Green: Excited about the D-backs? Me neither
It's the 2010 All-Star break. The Diamondbacks have sent Justin Upton, Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson to the game in California.
Back in Phoenix, the D-backs are six games behind the Rockies for first in the NL West and Brandon Webb, who has eight starts under his belt, should be about ready to round into form.
Exciting, right? Well, dreaming is free.
The Diamondbacks enter the 2010 season with a few things to look forward to. Justin Upton should continue to grow into one of the best players in the game, Mark Reynolds could solidify himself as one of the premier power hitters in baseball, and the in-game atmosphere at Chase Field is supposed to be much, much improved. But the things to look forward to end there and that concerns me.
Remember last season? The Diamondbacks got off to a bad start, fired their manager, introduced "Organizational Advocacy" into the lexicon and lost 92 games? No? Lucky you.
As a baseball fan the summer is usually one of the best times of the year. There is a game pretty much every day, meaning there is always something to watch when the better TV shows are on their breaks.
Of course, this all hinges on the team being fun to watch, which the 2009 Diamondbacks certainly were not - the ridiculous defense and base running notwithstanding, of course.
Hopefully things will be better this year, but I have this sinking feeling that they will not be.
While the team may very well get off to a solid start, I'd be shocked if Brandon Webb is a part of it. Every time it seems like he is ready to come back there is another setback, and every day that passes in which he does not throw from a mound is more time wasted in the 2010 season. While Webb needs to think of his health and his future, I have a hard time believing he will be a factor for the Diamondbacks this year, or ever again.
And, while the team acquired Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy in a trade, I have a hard time believing either will be good enough to make up for the absence of Brandon Webb. Though, it would not shock me if Dan Haren, yet again, looks like a Cy Young candidate early and Jackson looks every bit the pitcher the Diamondbacks were hoping to get when they made the trade, but the next good second half either pitcher has will be their first, so it is difficult, right now, to expect complete, dominant seasons out of either right hander.
Of course, the Diamondbacks' offense being one of the best in the National League would go a long way towards negating the affects of a bad pitching staff, but I'm just not sure the D-backs have the lineup to get the job done.
Yeah, Upton and Reynolds should have good seasons. Conor Jackson, making his return, should help. Adam LaRoche, even, should provide some power from first base. But, as far as I'm concerned, there are far too many question marks in Chris Young, Stephen Drew, Kelly Johnson and Miguel Montero to assume this team will consistently score runs.
Regardless, the Diamondbacks will likely have a month or so to get their footing. With the Suns and Coyotes in the playoffs, odds are the attention will be anywhere but Chase Field.
But, at some point, people will think of the baseball team in Sedona Red and hopefully, when that happens, the team will still be relevant. Unfortunately, if the Diamondbacks are out of contention by June it will not only be a long summer, but another one that we'll want to forget.
Adam can be reached with your questions and comments by e-mail here.