2017 Arizona Diamondbacks Preview

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

Strengths

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.

Weaknesses

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
Closer Fernando Rodney

Projected Win Total: 78.5

World Series Odds: +12500

Outlook

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.

Prediction: 82-80

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About Geoff Harvey

Geoff Harvey has been setting his fantasy rosters since his days in the womb, just don't ask him how he used to get his waiver-wire reports back then. He's a lifelong fan of sports, especially the fantasy and betting aspects.

About Geoff Harvey

Geoff Harvey has been setting his fantasy rosters since his days in the womb, just don't ask him how he used to get his waiver-wire reports back then. He's a lifelong fan of sports, especially the fantasy and betting aspects.

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