Monday, February 20, 2017

Arizona Diamondbacks Season 37 Preview

Season 36: 84-78
GM:  cbriese

Big Offseason Moves:  More like a bunch of small ones that had a "Better D" theme: the acquisitions of CF Jermaine Vogelbach, 2B Pascual Estrada, IF/CF Bernie Gennett, C Alex Noonan,
3B Kosuke Takada, SS Blake Neal, SS Ringo Frye, and C Benjamin Ward.  Free agency brought in some pitching, but the idea seems to be "make the pitching better with great defense."

Outlook:  They've moved Vince Hawkins to 1B and Luis Mendoza to DH, so they feature superb defenders at every position on the field.  

It's certainly working so far, as those defensive whizzes are OPS'ing .815 and leading the league in runs scored (as well as doing the expected and leading the AL in + plays). Mendoza's .406/6/24 start certainly isn't hurting.

On the pitching front, Patrick Hunter has returned from an injury-plagued Season 36 to start 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA.  The other 2 of their rotation "Big Three," Erv Daley and Midre Espinosa, have both started 3-1.  Those 3 have thrown 55% of their innings so far (good sign for the playoffs), but the supporting starters and relievers have pitched well enough for Arizona to post a league-leading 3.28 ERA.

No doubt this team's for real.  The offense will cool off, but with that defense they'll win more than their share of low-scoring games.  And come playoff time, you won't find a more formidable rotation group than Daley, Hunter and Espinosa.

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