The Arizona Diamondbacks are coming off a disastrous 2016 season. A new management group is hoping they can accelerate their turnaround with a much better record in 2017. The Diamondbacks added Zack Greinke and traded for All-Star Shelby Miller prior to last year, yet they still finished with 10 fewer wins than they registered the previous season. The optimism surrounding Arizona has dipped dramatically but there is still some intriguing talent on this roster so the potential for improvement is there heading in to this coming baseball season.
Key Additions: SP Fernando Rodney, C Chris Iannetta, OF Oswaldo Arcia, OF Jeremy Hazelbaker, SP Taijuan Walker, SS Ketel Marte, C Jeff Mathis
Key Losses: C Wellington Castillo, 2B Jean Segura C Tuffy Gosewisch, OF Mitch Haniger, RP Daniel Hudson, OF Peter O’Brien, OF Rickie Weeks
The Diamondbacks have some quality offensive talent led by Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Jake Lamb. Arizona will need Goldschmidt and Pollock in particular to stay healthy while Peralta, Lamb and Yasmany Tomas take another step forward. Ketel Marte was signed as a potential leadoff man and if everything comes together then the Diamondbacks offense should be solid. Meanwhile, Greinke’s ERA climbed from 1.66 in 2015 to 4.37 in 2016 after he signed a massive free agent deal and there is no doubt the Diamondbacks need him to bounce back. He might never post another sub-2.00 ERA again but even bringing down his ERA by a full point better from last year would help. Meanwhile, Shelby Miller’s ERA more than doubled from 3.02 to 6.15 and he definitely needs to be better. There are plenty of question marks surrounding the Arizona rotation but they have some quality depth and upside with Greinke, Miller, Robbie Ray, Archie Bradley and the addition of Taijuan Walker.
The rotation simply has to be better after last year’s disappointment with Greinke and Miller in particular in the mix. The Diamondbacks have some intriguing potential in their rotation but there needs to be drastic improvements or it won’t matter. Meanwhile, injuries were also an issue for Arizona a year ago when they couldn’t stay healthy. There isn’t much they can do to guarantee they won’t deal with similar issues this year but we have to think their luck will be better. The Diamondbacks are also relying on their bullpen being better and that means getting the most out of offseason signing Fernando Rodney. Rodney was excellent out of the gates late year but he struggled throughout the second half. Rodney will handle the closer duties while Jake Barrett, Randall Delgado, Tom Wilhelmsen and Kevin Jepsen fill out a bullpen that is lacking in terms of elite talent.
2017 Arizona Diamondbacks Depth Chart
|Catcher||Jeff Mathis||Chris Iannetta||Chris Herrmann|
|First Base||Paul Goldschmidt||Daniel Descalso||Chris Herrmann|
|Second Base||Brandon Drury||Daniel Descalso||Chris Owings|
|Third Base||Jake Lamb||Brandon Drury|
|Shortstop||Nick Ahmed||Chris Owings||Ketel Marte|
|Left Field||Yasmany Tomas||Gregor Blanco||David Peralta||Jeremy Hazelbaker|
|Center Field||A.J. Pollock||Gregor Blanco|
|Right Field||David Peralta||Chris Owings||Chris Herrmann||Jeremy Hazelbaker|
|Starting Pitcher||Zack Greinke||Taijuan Walker||Robbie Ray||Shelby Miller||Patrick Corbin|
|Relief Pitcher||Randall Delgado||Enrique Burgos||Jake Barrett||Andrew Chafin||Silvino Bracho|
Projected Win Total: 78.5
World Series Odds: +12500
Arizona dipped from 79 wins in 2015 to 69 wins a year ago and it won’t surprise anybody if they finish above both of those marks this coming season. The Diamondbacks have too much talent to finish below 70 wins if they stay healthy but they might not be ready to compete with the top teams from the National League West like the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants just yet. 82 wins seems reasonable for Arizona if they can stay healthy and get better pitching from their starting rotation as they attempt to lay the groundwork for contending for a playoff spot again in 2018. We’re optimistic, of course, but there is a downside. The Diamondbacks could end up struggling and then selling off veteran parts at the trade deadline as they do need to replenish their farm system.
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