Sep 27, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Miguel Montero (47) hits a single during the fourth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The Arizona Diamondbacks are spectators during the 2015 MLB playoffs. Perhaps at this time next year, the D-backs and their fans will have more than just a passing interest. However, there are some players still busy right now that spent some time calling Arizona home as recently as six weeks ago. Let’s look at which players are hoping at a shot at lifting the World Series trophy. The best part of this review? Half of the Houston Astros’ bullpen is made up of former Diamondbacks.
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Miguel Montero: The popular, long-time D-backs’ catcher was traded to the Chicago Cubs in December for Zack Godley and Jeferson Mejia. Miggy had a typically solid Montero season with 15 home runs and 53 RBI’s. He missed three weeks of the season due to a thumb injury. The highlight for Montero came onAugust 30th as he was behind the plate to catch Jake Arrieta‘s no-hitter.
Didi Gregorius: The shortstop was shipped to the New York Yankees in the deal that brought Robbie Ray to the D-backs and was given the unenviable task of replacing Derek Jeter. After struggling mightily during the first half of the season, Didi was a hitting machine after the All-Star Break with a batting average over .300 in July and August. He finished at .265 with nine home runs and 56 RBI’s. Gregorius is not Jeter but the Yankees have found his replacement for the next ten years.
Will Harris: After a fine season in 2013 with Arizona in which he posted a 2.91 ERA in 52 2/3 innings, Harris stumbled in 2014, leading to the end of his tenure in Phoenix. The right-handed reliever was claimed off waivers by the Astros in November. He became one of Houston’s most dependable arms in the bullpen, with a 1.90 ERA in 71 innings pitched. Harris also led the staff in appearances with 68.
Tony Sipp: After an uneventful 2013 season in Arizona, the lefty signed with the San Diego Padres before landing with the Astros in May 2014. Sipp raised his game this year with a career campaign, posting a 1.99 ERA in 60 games. He punched out 62 batters in only 54 1/3 innings with opponents hitting only .209 off him. Oddly enough, he fared better against righties (.190 BAA) as opposed to lefties (.227 BAA).
Cliff Pennington: The versatile infielder spent almost three seasons with the D-backs before being dealt on August 8th for Minor League infielder Dawel Lugo. Once Aaron Hill was established as the backup at second and third bases, there wasn’t much playing time available for Pennington. He has only 12 hits in 92 plate appearances for the Blue Jays with two home runs and he has played all over the diamond for Toronto just as he did in Arizona.
Oliver Perez: The veteran was a fairly effective, sometimes a really good reliever for the Snakes until being dealt to Houston on August 8th for Minor League pitcher Junior Garcia. Perez averaged more than a strikeout per inning during his almost two years with the D-backs but it’s been a different story with the Astros. In 22 games covering 12 innings, he has allowed 14 hits and nine earned runs. He also has surrendered four walks and two home runs.
Addison Reed: For the most part, I am sure he would like to forget his time in Arizona. The low point came in June of this year when he was demoted briefly to Triple A Reno. However, upon his return Reed became an effective setup guy. He was unscored upon in 11 of his final 13 D-back outing before being dealt the to Mets on August 30th for Minor League pitchers Miller Diaz and Matt Koch. He has become a 7th inning weapon for New York, allowing only two runs in 15 1/3 innings with 17 strikeouts.