Arizona Diamondbacks Roster in 2014: State Of The Union
By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner) Follow @aecanada12
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The Arizona Diamondbacks had some expectations that the team would play better in 2013 and they made some moves to ensure that this would happen.
However this did not happen, as the team finished for the second consecutive season at 81-81. They ended up finishing second in the National League West division behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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The organization wanted to move from a team that struck out less and put the ball in play more often. This seemed like a great move at the time with proven track record of Prado.
He did struggle in the beginning of the season, but was a completely different player in the second half of the season.
The team would eventually sign him to a long-term deal and this was not the only deal they made. Cody Ross was brought in as a player that could the boost the offense from the corner outfield position.
Ross played well, but was injured right at the time it seemed like he was finding his hitting stroke. The club is hopeful he can return by spring training to recover from his broken hip.
Parra and Pollock both can cover plenty of ground in the outfield and the next improvement for them to make would be with their offense. There were some games where they hit the ball well and then they would go in a slump.
Arizona did not have Eaton at the beginning of the season and you could see the impact he made on the offense once he was back. He set the table for the lineup with his speed and the ability to get on base.
They will need him healthy going into next season and he will play a key role in being the spark on offense. Another player that missed time due to injury was second baseman Aaron Hill.
Hill is definitely is enjoying his time in the desert and is showing that he can a productive member for the team. The lineup just looks different when he’s healthy and playing.
He did hit .291 with 21 doubles and 11 HRs in the season, but that came mostly after he returned. Hill provides another power threat in the lineup and is a player that can drive the ball to all fields.
One of the best parts of the 2013 campaign was the emergence of first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. The slugger was selected to his first All-Star game and was the constant driving force on offense. He is a great candidate to win the MVP Award in the NL.
He finished the season hitting for .302 with 36 HRs and 125 RBIs. He also ended the season on a 19-game hitting streak and showed how good of a hitter he is. Goldschmidt was the lone threat on offense and could change the complexion of a game with one swing.
It seemed that he would always bail out the offense when they needed a clutch hit and it will be great to see what he does in 2014.
The catcher for the team Miguel Montero had a bad season with him only managing a .230 average. He looked to be in a slump the whole season and never got into hitting groove.
The player who was his backup in Wil Nieves played great with a .297 average in 195 at-bats. This was a surprise that Nieves had this much success. Hopefully Montero can put this bad season behind him and rebound in 2014.
The shortstop position is interesting for Arizona because they have plenty of options. Didi Gregorius played great when he came up and showed how great he can be on defense. He did run into a slump on offense once teams figured out how to pitch against him.
Another player that’s an option is prospect Chris Owings. Owings hit .291 in the last month of the season with Arizona. He showed that he can hit the ball well and play solid defense.
He is more of an offensive threat than Gregorius with his ability to drive the ball into the outfield gap. I expect that he will split time with Gregorius and Cliff Pennington.
The offense was good with them being 5th in the NL where they scored 685 runs. The issue was that they were inconsistent in scoring and you were not sure how they would perform from one game to the next.
The pitching for the team was good and bad at times during the season. Patrick Corbin was by far the best pitcher on the team and showed how good he can be during the first half of the season.
The final month he seemed to run out of gas and struggled to pitch well. He used a combination of a good fastball and an even better slider to put opposing hitters away. He will be the Opening Day starter for Arizona.
Wade Miley started the season off bad for the DBacks, but he pitched better as the season wore on. The key for Miley is avoiding the big inning and limit the amount of walks he surrenders. He will pitch second in the rotation.
They pitched well in the final months of the season and maybe this is something they can build on going into next season. They will probably be third and fourth in the rotation once the season begins.
Randall Delgado pitched well during the season for Arizona, but the main issue with him was that he gave up 23 HRs in 116 innings pitched. If he can cut this down, then he should have no problems making the rotation out of spring training as the fifth starter.
Skaggs made a couple of starts during the season and showed some promise. He does still need to work on commanding his pitches and throwing more strikes.
Bradley pitched great in Double-A Mobile and cut down his walks from a season ago. He has a good chance to make the rotation if he impresses the team during the spring.
The other area of concern with regards to pitching is the bullpen. Arizona had plenty of blown saves and that is one reason why they played so many extra inning games. They did go 17-8 in those games, so that showed they never gave up.
It’s also surprising that they went 34-21 in one-run games. The bullpen at times was great and other occasions it was horrible. They do need to fix some issues with the bullpen.
They need to determine who will be the closer for the team. Brad Ziegler was great in this role where he saved 13 games and only blew two saves. It was also good to see David Hernandez pitching well in the final month of the season.
Arizona needs him to continue that, as he’s crucial to the bullpen pitching better the next season. They have some young arms in Matt Stites and Jake Barrett that could have an impact on how the bullpen performs in 2014.
I know that Kevin Towers likes Heath Bell a bunch, but they either have to trade or release him. He had his moments where he was somewhat effective, but that was a failed experiment.
I would rather see a young reliever get a chance, than have to endure another season of the Heath Bell experience.
The team would like to acquire a power bat in the off season to provide some protection for Goldschmidt. This will likely happen via a trade, because I don’t see them spending more money on a free agent.
They do have a young player in third baseman Matt Davidson that could be that person. He showed some power when he was called up to the team and is definitely an option.
Arizona has a bright future with many young players that could help the team contend next season.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***
A big thank-you goes out to our ”Lead Baseball Columnist and Minority Website Owner” Chris Lacey. Chris has been a fan of watching baseball since the age of 13. Now he does like all sports – but his favorites after baseball are hockey and basketball.
Chris is very good with computers and is a college graduate.
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Posted on October 7, 2013, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @aecanada12 on twitter, a.j. pollock, aaron hill, Adam Eaton, Archie Bradley, arizona diamondbacks, brad ziegler, brandon mccarthy, chris johnson, Chris Owings, cliff pennington, cody ross, david hernandez, didi gregorius, gerardo parra, heath bell, Jake Barrett, justin upton, los angeles dodgers, martin prado, Matt Davidson, matt stites, miguel montero, nick ahmed, NL West division, Patrick Corbin, paul goldschmidt, randall delgado, trevor cahill, tyler skaggs, wade miley, wil nieves. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.