New Year's Resolutions for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015

Adam YoungContributor IIDecember 30, 2014

New Year's Resolutions for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    With 2015 set to begin, the Arizona Diamondbacks have issues to address that ailed them throughout this past season. 

    The D-Backs 2014 season ended 64-98the worst record in the MLB.

    However, several injuries could be to blame for such a poor yearPaul Goldschmidt, Patrick Corbin, A.J. Pollock and Mark Trumbo, to name a few.

    While these players should return in 2015, it is the offseason moves that should have fans excited. The most notable acquisition was Cuban power hitter Yasmany Tomas. Yet the D-Backs are still far from competing in the tough NL West Division.

    Here are five New Year's resolutions for Arizona in 2015.

Improve Offensively with Runners in Scoring Position

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The Diamondbacks pitching last season was subpar. In order to compensate for inadequate pitching, the offense needed to score runs.

    In 2014, that did not happen.

    Arizona's offense finished in the bottom half of the MLB in nearly every statistical category. The most glaring weakness was their average with runners in scoring position.

    The D-Backs hit .241 with runners in scoring position last season, which was 25th in the MLB. This contributed to Arizona's lackluster 3.8 runs scored per game.

    With the starting rotation lacking any legitimate aces to open the season, the offense must capitalize with runners in scoring position. 

    Otherwise, the D-Backs will struggle to keep up with the Dodgers, Giants and Rockies, which all finished in the top half of the league in runs scored.

Bolster the Starting Rotation

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    Statistically, the D-Backs once against finished in the bottom half of the leaguethis time in pitching.

    Only four teams allowed more runs than Arizona in 2014—one of which was Colorado at the hitter-friendly Coors Field. With a 4.26 team ERA, the pitching simply did not impress.

    Josh Collmenter currently sits atop the starting rotation, according to the depth chart. Despite putting together an impressive 2014 campaign, Collmenter cannot be the team's top-of-the-rotation guy.

    The D-Backs have attempted to improve the rotation by acquiring Jeremy Hellickson from the Rays and Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster from the Red Sox via offseason trades

    Still, with Patrick Corbin unlikely to return until midseason, an ace pitcher is needed. 

    James Shields is available as a free agent. The right-hander finished 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA last season with the Royals. Expect Arizona to at least attempt to acquire quality starting pitching like Shields with the 2015 season approaching.

Find a New Catcher

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    Chris Schneider/Associated Press

    The Miguel Montero era is now over. 

    With Tuffy Gosewisch listed as the starting catcher on the depth chart, it is safe to say Arizona needs to make a move.

    D-Backs GM Dave Stewart may want to consider Detroit's catcher Alex Avila. 

    Despite lacking the offensive potential of Montero, Avila's defense is comparable. He led AL catchers in 2014 with 36 runners caught stealing.

    Stewart has also expressed interest in Toronto's Dioner Navarro, per R.J. White of CBS Sports. Offensively, Navarro has actually been better than Montero the past two seasonsincluding a .300 campaign last season with 13 home runs.

    Either way, Arizona cannot proceed into 2015 with Tuffy Gosewisch as its starting catcher. Expect the organization to make a move sooner rather than later.

Make Archie Bradley a Part of the 2015 Season

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    Chris Carlson/Associated Press

    As the top D-Backs prospect, Archie Bradley has been a disappointment thus far.

    Bradley squandered an opportunity to win a spot in the rotation last spring training. Instead, he struggled with command and was sent back to the minors.

    However, AZ Central's Nick Picoro has reported that Bradley has looked better during the Arizona Fall League. His fastball reached 96 mph and was consistently finding the strike zone. 

    It is time to consider making the 22-year-old prospect a part of Arizona's future. 

    If there were ever a time to do it, that time is now. With a rotation lacking a star, Bradley could fill that void—especially if he is given some time to mature early.

Avoid the Injury Bug

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    In order to make a run at the NL West title, the D-Backs cannot afford injuries again to key players.

    Patrick Corbin's projected return from Tommy John surgery will help, but ultimately he cannot save the season if the rest of Arizona's starters continue to visit the disabled list.

    With a healthy lineup, the D-Backs have some serious offensive pop. A.J. Pollock showed spark at the top of the order last season. He will be followed by power hitters Paul Goldschmidt, Mark Trumbo and Yasmany Tomas. 

    In the hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field, a lot of balls may end up in the swimming pool this season.

    Furthermore, with a healthy starting rotation, Arizona can compete. Patrick Corbin, Josh Collmenter and the new acquisitions have all shown the ability to be reliable starting pitchers in the MLB.

    The possible return of Daniel Hudson can only improve the rotation. But his status remains unknown.

    With the 2015 season months away, the D-Backs No. 1 resolution should be to stay healthy.

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