MLB: A New Year for the AZ Diamondbacks
Happy 2015 to the Arizona Diamondbacks fans. With it being a New Year, let’s hope that it is a new type of season for the Diamondbacks, so we can leave 2014 in the books. Even though it is considered slow in baseball right now; the Diamondbacks are busy looking over their talent, looking at signing players, attempting to avoid salary arbitration and getting ready for Spring Training 2015.
The Diamondbacks need a bounce back season in 2015, from both position players and pitchers, if they want to be considered contenders again. They need to improve on the mound, on the field and with situational hitting, but in order for that to happen they will need:
First and foremost to stay healthy. Last year this team lost many days/games with players on the disabled list. The Diamondbacks had the third most players in baseball on the disabled list during the 2014 season. In the end, it became obvious that Patrick Corbin was the most significant injury of all as it set the starting pitching on a downward spiral that they never recovered from. Other pitchers on the disabled list included Bronson Arroyo, David Hernandez, Daniel Hudson, and Matt Reynolds (who missed the whole year). Corbin is scheduled to come back in June and Arroyo will most likely be back in late summer, probably late-July or early-August. David Hernandez will be out until at least late-May. Daniel Hudson made a nice return, and we will see if he ends up starting or pitching in relief, like he did last year. Injured position players included Paul Goldschmidt, A J Pollock, Mark Trumbo and Chris Owings, who missed the most amount of time. All should be fully healthy for Spring Training.
Second, the Diamondbacks’ starting rotation has no true ace and if this rotation is going to have success in 2015, Trevor Cahill needs to be the pitcher he was in 2010. Last season Cahill went 3-12, with a 5.61 ERA. Maybe this Spring Training Dave Duncan can use his pitching science to help make Cahill the pitcher he was in 2010 when he went 18-8 with an ERA of 2.78. That would be a momentous boost for this team’s starting rotation! We know that Josh Collmenter, Jeremy Hellickson and Chase Anderson will most likely be other starters, with Vidal Nuño, Archie Bradley, Allen Webster and possibly Daniel Hudson going after the final spot, so Cahill will need to be dependable and consistent on the mound for this team.
Third, the Diamondbacks have to score more runs than last year to keep the pressure off the pitching staff. They need to do better than 3.8 runs per game and that starts with improving with runners in scoring position. They hit just .241 in that area and that was good for 25th in the MLB. Situational hitting will also be important this year and let’s hope their lineup is a lot better than last year. With a healthy Goldschmidt and Trumbo in the lineup, it should only improve. Another player who should help with the hitting is Cuban slugger, Yasmany Tomás . If he can adjust early to hitting MLB pitching, hit home runs and drive in runs often, he will show why the Diamondbacks brought him to this team.