MLB: AZ Diamondbacks Quarter Mark of the Season
We have hit the quarter mark of the 2015 MLB season and I would say that the Arizona Diamondbacks have made it a rather fun season so far for their fans. At this time last year the Diamondbacks were fourteen games under .500 and their season was all but over.
You could ask how a team that most likely will not make the playoffs and could finish under .500 can create such a buzz. Well to start with, their new management has provided a positive push for the entire organization. They went out and signed Yasmany Tomas and Yuan Lopez and quickly disposed of the high salaries of both Trevor Cahill and Cody Ross. Those moves would indicate that the Diamondbacks want to contend sooner rather later.
The play on the field has been much better this season, as well, from both hitting and defense. The Diamondbacks are currently tied for second in defense, with only 20 errors, and have turned 102 double plays. The team has also be the beneficiary of great game calling from Tuffy Gosewisch and his ability to throw out runners. Nick Ahmed has made only three errors, with 57 putouts, and Yasmany Tomas has played third base far better than expected.
As for hitting, the Diamondbacks lead MLB in runs scored with two outs, with 94, and have scored 213 total runs, which puts them seventh overall. At this point last year they were 25th in runs scored with 168. Paul Goldschmidt has recovered from his injury and is in the top five in the NL in homeruns, RBI and batting average. Yasmany Tomas, who started slow, has made some adjustments in his hitting and could be a contender for Rookie of the Year. Aaron Hill, whose name always surfaces in trade rumors, has come back from his injury and has accepted his role of playing at second and third base and occasionally at shortstop. Mark Trumbo, who was moved to second in the batting order, has provided key hits as well. The Diamondbacks are also tied for third in baseball in stolen bases, which is something we have not seen the past few seasons.
There are definitely areas for improvement, such as starting pitchers extending past the 5th inning and not giving up first inning runs. The bullpen needs to be consistent in holding leads; they have blown ten of sixteen save chances this season. The hitting needs to be more consistent with runners in scoring position and, although it is hard to do, the pinch hitting needs to improve as the Diamondbacks are hitting under .240.
Try to stay positive should this team experience a long losing streak during the summer months, they will still be fun to watch and the excitement should continue with the return of Jake Lamb, Matt Stites, David Hernandez and, hopefully, Patrick Corbin.
Check back here all season long for updates on the Arizona Diamondbacks and follow me on Twitter: @Basebaldaz. You can listen to me on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 PHX for AZ Sports Talk Saturday from 10AM to 1PM AZ time.