Last season, Paul Goldschmidt hit .302 with 36 home runs and 125 RBI.
It was a banner season that earned him a second-place finish in the NL MVP voting and established the first baseman as one of the best young players in baseball.
The D-backs want more, though, which is why they went out and traded for Angels slugger Mark Trumbo.
It’s not that they expect Trumbo to motivate Goldschmidt; rather, the thought is he will offer the first baseman a level of “protection” he was lacking last season.
The theory is if you pitch around Goldschmidt you’ll have to deal with Trumbo, who hit .234 with 30 home runs while driving in 100 last year.
You kind of have to pick your poison.
“Without a doubt,” Trumbo told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday when asked if he believes in the idea of protection in a lineup.
The way Trumbo sees it, the more hot bats there are in a lineup, the more the entire lineup benefits. With the Angels last season, he saw that first-hand with regards to star Mike Trout, who was hitting in front of three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols for a while.
“He got quite a few pitches to hit, then Albert went down, and the next thing you know the guy’s got over 100 walks, and I think Goldy experienced that last year, too,” he said. “If you really don’t have a threat or a guy…if you’ve got that combo, they’re going to take their chances probably on both guys as opposed to just a free pass and then go after the next guy.
“So I’m a big believer that yeah, you need some protection in the lineup.”