After Zack Greinke’s horrid Diamondbacks debut last night, the team’s next big-ticket acquisition, Shelby Miller, will take the mound tonight against the Rockies. The Diamondbacks paid a steep price to get Miller, so the eyes of the baseball world will be on Arizona tonight.
Miller was 6-17 with a 3.02 ERA for the Braves last season, and the price tag the Diamondbacks paid for him sets his expectations equally high.
The Diamondbacks have had several other big-ticket debuts in the past. The only one that comes close to the hype surrounding Greinke’s would probably be Randy Johnson’s or Curt Schilling’s. Miller may come with less hype than Greinke, but here are how some other big-time acquisitions fared in their D-Backs debuts:
Matt Williams: Williams was arguably the biggest name on the Diamondbacks’ inaugural team. He went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the team’s first game, a 9-2 loss to the Rockies at the newly-minted Chase Field.
Randy Johnson: “The Big Unit” signed a $52 million contract in the 1998-99 offseason, and started on Opening Day in 1999. He allowed just two runs on five hits in seven innings to the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
Steve Finley: Finley was another big-ticket acquisition made in the 1998-99 offseason that helped bring the team to the playoffs that year. He went 2-for-6 with a run scored that Opening Day.
Curt Schilling: Schilling was acquired from the Phillies ahead of the deadline in 2000, and was worth every penny throughout his Diamondbacks tenure. He dazzled through his debut, allowing just one run on six hits in eight innings against the Marlins on July 28, 2000.
Richie Sexson: The Diamondbacks traded Junior Spivey, Craig Counsel, Chris Capuano, Jorge De la Rosa and Lyle Overbay to get Sexson ahead of the 2004 season– a move that proved disastrous. Sexson played just 23 forgettable games in his lone season with the Diamondbacks and his debut was symbolic of his D-Backs career– he went 0-for-4.
Shawn Green: The former 50-home run-hitter went 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored in a 16-6 loss to the Cubs on Opening Day 2005.
Troy Glaus: Glaus signed a $45 million contract before 2005, and went 1-for-3 in his debut in Arizona.
Randy Johnson (again): Johnson was re-acquired from the Yankees in 2007. He allowed six runs in five innings in his first game back on April 24 against the Padres.
Dan Haren: The Diamondbacks may have traded Carlos Gonzalez to get Haren for the 2008 season, but Haren was solid in Arizona. He recorded a quality start in the team’s second game of the 2008 season, allowing three runs in six innings against the Reds.
Adam Dunn: “The Big Donkey” was acquired in August 2008, and went 1-for-3 with a double and two walks in his debut.
Yasmany Tomas: Tomas– the most expensive signee before Zack Greinke in Diamondbacks history– failed to reach base in his debut as a pinch-hitter on April 15 of last season.
Zack Greinke: We all remember that one.