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2011 MLB Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 26:  Chris Young #24 of the Arizona Diamondbacks swings his bat against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields on February 26, 2011 in Scottsdale, Arizona..  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Ryan GaydosSenior Analyst IFebruary 28, 2011

9 Innings Blog will be bringing you previews of every Major League Baseball team for the next 30 days. This is in accordance with out 30 teams in 30 days series. Today, we will preview the 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks who are managed by Kirk Gibson. Gibson is entering his first full season with the team.

The Arizona Diamondbacks finished last season dead last in the National League West division behind the likes of the San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers and the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

They started off last season with A.J. Hinch as manager. But Hinch started them off with a 31-48 record and was canned, subsequently promoting Kirk Gibson to interim manager. Hinch and GM Josh Byrnes were both dismissed.

The only highlight that the Diamondbacks had last season was Edwin Jackson’s no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays on June 25, 2010.

This season brought some new changes to the team as the general manager search led them to former Yankees scout and Padres GM Kevin Towers. Towers decided to keep Gibson and make a lot of moves this offseason.

I do not predict that the Diamondbacks will have any kind of good year in 2011. There will be ups and there will be downs. You will see some light come from typical guys like Justin Upton and Stephen Drew. Maybe even Daniel Hudson will shine this year. They will not be big contender in the NL West, but it should be entertaining to watch.

Key Addition: Melvin Mora, 3B

Breakout Player: Daniel Hudson, SP

Prediction: Fifth NL West

Starters
CA: Miguel Montero
1B: Juan Miranda
2B: Kelly Johnson
3B: Melvin Mora
SS: Stephen Drew
OF: Justin Upton
OF: Xavier Nady
OF: Chris Young

Pitching Rotation
SP: Daniel Hudson
SP: Joe Saunders
SP: Ian Kennedy
SP: Zach Duke
SP: Armando Galaragga

RP: Mike Hampton
RP: Joe Paterson
RP: Esmerling Vazquez
RP: Aaron Heilman
RP: David Hernandez
RP: Juan Gutierrez
CL: J.J. Putz

Bench
CA: Henry Blanco
1B: Russell Branyan
IF: Geoff Blum
UTL: Willie Bloomquist
OF: Gerardo Parra

Top Prospects
1). Jarrod Parker, RHP
2). Tyler Skaggs, LHP
3). Chris Owings, SS
4). Matt Davidson, DH
5). Marc Krauss, OF

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