ESPN MLB analyst Jayson Stark calls the Arizona Diamondbacks the most disappointing team in the National League.
Though they weren’t necessarily expected to contend for the NL West title, the team’s 24-36 start has left them 14 games back of the division leading Giants and seven games out of a Wild Card spot.
And June just began.
“They’ve got the worst run differential in baseball,” he told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday. “They’ve got a worse run differential, by far, than the Astros. These are not good signs, right?”
To be fair, the Diamondbacks have played better of late. After posting a disastrous 9-22 record in March/April, the team went on to win 14 of 27 games in May.
But the team’s turnaround will only take it so far, and right now Stark is not terribly high on the team’s present or future.
“Once upon a time they had maybe the best (farm) system in baseball and were incredibly deep all over the diamond, and that’s certainly not true anymore,” he said, adding that there are still some players in the organization that he’s high on. “But they have really gone for it and it’s not going to happen.”
Stark pointed to the ESPN playoff odds, which gives the D-backs a 1.5 percent chance to reach the postseason. It’s the lowest number of any team in baseball.
“I think it’s clear that once they get through the draft and once Tony (La Russa) figures out what he wants to do, they’re going to have to do some selling between now and July and try to retool,” he said.
It’s not as if the team lacks talent, Stark noted, as he believes the team could find takers for pitcher Bronson Arroyo as well as either of their shortstops, if they decided to trade Chris Owings or Didi Gregorius.
“I’ll tell you a guy that I hear other teams talk about all the time, Brad Ziegler,” he said. “Brad Ziegler would be a really useful piece in a bullpen.
“They’re going to be able to make some deals — and they need to — but the lines of authority are a little murky right now so who makes them, how does it work? I don’t know.”