MLB: The Final Month of the AZ Diamondbacks Season
As the month of September arrives, we can venture to say that the Arizona Diamondbacks will not be in contention for a playoff spot. But, they should easily pass their predicted win total of 65 to 70 games set for them by the writers and odds-makers before the season began. There are 31 games left to go and the focus will be winning at least 81 games.
Not making the post-season aside, this season has been very entertaining for everyone. At times this team has shown they can play against some of the best teams in the league with their superb defense, ability to turn double plays to stop scoring threats, timely hitting, and even their aggressive base running. However, they have also shown us they still need some help. They have had issues with their starting staff not going deep into games, the bullpen being inconsistent at times, giving up too many homeruns; and, on offense they continue to hit into double plays. More significantly, they are playing less than .500 baseball at Chase Field. But, the main concern is this team’s lack of starting pitching, making it virtually impossible to make a playoff run.
Chase Anderson is still an unknown. Is he really over his arm fatigue and can he be dependable? He started the season off well before going on the DL, but since his return his fastball has been inconsistent, which has led to fewer strikeouts and more hits given up.
Robbie Ray’s performance since the All-Star break has been a cause for concern. The team will have to make a decision on him for next year. Does he get a chance at the starting rotation? Do you make him a reliever? He is a left hander, which is always a need.
Rubby De La Rosa is the rotation’s best pitcher right now, but he is not an ace that matches up with other teams’ ace pitchers.
Patrick Corbin, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, has shown some flashes of getting back to his form prior to his injury and will be counted on for a strong 2016 season.
The team will have to decide what to do with Jeremy Hellickson. He was expected to come off the DL August 30th, but has not started throwing. He is due for arbitration after this season and his salary is currently at $4.275 million.
There are a few candidates in the farm system, including Zach Godley, who we have seen briefly. Godley should get some additional starts in September. Aaron Blair is rated as the top pitcher in the Diamondbacks’ farm system, with Braden Shipley ranked second. Both Blair and Shipley will compete for starting spots in 2016. Archie Bradley, if healthy, will get some starts in September and should be in the “mix” for a starting spot in 2016.
What they really need for the 2016 season is a number one starter. The front-office has mentioned several times that this will be their top priority in the off-season. There will be several free agents pitchers out there, so we will see how the front-office deals with bringing them in and offering them a contract.
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