(Photo by Jordan Megenhardt/Arizona Diamondbacks)
By Greg Dillard
Parra back in the leadoff spot
Outfielder Gerardo Parra’s name has been penciled into several different spots in the D-backs’ starting lineup throughout the 2011 season. The left-handed hitter has hit eighth, seventh, and toward the top of the order at second and leadoff.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson had Parra in the top spot of the lineup for Saturday’s game against the Padres.
“With this lineup, he’s the right guy to have up there,” Gibson said. “He’s swung the bat well lately. He’s starting to understand what different places in the order mean.”
Last night, Parra drilled an RBI triple into right centerfield during the bottom of the seventh.
“His hit last night, early in the year he tried to force everything to left field,” Gibson said. “If they make mistakes, he’s going to make them pay. He understands that. There’s a time to do that. That was the time to do it. He’s playing well for us, and he’ll do fine up there for us.”
Gibson talks one-two punches
It’s no secret that the dominant duo of Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson has been incredible for the D-backs all season long.
The two right-handers have combined for a league-leading 35 wins.
“I was thinking last night Hudson and Kennedy have 35 wins,” Gibson said. “I don’t know, but I’m thinking that’s the best. Our one-two guys are pretty damn good but don’t tell anybody. Seriously, it’s great. Just keep talking about those other guys.”
Of course, Arizona is no stranger to stellar one-two pitching punches. The twosome of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling propelled the club to a World Championship in 2001. That team is being honored this weekend at Chase Field.
Gibson said he has yet to see a duo as impressive and Johnson and Schilling.
“Not that dominant with just the pure stuff, too,” Gibson said. “That’s pretty impressive.”
Sabermetrics? Old School? How about a little of both?
Advanced statistics and Sabermetrics have become an influential part of the game across the United States. Teams are now taking advantage of all kinds of stats to help evaluate player performance.
In pitching, the importance of wins has become devalued by some fans, experts, and even media members in recent years.
But to Gibson, that’s still a vital statistic.
“I don’t think there’s any more important stat in any period than wins,” Gibson said. “That’s what we’re here for. If you win, you’ve accomplished your task. If you never lost, that’s what you’d be here for. I guess it’s just a different way of thinking.”
Gibson went on to say how much information is available in this day in age. Instead of relying all on Sabermetrics, he’d rather use a little of everything.
“Sabermetrics is something you can sit down and diagnose a thousand different ways,” Gibson said. “There are some very, very legitimate and important indicators that you need to pay attention to. I’m not in total agreement with all that. I don’t proclaim to be a Sabermetrics genius. I do look at it. Like when you look at the WARP, you look at some of the defensive metric stuff, I can tell you they’re not right. It’s not fool-proof like anything else.
“It’s just like me to sit here and play total old school with you. What you have to do is learn how to take it all in and make a good decision based upon all the information. That’s a critical thing. There’s so much information now.”
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