A Look at the Arms Coming to Arizona
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By Dan Strittmatter
A quick look at the pieces acquired by the Arizona Diamondbacks from the Los Angeles Angels for right-handed pitcher Dan Haren:
– LHP Joe Saunders
Saunders was an All-Star in 2008 when he posted a 3.41 ERA and 17-7 record in 31 starts for the Angels, though he has seen his numbers dip since. Not a big strikeout guy (career 5.10 K/9IP), he is at his best when limiting free passes, something he has struggled with on the whole this year (3.36 K/9IP, 2.98 for his career). However, he has pitched very effectively as of late, with a 3.48 ERA in his last five starts, spanning 33 2/3 innings, and has a 3.80 ERA in his 14 starts since May 8, spanning 90 innings.
– LHP Patrick Corbin
Corbin is in the midst of his second season of professional baseball, and has lit up the Midwest and California Leagues. He works with three big-league quality pitches, and while he may not sport top-of-the-rotation stuff, he has racked up plenty of strikeouts in the low minors, 152 strikeouts in 165 innings in his career, with 106 of them coming in his 118 2/3 innings in 2010. Add to those numbers a total of just 39 career walks, 28 of them in 2010, with high ground-ball-to-fly-ball ratios, and Corbin is a pitcher who simply doesn’t have any major flaws in how he pitches.
Perhaps where Corbin has been most impressive is the Hi-A California League, due to its notoriety as a hitter-friendly league with warm, thin air and some tight ballparks. In his eleven starts for Rancho Cucamonga, the Angels’ Cal League affiliate, Corbin struck out over a batter per inning, racking up 64 strikeouts while walking just 18 in 60 1/3 innings of work. His GO/AO ratio was also a fantastic 1.51:1 for Rancho Cucamonga.
Corbin has been assigned to Hi-A Visalia, the D-backs’ affiliate in the Cal League.
– RHP Rafael Rodriguez
Rodriguez comes to the D-backs as another solution for the team’s bullpen woes, and boasts an impressive Triple-A track record to back it up. He posted a 1.85 ERA in 22 games, spanning 34 innings, at Triple-A Salt Lake in the Pacific Coast League in 2009 before spending 18 games pitching out the Angels’ big-league pen. He posted a 3.04 ERA for Salt Lake in 37 appearances in 2010 prior to the trade.
Rodriguez has been assigned to Triple-A Reno, the D-backs affiliate in the Pacific Coast League. He debuted yesterday for the Aces.
– An important, final piece of the deal (there was one player to be named later) should be announced later this year, and we’ll have a look at him when the official announcement is made.