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Pitchers who leave the Diamondbacks get better. Pitchers they acquire get worse.

Jul 23, 2014, 5:33 PM EDT

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A lot of us have ranted and raved at and mocked the Diamondbacks in the past year or so, but that doesn’t really get anyone anywhere. What does is actual information. Nick Piecoro has some real information today in the form of an excellent column that notes the team’s lack of success with their pitchers. Specifically, how good pitchers who come to Arizona tend to do poorly, seemingly poor pitchers who leave Arizona tend to do well and seemingly poor pitchers who stay in Arizona don’t seem to improve.

He talks to Kevin Towers about it and Towers doesn’t necessarily have great answers for that. In one instance — Brandon McCarthy and the whole cutter controversy —  he seems to have a somewhat ill-informed answer. It’s a must-read.

There is a good chance that change will be coming to Arizona soon. Tony La Russa is on the scene now and many suspect that Towers isn’t long for his job. Kirk Gibson too for that matter. If those changes to come, observations like Piecoro’s will likely be key in the decisions that put such change into effect.

  1. jarathen - Jul 23, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    I know Keith Law still liked Tyler Skaggs with the Diamondbacks but was concerned with a delivery flaw that he later said the Angels corrected, restoring some lost velocity.

    It’s one thing to harp on your pitching or hitting coach, but to see a professional scout/analyst identify a problem and watch nothing be done until the pitcher leaves for another team, which then immediately corrects said flaw, that’s another thing entirely.

    • jilljulias - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      Well, I will criticize them for Trevor Bauer. He was always known as strange, different, weird, had different work out routines that he had no plans to change. He made this known before he was ever drafted. This was not acceptable to the Diamondbacks so they drafted him anyway and THEN became upset because he was strange, different, weird, had different work out routines….and then couldn’t wait to give him away. Cleveland knew all about the ‘Trevor Bauer’ problem and well, they don’t see him as a problem at all.

      The Diamondbacks problems start at the top and filter all the way down to the bottom. And it’s not just with the pitching.

  2. nsauser - Jul 23, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    I like Piecoro as a beat writer. In fact I wish he produced more articles like this one. He may want to be careful though, he’s still on team management’s radar after not voting Goldschmidt #1 for MVP. And of course, Piecoro wrote an article about why he didn’t vote Goldy #1. Very stand up in my opinion. And it shows that he won’t cave into pressure to “toe the team line”.

    • gbrim - Jul 23, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      Piecoro is very good at being independent without being confrontational about it. Confrontational and abrasive doesn’t play in Phoenix whether from broadcasters, reporters, coaches or athletes.

      • mikdavfle - Jul 23, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        Absolutely agree with this. Nick is as solid as they come.

      • jya87 - Jul 24, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        Meanwhile, Ken Gurnick turns in an empty ballot for Maddux’s HOF vote. I guess he’s brave too. Wanna trade beat writers?

    • joecb91 - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      We are lucky to have Nick in Arizona. Outstanding writer who always gives HIS opinion and not the one the FO wants him to write.

      I remember a couple of the players (Ziegler mainly) being upset about him voting for McCutchen too.

  3. historiophiliac - Jul 23, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    Thanks for Scherzer!

  4. mlbfan8898 - Jul 23, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    How in the hell do you make that argument based off of one pitcher?

    • sandwiches4ever - Jul 23, 2014 at 6:10 PM

      How in the hell do you criticize the column without having read it?

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 23, 2014 at 6:51 PM

        Ha, you must be new here!

    • indaburg - Jul 23, 2014 at 6:22 PM

      They didn’t make that argument off of one pitcher. McCarthy is the most recent example.

  5. tfbuckfutter - Jul 23, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    Well any pitcher is going to see his WHIP and Earned Runs go up when he has to hit every batter that looks at him or any teammates or coaches cock-eyed right in the spleen with a fastball.

  6. mlbfan8898 - Jul 23, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    I read the column dumbass. The title really doesn’t fit the article well.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 23, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      Did you? Because Piecoro lists at least twelve pitchers in the article.

    • kcroyal - Jul 23, 2014 at 8:33 PM

      Welcome to HardBallTalk. Craig, and other writers, often repost other pieces written on other blogs and sites and usually give us a quick synopsis and their opinion on the matter. They will link to the original article. The link will be the green words you see on this very post! Feel free to read said links before you spout off and sound like a, well, dumbass.

  7. mlbfan8898 - Jul 23, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    Zeigler hasn’t gotten worse, Perez hasn’t gotten worse. Nuño wasn’t great before he came and hasn’t gotten worse. This is article is mainly about McCarthy who has only pitched in two games for the Yankees but don’t worry, he’ll get back to his normal awful self.

  8. mikdavfle - Jul 23, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    I’ve officially given up on the Diamondbacks as an organization until they do a complete overhaul of the entire operation. Ownership is a joke. Baseball ops is a joke and I can’t see La Russa fixing it. If it wasn’t for the Marlins retiring the trophy, I’d say this was the worst run organization in baseball.

    • coryrox78 - Jul 24, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      I think the Rockies give them a run for the money on worst run organization…

  9. schlom - Jul 23, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    Wait, pitchers that go to one of the better hitters parks in baseball do worse than they did before and then get better when they leave? Someone should do a study to see if the exact opposite thing happens at Petco Park. They could title the ensuing book “ParkEffectsBall.”

  10. yankeessuckameanone - Jul 23, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    You can’t solely blame this on the organization. Everyone gives a pass at Rockies pitching because of the higher elevation. They seem to forget Chase field is at the second highest elevation in baseball and the park isn’t a pitcher friendly. More so when they have the roof and panels open.

  11. thomas844 - Jul 23, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    Bronson Arroyo never misses a start throughout his whole career. Goes to Arizona and needs Tommy John that same year.

  12. 2bbige - Jul 23, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    Piecoro is a breath of fresh air compared to Brenly & Stevie B’s “never seen the #DBacks make a bad play but rag on the opponent” brown nosing TV guys!

    • joecb91 - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:10 PM

      I think Brenly has been critical when justified, but Bert is a massive brown-noser. Bring up the definition for “Company Man” and his picture is next to it.

      But of course Sutton was fired because he didn’t want to wear Polo Shirts….

  13. andreweac - Jul 23, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    Dbacks just need to get grittier.

  14. pascalswager42 - Jul 23, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Trevor Bauer is a good example, kid is tough and has good stuff. They gave him away for a song.

    -Tribe fan

    • mikdavfle - Jul 24, 2014 at 1:44 AM

      Funny thing about that – I actually didn’t mind the Bauer trade. I think we’re seeing this year that there’s only so much stress an arm can take with all of the UCL tears and I fear that his approach to pitching and warming up will do his arm in at some point. I could be wrong, but I can’t see him having a long MLB career without a long interruption due to arm troubles.

  15. pete2112 - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:38 AM

    Um, does anyone remember Ian Kennedy? He just about won the Cy Young award in his first full season with the Diamondbacks after being traded there via the Yankees. I would say that one worked out pretty well for them, albeit for just one season.

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