Last year’s oddsmakers thought the Arizona Diamondbacks would win 72 games, and they were right. The Dbacks won their 72nd game on August 25th.
The reigning NL West champions look even better this year with the arrival of Trevor Cahill from Oakland . He should improve a pitching staff that finished last season ranked 11th in WHIP, 14th in ERA, and 14th in quality starts, but gave up 159 HR’s and ranked 25th in K’s. The duo of Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson won a combined 37 games, struck out 367 batters, and had an ERA of 3.18 in 444 innings of work. After that, the starting pitching can be summed up with two words: dick sandwich.
Did the statute of limitations expire in the Dan Haren for Joe Saunders rape case? Imagine a pitching staff of Haren, Kennedy, Hudson, and Cahill. Tim Kurkjian wouldn’t be able to stop squeaking about this team winning the World Series. Instead, the Dbacks are left with Saunders and his 29 HR allowed last year.
For now, Josh Collmenter is the number five starter. But if he as much as farts at an inopportune time, the Dbacks could call up phenom Trevor Bauer to replace him. Apparently if the pitcher’s mound was over 400 feet away from home plate, Bauer wouldn’t have a problem with it. Click here to watch him in action.
The back end of the Dbacks bullpen is about as solid as I am watching late night Cinemax. J.J. Putz is, wait for it, not a putz. He finished last year 45 of 49 in save opportunities to go along with his 2.17 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. Putz’s setup man is Daniel Hernandez, who finished with 77 strikeouts in just over 69 IP last year.
Manager Kirk Gibson really lit a fire under his offense last season, getting production out of guys who were lucky to even be in the league. As a team, the Dbacks ranked in the top ten in runs, home runs, RBI, and OPS. Tatman Ryan Roberts might not be allowed in your church, but he’s found a home in Arizona. Roberts had never played in more than 110 games, hit more than 7 home runs, and had 25 RBI before last season. His 2011 numbers: 143 games, 19 HR, 65 RBI.
Or how about Willie Bloomquist? He looks like a guy you wouldn’t leave your kids alone with much less have play 97 games on your team. He chipped in an unexpected 20 stolen bases.
If you like MVP’s, then you’ll love Justin Upton. The Dbacks’ right fielder finished 2011 with a .289 ERA, 105 runs, 88 RBI, 31 HR, and 21 SB. If you like quick outfielders who strike out a lot, then you’ll love Chris Young. Over the past five seasons, Young has hit 116 HR’s and stolen 102 bases. He has also struck out 723 times.
1B Paul Goldschmidt is a beast. He’ll only make $482,000 this year, which comes out to roughly $13,771 for each home run he’ll hit. C Miguel Montero was a top-five offensive catcher last season, and nobody knows who he is. The rest of this year’s squad is made up of role players like Jason Kubel, Lyle Overbay, and Gerardo Parra who fit in perfectly to Gibby’s “whatever it takes to win” approach.
The DUD Says: The San Francisco Giants might have the better pitching, but the Arizona Diamondbacks have the more complete team. The division will be decided in the final month, with 26 of the Dbacks’ final 29 games coming against NL West opponents. The other 3 games are against the Cubs, and they’ll be out of it by April 16th. 13 of those 26 division games are against Colorado and San Diego. They will also have SS Stephen Drew back by June at the latest. The only thing that sucks about the Diamondbacks is their fan base. They couldn’t even draw 39,000 for Game 4 of the NLDS. Fans or not, last year’s squad won 94 games, and this year’s team is even better.
2012 record: 95-67 (1st place, NL West)
Vegas Says: 84.5 wins (2nd place, NL West)
Donnie Warts Says: What kind of website are you running? The season has already started and you’re doing previews? When are you going to do the NFL previews, October?