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Thursday, February.14, 2013
By Chris Lacey (Diamond Backs Correspondent) Follow @aecanada12
The Diamondbacks finished the 2012 season with disappointment as they struggled to get over .500 for much of the season. They lost the last game of the season to the Rockies that summed up what happened during the year. When they got good starting pitching, the defense would make a costly mistake, and then the offense would struggle to score any runs. The Diamondbacks enter the 2013 camaign with plenty of new faces on the club.
General Manager Kevin Towers has changed the makeup of this team these past two off-seasons. He has put an emphasis on players who can make consistent contact, rather than hitting the long ball. The Dbacks GM is always looking to improve upon the bullpen. He did this by taking a risk on Heath Bell who had a bad year with the Marlins, but Towers believes a change of scenery will help. Towers not only brought in bullpen help, but also signed some key players’ to long-term contracts that will aid the team to not only contend now, but for the future.
2011 DiamondBacks Post Season Highlights. Lyrics May Contain mature content so Parental Guidance is advised:
Friday November 2nd, 2012
Alex Mednick (Baseball Writer and Analyst):
In 2011, the Arizona Diamondbacks made a really nice push in the AL West and finished with 94 wins, 8 games ahead of the second place San Francisco Giants. They performed well above expectations, and they did so with a relatively unglamorous starting rotation, that consisted mainly of Ian Kennedy, Joe Saunders, Josh Collmenter, Daniel Hudson and a revolving 5th starter. What really carried the team in 2011 and made the Arizona Diamondbacks a competitive in 2011, happened to be their weakest link in their miserable 2010 season: the bullpen.
The Diamondbacks won 29 more games in 2011 than they did in 2010. The most drastic changes made by the organization were in the bullpen where the D-Back’s added closer J.J. Putz and setup man David Hernandez. The 2011 bullpen allowed 100 fewer runs than their predecessors in 2010 and dropped their group ERA from 5.74 in 2010 to just 3.71 in 2011. It goes without saying that their newly revamped bullpen allowed Arizona to stay close in a lot more games and gave them a better chance to be winners.
Following their great 2011 season, the D-Back’s found themselves reverting back to their former ways in 2012. Finishing 13 games behind the first place Giants, and just barely hanging on to a .500 record, the Diamondback’s finished 81-81. You want to know something interesting? It was their bullpen, once again, that failed. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday January 11th, 2012
Sam Evans: Last year, the Diamondbacks came out of nowhere and won 94 games. This was thanks mostly in part to their offense. But having three pitchers throw over two hundred innings each didn’t hurt. This offseason, the Dbacks gave up some of their premium minor league talent to acquire Trevor Cahill, who should prove to be another solid pitcher in their rotation.
Last year, Arizona’s best pitcher was Ian Kennedy. He had a breakout year, finishing fourth in the NL Cy Young voting. Kennedy had a 3.22 FIP, 2.88 ERA, and was worth a 5.0 WAR. Kennedy has turned into an ace ever since coming over from the Yankees in 2010. If Kennedy can turn in another workhorse season, the Diamondbacks will have their first All-Star pitcher since Dan Haren in 2009.
Daniel Hudson deserves almost as much credit as Kennedy for the Dbacks success. Hudson was worth a 4.9 WAR in 2011, and was better than his 3.49 ERA suggested. Another Dbacks pitcher who has less than two years of throwing two hundred innings is going to be heavily relied upon in 2012.
On December 9th, Arizona traded top prospect Jarrod Parker, outfielder Collin Cowgill, and reliever Ryan Cook for Trevor Cahill, Craig Breslow, and cash considerations. The Dbacks will probably come out on top in this trade. Jarrod Parker is going to be a stud for the A’s, but he still has some developing to do. Arizona acquired a front of the line starter, who brings much-needed consistency to the Diamondbacks rotation.
If the Diamonbacks have an area to improve in 2012, it’s their league worst GB% ( 41.9%). Cahill will already be a big boost to that, as he brings his 55.9 GB% from 2011.
After Josh Collmenter had pitched only 36.1 innings last season, he had garnered a following of non-believers. They said that once Collmenter faced the team for a second time, his effectiveness would disappear. Part of this opinion was probably formed because Collmenter was never a top prospect, yet was making the prospect experts look silly. Collmenter proved the haters wrong, finishing with a 3.38 ERA in 154 innings. This just goes to show that we can’t be right about prospects all the time.
The fifth starting spot for the Diamondbacks is still unknown. The Dbacks could bring in a free agent like Hiroki Kuroda or Jeff Francis. They also have some organizational options such as Wade Miley, who started seven games last year, or even 2011 first-rounder Trevor Bauer, who seems to be major league ready.
All of the Dbacks top three starters have come in through trades. With pitchers like Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer on their way to the majors, it looks like the Dbacks are starting to find homegrown talent as well.
I would say that the Dbacks rotation is second in the N.L. West only to the Giants. With a far superior offense than the Giants, it looks like Arizona has a pretty good chance of being able to win their division again in 2012.
**Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Sam on Twitter***
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