The Arizona Diamondbacks: The Best Pitchers 1998 – 2013: Part 3 Of A 3 Part Article Series
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Friday, July.12, 2013
By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner) Follow @aecanada12
The Diamondbacks have had good years and bad years in terms of pitching for their club. The first season for the club which was in 1998, they lost 97 games and 69 of those losses were from the rotation, which caused to finish last in the National West Division.
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Luis Gonzalez’s walk off hit Game 7 World Series 2011
The team made a tremendous leap in wins the following their inaugural year, and they won 100 games, while finishing first in their division. The main reason was because they signed a big free-agent pitcher, and he would pay huge dividends for the club.
Randy Johnson came to the desert and anchored the rotation for that year and many to follow. He was not alone with three other starters that also had at least 10 wins for the club. They were Daal, Benes, and Armando Reynoso.
Arizona would acquire another pitcher in 2001 that helped the franchise win their first World Series title. The Philadelphia Phillies traded Curt Schilling for Daal, Nelson Figueroa, Travis Lee, and Vicente Padilla.
This was also the year that Kim would be the inserted as the closer for the club. There is a constant theme, with closers and this club even in the early years for the franchise.
They did not make the postseason again until 2007, and this is when we see some of the young pitchers that Arizona developed in their farm system get their time to shine. Brandon Webb, Micah Owings, Edgar Gonzalez, and Yusmeiro Petit made up their rotation.
They do have new breed of pitchers coming up and the future looks bright for both the rotation and the bullpen.
Randy Johnson 1999-2004 118-62 (.656) 2.83 ERA: Johnson was the driving force that allowed Arizona to win the World Series in 2001. He was dominant to say the least his first four seasons in a Diamondbacks uniform.
He led the NL in strikeouts, and won the CY Young Award four consecutive years while making the All-Star team in those four seasons as well. He also finished 7th in the MVP voting in 2002. Johnson earned co-MVP honors for his role in the 2001 World Series with his partner in the rotation Curt Schilling.
He also leads the franchise in several pitching categories. He has a 2.83 ERA, 118 wins, 1,630.1 innings pitched, 2,077 strike outs, 232 games started, 38 complete games, and 14 shutouts.
Curt Schilling 2000-2003 58-28 (.674) 3.14 ERA: Schilling was the second piece of the puzzle that allowed Arizona to dominate in 2001 and 2002 season. He won 45 games in those two seasons with Arizona.
He also has the highest Win-Loss % for the franchise with it at .674, and he accumulated 875 strikeouts with his time in Arizona.
Omar Daal 1998-2000 26-31 (.456) 4.11 ERA: Daal was drafted by Arizona from the Toronto Blue Jays as the 31st pick in the 1997 expansion draft.
He was one of the early starters for the franchise and was crucial in the 1999 season for them, as he won 16 games in 214.2 innings pitched with a 3.65 ERA. He was one of those pitchers that helped the team out in the early years.
Miguel Batista 2001-2003, 2006 40-34 (.541) 3.99 ERA: Batista was signed as free-agent in 2000 for them.
He served many roles for the team by starting in some games and fulfilling whatever the team needed him to do, but his main job was to pitch out of the bullpen. The best year for him was in 2001 where he won 11 games and had a 3.36 ERA in 48 games, while starting 18.
He was their version of Josh Collmenter, filling any role that was required of him.
Dan Haren 2008-2010 37-26 (.587) 3.56 ERA: Haren was another pitcher they acquired by trading multiple players. Arizona sent Brett Anderson, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunningham, Dana Eveland, Carlos Gonzalez, and Greg Smith to the Oakland Athletics.
Haren was a good starter for Arizona especially in 2008, where he won 16 games with a 3.33 ERA. The team did not play well during that season, but Haren was still effective. He was a very good hitter with a .364 average in 55 at-bats in 2010.
Brandon Webb 2003-2009 87-62 (.584) 3.27 ERA: Webb is one of the pitchers that Arizona developed in their farm system. He benefitted from joining the rotation when the Diamondbacks still had Johnson & Schilling.
He became our ace of the staff in 2006 with 16 wins and an ERA of 3.10 and he also won the CY Young Award that year as well. He would be the runner-up in that award the following two seasons.
Webb set a career-high in victories with 22 in 2008, and is second in the franchise with 87 career wins. He is also 3rd in ERA for the team with a 3.27 mark, and is 2nd in innings pitched with 1,319.2. Webb also had one of the best sinker balls seen in a long time.
