Picture courtesy of The Denver Post
By Ross Sutton
Last season was fun for Diamondbacks fans, as the team finished with a 93-69 record and clinched the first wild card spot in the National League. In my opinion, the biggest storyline of the Diamondbacks’ 2017 season was the acquisition of J.D Martinez in the middle of the season. During 62 regular season games with the team, Martinez hit a whopping 29 home runs and had 65 RBIs. Unfortunately for the D-backs, the Red Sox signed Martinez this offseason so they had to try to replace his offensive production. This led to Arizona acquiring Steven Souza Jr. from the Rays in a three-team deal that sent Brandon Drury from the D-backs to the Yankees. Arizona also signed speedy outfielder Jarrod Dyson after Martinez signed with Boston. The D-backs also signed Alex Avila earlier this offseason since their catcher from last year, Chris Iannetta, signed with the Rockies. Other players that signed elsewhere in free agency include relief pitchers Fernando Rodney (Twins) and David Hernandez (Reds). In order to regain some depth in the team’s bullpen, the D-backs signed Neftali Feliz, Kris Medlen, Antonio Bastardo and Fernando Salas to minor league contracts.
Considering they lost the best free agent hitter of the offseason, I think the Diamondbacks actually had a pretty good offseason and have set themselves up for another successful season in 2018. On the offensive side, the D-backs are led by all-star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt who hit .297 with 36 home runs and 120 RBIs last season. Other important offensive players this upcoming season will be third baseman Jake Lamb and right fielder Steven Souza Jr.. The ace of the D-backs is Zack Greinke, who went 17-7 with a 3.20 ERA in 202.1 innings. Despite being a little overpaid, Greinke will still be a crucial piece of the puzzle for the Diamondbacks this season. Overall, the Diamondbacks should have another season above .500 in 2018 and I believe they will go 89-73 and will be in contention for one of the two wild card spots in the National League. Other teams that the D-backs will be going up against for those wild card spots will likely include the Rockies, Brewers, Cardinals and possibly the Giants or Mets.
The Diamondbacks will be bringing back a bullpen cart this year that is going to bring pitchers from the bullpen to the mound in an attempt to speed up the game. The cart is expected to look like a baseball hat and I cannot wait to see pitchers roll up to the mound in it.
All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com
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