As far as rivalries go, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers would have what is considered to be a burgeoning one, at best.
That’s according to ESPN MLB writer Jerry Crasnick, who as a guest of the Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta Monday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM said it would pick up if the D-backs posed a legitimate threat to them.
“If the Diamondbacks could win 90-95 games and they could have a big race right down to the finish it would certainly pick up some steam,” he said. “But the Diamondbacks were a .500 team last year so I don’t think it’s at that point yet.”
Then the question is, of course, if the D-backs will be good enough to give the Dodgers a run for the NL West.
Last season, Arizona led for much of the early part only to end up helpless as L.A. went on a historic run to claim the division.
This season, the D-backs may not be the only one with a chance to unseat the reigning champs.
“San Diego’s kind of a dark horse, and Colorado if Tulowitzki and Gonzalez can stay healthy, and San Francisco is always tough,” Crasnick said. “I like a lot of the elements that Arizona has, [but] they need somebody to really step up in the pitching rotation.
“Whether it’s Cahill or Arroyo, I don’t know that most people feel like they have a pitching rotation to compare to the Dodgers. And the Dodgers just have so much star power that if they can stay healthy, they look like a team that has the potential to win that division by eight or 10 games.”
That’s not to say Crasnick sees no hope for everyone else, though, and as anyone could tell you preseason predictions don’t always match up with the final result.
“I think the Diamondbacks are a very intriguing team and if things go right they’re a team that could be in contention for a playoff spot, but I don’t think nationally there’s going to be a huge number of people who are going to be picking them to get to the playoffs.”