Here’s a crazy opinion: the Arizona Diamondbacks are winning more than they should be.
It’s crazy because everyone feels down about the D-backs, but the truth is that they’re a .500 team minus April. In no way is there an implication that April should be wiped from the record books. The 9-22 record is real but Arizona is .500 ever since.
Most intelligent prognosticators pegged this team to be a .500 team, so its post-April record shouldn’t be a surprise. Or should it?
Their 31-44 record is atrocious but the 22-24 mark they’ve complied since April isn’t. The 22-24 portion has been done with a group of players that weren’t supposed to be here. Matt Stites, Didi Gregorius, David Peralta, Roger Kieschnick, Mike Bolsinger, Evan Marshall, Jordan Pacheco and Chase Anderson aren’t supposed to be Diamondbacks.
BayBears, Aces and Rockies are all winning games for Arizona. Unexpected players are making up almost a third of the June roster.
Chris Owings earned his way here but who predicted he’d be hitting .283 with 20 RBIs (yes, it’s RBIs with an “s”) and batting lead-off or second in the order while playing mostly stellar defense? Just like Owings, A. J. Pollock has far exceeded expectations, but he’s out of the lineup.
As a matter of fact, the disabled list could almost field a team: LF Trumbo, CF Pollock, RF Inciarte, Chavez and Pennington on the left side of the infield, Hudson, Corbin, and Arroyo leading the rotation with Hernandez and Reynolds out of the bullpen.
All of this is happening despite Brandon McCarthy still pitching like Brandon McCarthy. Trevor Cahill has pitched below expectations despite the bar for him set in the “just-don’t-be-gawd-awful” range. Don’t forget, Aaron Hill has been a disappointment with his .249 average and Cody Ross just now moved off the interstate. Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero are the only players to have met expectations, albeit Goldy’s are much higher and more difficult to reach.
As upset as so many Arizona fans are about the turn of events for 2014, this should be much worse. Hopefully it’s a sign there’s a core developing to build around since it’s the unexpected players that are keeping the team afloat. Unfortunately, we’ve said the same thing many times before.