He had his career cut short, when a shoulder problem only allowed him to make one start in 2009 and he would later retire. Webb is still one of the best pitchers that Arizona had pitch for them and the fans appreciate what he did for the team.
Mike Koplove 2001-2006 15-7 (.682) 3.76 ERA: Koplove was drafted by the snakes in the 29th round during 1998 amateur draft.
Koplove was very good as a reliever for Arizona with side-arm type delivery. He was great in 2003 when he threw 37.2 innings with a 2.15 ERA. He also gave the bullpen a different look that season.
He even won six games during the 2002 season, by which he threw 61.2 innings and had a 3.36 ERA in 55 games.
Brandon Lyon 2005-2008 11-15 (.423) 4.03 ERA: Lyon pitched good and bad for Arizona during his tenure with the club. He served as the team’s closer in 2008 by saving 26 games with a 4.70 ERA.
The early part of his career with Arizona, especially in 2006 and 2007 he had an ERA of 3.89 and 2.68 respectively. Those seasons are when he was most effective, and he threw a combined 143 innings.
Micah Owings 2007-2008, 2011 22-17 (.546) 4.69 ERA: Owings was not very good as a starter pitcher for Arizona, but found his true calling by working in the bullpen.
He was crucial to Arizona making the playoffs in 2011, as he won eight games that season and had a 2.79 ERA. Owings was also a very good hitter, as he had a.298 batting average in 131 at-bats with the Diamondbacks.
Byung-Hyun Kim 1999-2003 21-23 (.477) 3.43 ERA: Kim was with the club in early parts of the franchise, as he made his debut in 1999. He saved 70 games for Arizona, and is 4th on the list for all-time saves. He threw 98 innings in 2001 in 78 games with a 2.94 ERA.
He was known for submarine style of pitching, and the blown saves in 2001 World Series against the New York Yankees. He also has thrown the most innings for a reliever in team history with 325.2 innings.
Matt Mantei 1999-2003 8-11 (.421) 4.04 ERA: Mantei was a very dependable closer for Arizona, as he saved 74 games for the club, in 173.2 innings. He is 3rd on their list of saves with the club.
The best season he had came in 2003 when he saved 29 games with a 2.62 ERA with 55 innings thrown in 50 games.
Jose Valverde 2003-2007 9-14 (.391) 3.28 ERA: Valverde or as the fans know him “Papa Grande” was very good in his last season with the snakes. He saved 47 games for them that season with a 2.66 ERA in 74 games. He is the franchise leader in saves with 98, and he has appeared in 253 games for Arizona.
J.J. Putz 2011-2013 5-8 (.385) 2.64 ERA: Putz was brought in the 2011 season to fix a bullpen that if their life depended on it could not save a game, or keep a game close. He did that perfectly in 2011 by locking down the 9th inning and saving 45 games for Arizona with an ERA of 2.17. He is 3rd in team history with 82 saves.
Patrick Corbin has a great chance to make this list, as long he improves his development as pitcher, and judging by the way he has performed this season I see no reason why he will not get better.
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A big thank-you goes out to our ”Lead Baseball Columnist and Minority Website Owner” Chris Lacey. Chris has been a fan of watching baseball since the age of 13. Now he does like all sports – but his favorites after baseball are hockey and basketball.
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Posted on July 12, 2013, in MLB Historical Series, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2001 world series, @aecanada12 on twitter, aaron cunningham, amaury telemaco, andy benes, arizona diamondbacks, armando reynoso, brad penny, brandon lyon, Brandon Webb, brett anderson, brian anderson, byung-hyun kim, carlos gonzalez, chris carter, curt schilling, dana eveland, doug davis, doug slaten, Edgar Gonzalez, greg smith, greg swindell, gregg olson, j.j. putz, jeff suppan, jose valverde, josh collmenter, juan cruz, livan hernandez, luis gonzalez, matt mantei, micah owings, miguel batista, mike fetters, mike koplove, mike myers, nelson figueroa, new york yankees, nl cy young, NL West division, oakland athletics, omar daal, Patrick Corbin, philadelphia phillies, randy johnson, rick helling, Tony Pena, toronto blue jays, travis lee, vicente padilla, vladimir nunez, willier blair, World Series MVP, yusmeiro petit. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.