Meet the new faces
Arizona has had a busy couple of days. After trading for a bona fide closer (Paul Sewald) they stayed active and acquired 3 more big-league players.
Yesterday, the D-backs received OF Tommy Pham from the Mets, 3B Jace Peterson from the A’s, and relief pitcher Peter Strzelecki from the Brewers.
All solid additions for a team that is in desperate need of any signs of life. In the process of all these moves, Arizona had to say goodbye to relief man Andrew Chafin, minor league infielder Jeremy Rodriguez, and minor league pitcher Chad Patrick.
A high price to pay, but the Diamondbacks immediately got better; this was the goal for them going into the deadline.
Let’s take a look at the 3 new faces that are sure to make the fans at Chase Field loud.
Diamondbacks new face: OF Tommy Pham
This was a great move by Mike Hazen as Pham will assuredly add some pop to this struggling lineup.
Pham has definitely made his way around the block. He broke into the league in 2014 with the Cardinals and he has suited up for 6 different ball clubs. Arizona will be his 7th.
He has played close to 1,000 big league games and he has maintained a career OPS of .790. Despite belonging to the pathetic NY Mets this year, Pham has enjoyed one of his best seasons, displaying that he still has a lot of juice left in his bat.
On the season Pham has hit 10 HRs, 36 RBIs, and he holds an OPS of .820; He has also added 11 steals to his resume. But if you look at his numbers closely, things start to get interesting.
I love Baseball Savant because it shows you everything you could want to know about a player's performance. For example, here are Pham’s percentile rankings this season: 94th percentile in average exit velo, 80th percentile in hard hit percentage, and 94th percentile in chase rate. The list goes on.
What these numbers are showing us is that Pham is getting very unlucky. He’s smoking the ball left and right but just not to the right places on the field.
His actual batting average is .268 but his expected batting average is .297. His actual weighted OBA is .352 but his expected weighted OBA is .390.
The D-backs should now possess a more potent lineup.
Diamondbacks new face: 3B Jace Peterson
Another veteran for this Arizona lineup.
Like Pham, Peterson has been around the block. He began his career in 2014 with the Padres and Arizona will be his 7th team.
Peterson is not as exciting of a player as Pham but he is still a solid addition to this ball club. On the season he has knocked in 28 runs and he holds an OPS of .637.
He hasn’t been great offensively this season but in 24 June games, Peterson got on base at a .344 rate. He isn’t going to knock the ball out of the ballpark but he has shown in the past that he has a keen eye and he can draw walks.
What Peterson is mostly known for is his glove. This year at the hot corner he has an OAA of 3 ranking him 11th among all MLB third basemen.
He has prevented 2 runs and he should help boost this already strong defense that ranks 7th in the league in defensive runs saved.
Diamondbacks new face: Peter Strzelecki
This trade was a little weird.
Arizona traded Andrew Chafin to Milwakuee for Strzelecki. Chafin has a 4.19 ERA in 43 games and Strzelecki has a 4.54 ERA in 36 games.
Peter Strzelecki enjoyed a dominant April in which he only surrendered 1 earned run in 12.2 innings of work (0.71 ERA). But since then, it’s been downhill.
Perhaps the D-backs were tired of Chafin’s command issues and wanted someone who could consistently get ahead in the count. Throwing strikes is something Strzelecki does very well.
He ranks in the 78th percentile in walk percentage whereas Chafin ranks in the 10th percentile in that same category.
Strzelecki is also very good against right-handed hitters. This season, his batting average against vs righties is .214 and his WHIP against righties is 1.04.
This seems like a move where both sides got what they needed…