As a Diamondbacks fan, I looked forward to the 2008 season after an extremely successful 2007 season. The signs were there: The young talent was getting better, Dan Haren had been acquired, and Randy Johnson was expected to be healthy. Not to mention the great bullpen stayed intact.
Then came the epic collapse of 2008. The team started the season off 20-8. Looks like 100 wins easily, right? Wrong.
These kids were brought back to Earth. Their true age showed. Trading Valverde hurt—even though who we got in return stepped it up in the 2nd half of the season (Chad Qualls). But, Brandon Lyon was held in the closer spot two months too long. Micah Owings was given too many shots to redeem himself. Orlando Hudson got hurt again.
It was all caving in on the team. And as the series in St. Louis in late September rolled around, the Diamondbacks found themselves out of contention, and having to spend October watching the Dodgers make it to the National League Championship Series.
Then comes the 2008 offseason. Looking great, right? The team is able to free up salaries from players like Randy Johnson, Orlando Hudson, and some bullpen pitchers. Is there much we have to show for it? Scott Schoenweis, Felipe Lopez, and a couple other minor signings. Where’s the big bat they promised? Where’s someone who will put threat into the lineup?
The Diamondbacks have a few great consistent bats in their line up as of right now. Stephen Drew finished the second half of the season strong, batting .326 over the course of the last two-and-a-half months. Conor Jackson put together a good season, batting around the .300 range all year, and consistently hitting.
But, what about the rest of them? They were supposed to develop in 2008. Now they’re expecting them to develop in 2009. Yea, some of them showed signs of greatness. Mark Reynolds started off April with seven home runs in the month and batted well over .300 for awhile. And, then he fishtailed, setting a new season strike out record.
Justin Upton wasn’t healthy, but showed some great signs too. But, these players may just be mediocre hitters who have great moments every now and then. Josh Byrnes needs to spend the money on a great offensive player who has great moments consistently.
I hope that Josh Byrnes and Bob Melvin are right. But, they said the same thing last year, and it failed.
Josh Byrnes, I wish you would open up the spending a little more just this once. The Diamondbacks need a guy with a big bat to fix their offense issues. Look what Adam Dunn did when he first arrived in Arizona.
We can't expect dominance from a team when the team can't consistently show it.