Are bloggers allowed to have hunches? I had one over the Winter after watching David Hernandez pitch in the World Baseball Classic. I had no statistical basis in my reasoning. After all, Hernandez had been a good setup guy the previous two seasons with an average ERA of under 3.00. However, I didn’t like his body language or his ball’s movement (or lack there of). So I concluded that Hernandez was in for a down year, that his ERA would hover around 4.00. Well it turns out I was half-right. It was 5.59 before he was sent down earlier this month. After last night’s game, I had another hunch.
Tyler Skaggs won’t be a D-Back in 2014. Just a hunch. Image: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
This time, I have at least a shred of evidence to back up my claim. I wrote a month ago that if the Arizona Diamondbacks couldn’t make up their minds about what they wanted to do with Skaggs, they should just trade him. After watching David Holberg, who had never pitched above Double-A Mobile, get the ball before last night’s game, it begged the question as to why Skaggs wasn’t the one getting the start. The reason made sense to me; he pitched five innings for Triple A Reno on Sunday. Even with that explanation, I still have this nagging suspicion that come this time next year, the 22-year-old lefty will be in a different uniform. I think it has to do with the fact that he is not one of Kevin Towers’s “guys”. Skaggs came to the D-backs as part of the Dan Haren trade which was made by Jerry Dipoto, at that time the interim General Manager. Look at the players that have been moved since Towers become the GM in October 2010, some of whom helped Arizona win the National League West in 2011. Justin Upton, Chris Young and Joe Saunders among others played vital roles on that team and none of them are around. You can understand why they were dealt but one of the factors has to be the fact none of them were bought into the organization by Towers.
Trevor Bauer was a Towers guy; in fact he was the GM’s first D-Back draft pick. His problem was that he did not conform to the Towers way. I am afraid that Tyler Skaggs will be joining him as an ex-D-Back. I hope this hunch is wrong.