2013 Arizona Diamondbacks

So far I’ve covered the Dodgers and Padres with this series. This week the Diamondbacks are  up. Given the fact that this club employs the ever-deficient Kevin Towers and a manager who talks about make-up like he’s a goddam Avon lady (ba-zing), I expect a wider margin of error for the Snakes than the other teams in the division. It’s hard to predict what irrational men will do. 

The 2013 Arizona Diamondbacks

Position Players

C – Miguel Montero
1B – Paul Goldschmidt
2B – Aaron Hill
3B – Martin Prado
SS – Didi Gregorius
LF – Cody Ross
CF – Adam Eaton
RF – Gerardo Parra

My placement of Gregorius at short is heavily influenced by the fact that Cliff Pennington and Willie Bloomquist, while their names also sound like characters from a British mystery novel, stink at hitting. Gregorius will likely be below average offensively, but I think he’ll still be better than the other two candidates. Many may suggest Didi will get the job because Kevin Towers gave up a top prospect to acquire him. But I am not convinced Towers operates that way, and I am not sure Kirk Gibson will be able to understand that just because his other two candidates for short are scrappy veterans, doesn’t mean they are better.

I spent some quality time, thinking about whether Parra or Kubel will get more time this season. I think Kubel will get his ABs, but the Ross signing makes me think they are not particularly high on Kubel. He had a pretty rough finish to 2012 and is inferior defensively to Ross and Parra. Currently it seems the Diamonbacks have an interest in defense, so Parra gets the edge in a platoon.

Note: Adam Eaton will get his first full season in the big leagues. For some reason I envision him as a sort of bizarro Chris Young. Young had the great tools, but was frustrating due to his inconsistency and huge strikeout totals. Meanwhile, Eaton has four quality tools, power being the one left out, but can really play the game, and makes a lot more contact than Young.

Starters

1 – Ian Kennedy
2 – Brandon McCarthy
3 – Trevor Cahill
4 – Wade Miley
5 – Tyler Skaggs

Top four are pretty well set, but that last spot is tricky. Patrick Corbin would seem to have the edge based on service time, but Skaggs is the best talent of the group and he seems ready so I’m penciling him in. Randall Delgado, although he is a nice ground ball pitcher with sharp stuff, is not going to be able to show the command that Skaggs possesses.

Daniel Hudson comes back from surgery mid-season and they’ll be able to allow him to take his time given Corbin, Skaggs and Delgado are all in the mix.

Bullpen

CL – JJ Putz
SU – Heath Bell
SU – David Hernandez
RP – Brad Ziegler
RP – Tony Sipp
RP – Josh Collmenter

Newcomers Heath Bell and Tony Sipp fill important roles, and Collmenter is the long man. Delgado and Corbin are left off to get regular starts at AAA Reno.

Bench

C  – Wil Nieves
UT – Eric Hinske
IF – Cliff Pennington
IF – Willie Bloomquist
OF – Jason Kubel
IF – Eric Chavez

John McDonald has not been a major leaguer for a few years now, and the greatest triumph of the Diamondbacks offseason is that they have finally assembled enough pieces that they can release him.

On to the next disposable piece of this bench. Having both Eric Hinske and Eric Chavez is just plain stupid. They play the same positions and both hit left-handed. So that’s $4MM and two roster spots for what amounts to one player that can’t defend, run or play everyday if someone gets hurt…KT is a genius! Hinske is easier to get rid of given he is owed just over $1MM. Chavez’s $3MM contract makes him tougher to release or trade, and there will be few takers.

Unfortunately, the most logical guy to put on the roster, if they do ditch an Eric, is A.J. Pollock. I say unfortunately because I think it would be better for him to see at bats every day in AAA, and then get the call if an outfielder goes down.

The Outlook

A ton of depth in the rotation and the outfield, as well as a quality defense, give this team a high floor. With Prado and Hill signed up long term, youngsters Paul Goldschmidt, Didi Gregorius and Adam Eaton, plus a host of young arms, the team is built around a pretty stable core. But that core is without high ceiling guys on offense (outside of Goldschmidt). As such it’s hard to see the Diamondbacks doing anything other than burrowing into an age of respectable mediocrity that sees a playoff birth or two when things break right.

 

[RA Rowe]

Next week it will be the Colorado Rockies, even though they are pointless.

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About ra_rowe

A long suffering Padres fan who grew up in San Diego, and moved to Pasadena, Rowe works as a Junior Product Manager and writes poetry in addition to knowing everything about baseball.

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