Arizona Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall likes what he’s seen from his club this season, but wants to wait a little longer before drawing any conclusions.
Speaking on 98.7 FM Arizona Sports’ Doug and Wolf, Hall said it takes about a month of baseball to determine who is for real.
“You get through April and you can see who will be in contention, and we hope we’re still that team,” Hall said. “The Rockies have played very well. They look like they’re gonna be in contention all season long with that offense, and it really frightens us coming in. The Dodgers are going to play better. The Giants are going to play better.”
The D-backs are currently second in the NL West at 14-9, with the Rockies in the lead at 14-8. Los Angeles (10-12), San Diego (9-14) and San Francisco (8-14) round out the division.
Hall also mentioned that throughout the season, the race for the division won’t come down to offense. Instead, it’s about “who is going to stay healthy and who can pitch.” The D-backs rank 18th in ERA (4.07) while Colorado is 25th (4.34). The two teams will meet in a three-game series starting Friday.
However, Arizona’s pitching will be weaker without Shelby Miller in the rotation. The right-hander left after five innings in his start against the Dodgers on Sunday, citing forearm soreness. The injury was diagnosed as a UCL tear, and Miller is still weighing his options, including Tommy John surgery.
Prior to the injury, Miller was rebounding from a rough 2016 season. He’s 2-2 with a 4.09 ERA this season and has surrendered only one home run.
His absence leaves the D-backs trying to find a replacement in the starting group. The team promoted Zack Godley from Triple-A Reno and started him against the Padres on Wednesday. In five innings, he gave up four hits and two runs with six strikeouts. After the game, he was sent back to Triple-A.
Right-hander Archie Bradley pitched three innings in Wednesday’s 8-5 loss, giving up only one run while striking out five. The 22-year-old has looked strong out of the bullpen, with a 1.26 ERA in 14. innings with 17 strikeouts and three walks. He’s a likely candidate to step in for Miller, and Hall said the plan is to keep him ready to enter the rotation.
“The whole plan last night was to try and get Archie in that game and stretch him out just in case you need him to start,” Hall said. “We’ve really enthused by the way Archie’s pitched in the bullpen. However, if he’s the best option you have going forward, and we have some really good options, stretch him out and we can make a decision.”
The D-backs close out a home series with the Padres on Thursday before hosting Colorado. After that, they’ll head east to face the Nationals.
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