Depression set in for me yesterday afternoon and it wasn’t because there is only one episode of 24 left. I looked at the pitching matchups for the day’s games and noticed that both Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs were pitching for the Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Angels respectively. Bauer outpitched Masahiro Tanaka in the Tribe’s 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees while Skaggs gave up three earned runs over 6 2/3 innings as the Halos lost 4-0 to the Toronto Blue Jays. While I am unsure if it was the first time the pitchers started on the same day, it nevertheless represented a painful reminder that both gentlemen are not with the team that gave them their Major League debuts, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
If you can, forget for a moment who the two youngsters were dealt for. Both Didi Gregorius and Mark Trumbo were dealt to Arizona, through no fault of their own. As a fan, don’t be upset with these two players if they fail to live up to expectations. Save your wrath for the man who made these deals, general manager Kevin Towers. The most painful part of seeing Bauer and Skaggs in different cities is knowing how bright the future of the D’backs would be if both players were still here. Would they have made a significant difference in the team’s dismal 2014 record? Instead of 16 games under .500, would they be 10 games under .500? It wouldn’t be much of a impact in the standings. However, you would feel a whole lot better knowing that you have two pitchers less than 24 years old and have had (barring injury) somewhere between 35 and 40 Major League starts anchoring the rotation as the page turns to 2015. Instead of Skaggs and Bauer looking to help the Snakes into playoff contention next year, you have question marks galore. You can’t expect Patrick Corbin to return to All-Star form on April 1st; doing so would be extremely foolish. Ditto for Bronson Arroyo, who may come back next year but only be effective beginning in August. Who knows what you are going to get from Wade Miley. While they have shown flashes of brilliance, can you really count on Mike Bolsinger and Chase Anderson for an entire year? All of these concerns could have been avoided if KT could have shown a little more patience with what were his top two prospects. Now, you have many folks wondering if management needs to scrap the whole team and build from scratch. What a shame it would be to have Paul Goldschmidt waste his prime years during a rebuilding project.
One can only hope Archie Bradley and Braden Shipley can make fans forget about Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs. Maybe Gregorius and Trumbo can help the team and perform well enough to mitigate the sting we feel whenever we see Bauer and Skaggs take the hill somewhere other than Chase Field. However, the thought of those two youngsters having productive careers in other places might be a wound that may never fully heal.