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why-i-am-firmly-against-the-diaz-acquisition | August | 2011 Articles

Why I Am Firmly Against the Diaz Acquisition

Written by Joe Lucia on .

The Braves acquired Matt Diaz from the Pirates today for a PTBNL. Most fans are giddy as HELL, because they all love Diaz as a person. I feel bad, because while he seems to be a really great guy, he's really outlived his usefulness on the field. I mean, that's why the team cut him last offseason, right?

Diaz's role throughout his entire career has been that of a lefty killer. Last season with Atlanta, he had an overall line of .250/.302/.438, which is substandard from a corner outfielder. But against lefties, his line was a solid .273/.318/.512. But that line was actually a downgrade from his career line against lefties, which is .329/.369/.511. You can't even blame a low BABIP last season for his struggles, as his mark against lefties was .312. While that's down from his career lefty BABIP of .362, it's still a high number.

This season with the Pirates, Diaz has become unplayable. His overall line is a hideous .259/.303/.324. Against lefties, once his forte, Diaz is hitting .295/.342/.362. His once solid power against lefties has completely disappeared. You can't even blame Diaz's starting drop in power on his home park, as he's got a .063 ISO at PNC Park, and a .067 ISO on the road. That is a minimal difference.

What concernes me about the Diaz acquisition is his playing time. You know that because he's back in the fold, he's going to be getting regular starts against lefties. And of course, in tonight's lineup, Jason Heyward is on the bench. He gets benched the night after he goes 1/2 and drives in the only two runs of the game for the Braves. Meanwhile, Diaz is in the midst of an August stretch where he OPSed .574 in 32 at bats. It's almost as if the Braves don't WANT Heyward to get into a groove, first starting Jose Constanza over him due to the hot hand fallacy, and now starting Diaz in front of him due to the platoon fallacy. Diaz is also a terrible defender in right field while Heyward is a magnificent one, but since no one really gives a damn about defense when discussing Jason Heyward, I'm sure you'll all let that little tidbit slip by too.

But I'm not done yet. In the offseason, Diaz signed a two year deal with the Pirates worth $4.25 million. The Braves will still be on the hook for $2 million next year...and that is more than both Eric Hinske ($1.5 million) and David Ross ($1.625 million) will be making. They are two of the best bench players in the league. Diaz is not. The team is locked in for $2 million for a bench player who only has usefulness against lefties. This is not a smart way to run a team at all.

I understand the reasoning behind the deal. Diaz is a fan favorite who has a reputation for being a lefty killer off the bench, which is something that the Braves have felt they've needed all year. However, that reasoning is outdated, and the cons outweigh the benefits in this situation. With the addition of Diaz, someone who could actually help the team in October will be left off the roster. And it's probably going to end up being Jose Constanza, because I can't see any situation where the team goes into the postseason with Brooks Conrad as the only member of the bench with an ability to play up the middle. Funny how that works....yesterday's treasure is today's trash. Matt Diaz is today's flavor of the week, and Braves fans are going to realize pretty quickly that he's not the same player that he was back in 2009. 
13 comments
congtysangoviet1
congtysangoviet1

Diaz's role throughout his entire career has been that of a lefty killer. Last season with Atlanta, he had an overall line of bảng báo giá sàn gỗ .250/.302/.438, which is substandard from a corner outfielder. But against lefties, his line was a solid .273/.318/.512. But that line was actually a downgrade from his career line against lefties, which is .329/.369/.511. You can't even blame a low BABIP last season for his struggles, as his mark against lefties was .312. While that's down from his career lefty BABIP of .362, it's still a high number.


This season with the Pirates, Diaz has become unplayable. His overall line is a hideous .259/.303/.324. Against lefties, once his forte, http://bit.ly/sa-bui-tri-la-gi Diaz is hitting .295/.342/.362. His once solid power against lefties has completely disappeared. You can't even blame Diaz's starting drop in power on his home park, as he's got a .063 ISO at PNC Park, and a .067 ISO on the road. That is a minimal difference.

willh7
willh7

Ah, writing for the sole purpose of getting hits. You do realize that Matt Diaz is a bench player that was traded back to his former team? Maybe that's why he got the start in his first game back for the Braves? Also, I have no clue why salary is listed as an issue when the Pirates are giving the Braves cash considerations that haven't been determined yet. So you really don't have any clue what the Braves will be on the hook for, right? Matt Diaz may have regressed, but he still hits lefties better than the vast majority of the Braves hitters. How is that not useful for a team that is abysmal? He'll be a pinch-hitter, get over it.

rj_brown77
rj_brown77

Matty started the season in a huge slump. Going 1-24 against LHP. And he still has a .342 OBP vs LHP. Since the slump he has a .460 OBP vs LHP. ATL has a team OBP of .294 vs LHP. I'd say Matty's true talent level against OBP is .350-.360 ish. How in the world is that useless? His power is obviously down but his on base skills (far more important), especially against LHP, are not.

Considering Frediot refuses to use Ross as a PH, the move for a RH PH to compliment Hinske and Brooks was necessary, I think.

curtisjones
curtisjones

Wonder how the Braves would have fared against those losing teams without Constanza in the lineup? With J-Hey and his .220 average, I guess they would have been unbeaten, right? Bottom line: if the Braves want to keep winning, speed would help. It always does. It always has.

curtisjones
curtisjones

Braves record with Constanza in starting lineup: 16-8. Read it and weep.

curtisjones
curtisjones

Check the Braves won-loss record with Constanza in the lineup. That's a pretty good advanced stat too.

cunninae
cunninae

I can't take anybody seriously who says Constanza is better than Heyward and Diaz as a defender and at the plate. I'm guessing you'll point to BA as your proof? Please.

cunninae
cunninae

Couldn't have said it better myself. You've pretty much articulated everything I've thought and said in the last two hours. Braves fans are like kids who get excited about new, shiny toys.

curtisjones
curtisjones

Heyward is a "magnificent" defender in right field? Hello? How many assists does he have? How many errors does he have? How many times have you heard an announcer say, "Heyward's throw...is off-line." Don't get me wrong, Diaz is no better. Constanza is far better than both as a defender, AND at the plate.


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