilitation games with Single-A Visalia and Triple-A Reno, going 4-for-15 (.267) with 3 doubles, 1 home run (a grand slam) and 8 RBI. Before going down with injury Young was .410 (16-for-39) with 4 doubles, 5 home runs and 13 RBI for Arizona.
As for Pollock, 24, was had an up-and-down time with theD-backs, hitting .229 (11-for-48) with 2 doubles, 1 home run and 4 RBI in 20 games with Arizona.
The D-backs begin interleague play this weekend with a three game set with the Kansas City Royals.