Wednesday, January 29, 2014

NL West: Arizona Diamondbacks

Our prediction for the 2014 season will see the National League West as the toughest division in Major League Baseball. While everyone may view the Dodgers as the cream of the crop, the NL West will be stacked with four clubs that have a legitimate chance for postseason glory.

The two clubs that catches our attention the most are the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks. Both clubs made significant moves this offseason to significantly bolster their lineups, and if key players are able to stay off the DL this season, the NL West will be the most competitive division in baseball. For this blog post, we’ll focus on the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In Arizona, the club received a huge boost to their lineup with the acquisition of Mark Trumbo, another power-hitting right handed bat that will provide protection to NL MVP runner-up, Paul Goldschmidt. Around the horn, the D’Backs will anchor a reliable defense behind Goldschmidt, Hill, Prado, and Gregorious. However, the defense in the outfield is another story, and perhaps the only weak spot for the club. Trumbo, who is better suited playing 1B, will man RF, with A.J. Pollock taking center, and Gerado Parra
moving to right field. Only Parra has demonstrated consistent play in the outfield, and if one thing could possibly ruin the D’Backs chance for postseason, it’s their defensive play in the outfield.

As far as the starting rotation is concerned, it should be rock solid - no fancy names here, but all of these guys will eat innings and give the D’Backs a chance to win every game. Patrick Corbin, Trevor Cahill, Wade Miley and Brandon McCarthy should round out the first four spots, with Randall Delgado, Daniel Hudson and Archie Bradley fighting it out for the fifth spot. The bullpen is another bright spot for the club, they now have three potential closers that come into a game at any time. With the acquisition of Addison Reed, the club will now have Reed, J.J. Putz, and Brad Ziegler - figure this to be a huge advantage for the D’Backs in the second half of the season.

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