The Arizona Diamondbacks finished 81-81 for the second consecutive year last season.
This time, they finished second in the division after the Los Angeles Dodgers surged through the final two months of the season. The D’Backs held the division lead from May 17 to July 21.
General manager Kevin Towers made a few moves this season to bolster the roster. The club acquired Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels, Addison Reed from the Chicago White Sox and signed free agent Bronson Arroyo.
They are improvements, but this team is still a few moves from being a championship contender. However, the offseason acquisitions could make them a threat for at least a wild-card berth this season.
Here is the projected 2014 roster for the Diamondbacks after two weeks of spring training. It will not be a projection for the two-game stint in Australia against the Dodgers.
|1. G. Parra||.268||10||48||79||.323|
|2. A. Hill||.291||11||41||45||.356|
|3. P. Goldschmidt||.302||36||125||103||.401|
|4. M. Montero||.230||11||42||44||.318|
|5. M. Trumbo (w/LAA)||.234||34||100||85||.294|
|6. M. Prado||.282||14||82||70||.333|
|7. A.J. Pollack||.269||8||38||64||.322|
|8. D. Gregorius||.252||7||28||47||.332|
Trumbo adds more to a lineup that failed to score at least 700 runs in a season since 2005. Miguel Montero will bat cleanup unless he shows signs that he is repeating his 2013 campaign.
The leadoff position is interesting considering the team doesn’t have a real base-stealing threat. But Gerardo Parra gets the nod with his ability to hit for extra bases and draw free passes. That puts A.J. Pollock in the bottom third of the lineup.
Martin Prado is the bright light at the bottom of the order. He had the fewest strikeouts among players who played at least 100 games and was second on the team in RBI with 82.
|Cody Ross, OF||.278||8||38||33||.331|
|C. Pennington, SS/2B||.242||1||18||25||.310|
|T. Compana, OF||.261||0||0||10||.370|
|H. Blanco, C (w/ TOR/SEA)||.142||3||14||11||.228|
|E. Chavez, 3B||.281||9||44||28||.332|
Cody Ross will be the fourth outfielder now that the team has added Trumbo. He started 78 games for the club last year and played in 94 total.
The D’Backs brought back Eric Chavez on a one-year deal, and he will fill in at third base when needed. Henry Blanco will have the backup catcher role since Wil Nieves signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Cliff Pennington rounds out the bench after starting 69 games last season in Arizona. He split time at shortstop and second base in 2013.
|1. P. Corbin, LHP||32||14-8||3.41||7.7||2.3|
|2. B. Arroyo (w/ CIN) RHP||32||14-12||3.79||5.5||1.5|
|3. W. Miley, LHP||33||10-10||3.55||6.5||2.9|
|4. T. Cahill, RHP||25||8-10||3.99||6.3||4.0|
|5. B McCarthy, RHP||22||5-11||4.53||5.1||1.4|
After starting the season 9-0, Patrick Corbin went 5-8 in his last 21 starts and his ERA rose from 2.06 to 3.41.
But he still had the best ERA of starting pitchers who threw at least 100 innings for the D’Backs. He will be followed by newly acquired Arroyo, who is as durable as they come. He has pitched over 200 innings in almost every season since 2005, with 2011 being the exception (199.0).
Brandon McCarthy rounds out the rotation after his worst season as a starter. He pitched at least 135 innings for only the second time. If he struggled as he did last season, Randall Delgado will be quick to replace him.
|A. Reed, CL, RHP (w/ CHW)||68||71.1||3.79||9.1||1.107|
|B. Ziegler, RHP||78||73.0||2.22||5.4||1.137|
|O. Perez, LHP (w/ SEA)||61||53.0||3.74||12.6||1.434|
|J.J. Putz, RHP||40||34.1||2.36||10.0||1.252|
|D. Hernandez, RHP||62||62.1||4.48||9.5||1.187|
|J. Thatcher, LHP (w/ SD/ARI)||72||39.1||3.20||8.2||1.271|
|J. Collmenter, RHP||49||92.0||3.13||8.3||1.217|
As previously mentioned, Reed was acquired in the offseason and will close for the club. Brad Ziegler’s pitching approach should put him in the setup role ahead of Reed.
J.J. Putz could also be used in the eighth inning. He was a part of the bullpen last year that converted just 38 of 67 save opportunities. Putz himself was 6-for-11 in save opportunities, and David Hernandez converted just two of his eight opportunities.
Oliver Perez joins the bullpen after signing with the D’Backs on March 7. Josh Collmenter will also be in the bullpen as the middle reliever after a successful 92 innings last season.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.
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