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Friday, April 11, 2008

Valverde trade looking very good... so far.

It's hard to find much wrong with the Diamondbacks right now, when everything is coming up roses. The bats are hot, the starting pitching is exceptional, and that bullpen is earning every cent (even Brandon Lyon managed to face the minimum in his most recent save).

So let's talk about what could have been. There were mixed reviews of the trade that sent Jose Valverde to the Astros in exchange or Chris Burke and Chad Qualls. After all, Valverde led the majors in saves last season (47), and finished 8th in the NL Cy Young voting. But what if he were still here?

Valverde has pitched a total of 4 innings for Houston, giving up at least one run in every game he 's pitched. His ERA is 11.25, he has walked 2, and only struck out 3. He has one save recorded, and one blown save (although in a bizarre twist of fate, the offense picked him up and he "earned" the win in that game).

Instead we have Lyon, who is at least doing a little better. We also now have Chris Burke, who made the 25-man roster and has done an adequate job of filling in around the infield. Lastly, we have Chad Qualls, who is currently the stud of the bullpen. In 5.1 innings of relief, Qualls has 5 strikeouts, an ERA of 0.00, and a save. He has walked four batters, but managed to work around them.

It's still way too early for a final judgment, but so far, shipping Papa Grande off to Houston looks pretty good.


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