The other evening was not a pleasant one for Stephen Drew, the Arizona Diamondbacks or people who don’t like seeing mangled ankles and feet pointing in wrong directions. However, the ramifications of Drew’s somewhat gruesome injury extend beyond the measures of bad taste. The Diamondbacks, believe it or not, are in the midst of a playoff race, and a lack of Stephen Drew on their roster leaves a gaping hole at shortstop.

As much as the team may hope that calling up Cody Ransom or giving more playing time to Willie Bloomquist will help them bridge the gap between the NL West leading San Francisco Giants (4 games) or the NL Wild Card leading Atlanta Braves (5 games), the truth is that they won’t. Not helping matters at all is that the Baltimore Orioles have already inked J.J. Hardy to a contract extension, meaning he’s suddenly off the trading block, and the New York Mets, by most accounts, are unwilling to move NL MVP candidate Jose Reyes. While there’s never a good time for an injury, Drew’s broken ankle came at a particularly bad moment.

Or did it?

Perhaps this is something of a blessing in disguise for the Arizona Diamondbacks and their already depleted farm system. Instead of having to mortgage the future in a quite possibly failing attempt to catch the teams in front of them, the organization can use the Drew injury and the lack of trade targets available to justify standing pat.

It would be nice if the team could actually become something of sellers at the trade deadline, but I don’t know who they’d a) be interested in giving up or b) get any value for.

The team’s second baseman, Kelly Johnson, is probably the most likely trade candidate, as he’s about to become a free agent at the conclusion of this season and could represent an up the middle upgrade to several National League contenders. However, Johnson, despite a rough season this year, still ranks as a Type A free agent, meaning that any interested team would have to be willing to give up at least the equivalent of a first round draft pick and a supplemental pick.

No one really expected the Diamondbacks to compete this season and with the loss of Stephen Drew, maybe it’s best if Arizona just accepts fate and move on. They’ve got a great, young and very affordable pitching staff that’s going to be good for a long time, why not build on this season instead of selling its foundation to reach higher?

Here’s Drew’s injury from Wednesday night:

And The Rest

Wayne Gretzky’s son, Trevor, a seventh round pick, has signed a contract with the Chicago Cubs and will not be attending San Diego State this fall.

Would Adam Dunn’s awful 2011 make him quit baseball altogether?

Bud Selig on Frank McCourt: “No other owner has sacrificed so much of his team’s future for an immediate payoff.”

Police have made two arrests in the Bryan Stow beating case.

Carlos Beltran is not a designated hitter.

A Minor League team is doing it’s best to make organ donor awareness night a succes.

Attention, fantasy keeper league nerds: Jason Kipnis is coming to Cleveland.

After being released by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Aaron Heilman has signed a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Johnny Damon would go into the Hall Of Fame as a member of the Kansas City Royals if he could choose.

The San Diego Chicken gets his due.

Finally, run Mets fan, run.

Comments (15)

  1. The injury hurts the Diamondbacks and Drew. I believe he is a free agent at the end of the season and his value would have gone up considerably with a strong finish to the season.

  2. As someone firmly burrowed into the Aaron Hill bandwagon, I’ve always defended him as a scrappy (read: white) guy who plays a solid second base. Is the defense part correct? He certainly LOOKS like a good second baseman.
    I can’t understand the hitting thing either. Every time I watch him I feel like if he would just stop trying to pull EVERY pitch for a home run, he could bat second and rope line drives around the outfield. Do you guys think there’s any hope for him, or am I going to have to get acquainted with free agent second basemen (like Johnson I guess)?

  3. Drew is signed through 2012 with a mutual option in 2013.

    I think the last two years are far more indicative of Aaron Hill’s talent level than his 2009 season. Having said that, his defense remains spectacular.

  4. In other words, Aaron Hill is a poor man’s Johnny Mac. Although with better entrance music. No self respecting man should ever use Dave Matthews to walkout to.

  5. Hill does have by far the best entrance music. Yesterday I was listening on the radio and realized Arencibia has some good taste as well. I believe it was The Outfield – Your Love

  6. I would stop short of using “spectacular” when considering Hill’s defense. “Good” would be more accurate, and that is nothing to be ashamed of.

  7. i always thought JP used nothing but twangy country garbage.

  8. I don’t know that that’s true Parkes. Hill spend his entire early career hitting 300 with OBPs above 330 almost every year from age 23-27.

    If I thought BABIP was a measure of a player’s luck rather than an indicator that he pops out to second every damn time, I’d point out that it was .193 last year (!) and is only .253 this year. I don’t know how everyone (esp. the saber people around here) can write off a player with that kind of outlier BABIP and 4 years of consistently high averages… Why do you think these past 2 years are mor indicative?

    • BABIP doesn’t happen in a vacuum, as we discussed months ago in that contentious comment thread. If you recall, I believe Aaron Hill got unlucky on top of having a poor approach in 2010. This year, it looks like a little bit more of the same. His approach is still deeply flawed and his pull-heavy approach seems to make him easier to defend.

      Scary number for Hill: his Home run per fly ball rate is way, way down. That’s a good way to suppress your BABIP as well.

  9. as for 2b, Kelly Johnson is pretty much the guy I’ve been pining for since the start of the year. I wonder if ARI loses some games before the deadline, if AA would go after him with the hopes of getting an extension done before the end of the year.

  10. I had it in my head that Dew was having a really good offensive year (because I overpaid for him in an Ottoneu pool and was wishing for such things), but since May 1st, his batting line is .229/.292/.350. They’ll take a tiny step back, but if they fall off, it’ll hardly be because Drew wasn’t there.

  11. So is popping out to second and grounding to third…

  12. @Drew and Ray: Hill has, over the last four seasons, had a ridiculous infield fly rate, which obviously is indicative of skill and not luck and will drag down the BABIP. If anything, Hill was really LUCKY in 2009 and this season is more what his true skill level likely is. Havign said that, he should still hit a few more HRs than he has this year

  13. Yes, what Travis said.

    Also, as for Hill’s defense, he’s so competent at the position that he doesn’t look flashy. That to me is spectacular.

  14. I slightly agree with Ray. Real Hill is pre-concussion. He got concussed, started hitting home runs and lost his real swing. He has yet to find it, and probably won’t until he finds a new hitting coach/ Yes, he’s a change of scenery guy, and I’d be happy to see him do well elsewhere.

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