There is no debate that the Arizona Diamondbacks have far exceeded expectations this season. Consider the fact the D-backs were the worst team in Major League Baseball a year ago with a roster with no discernible stars outside of all-world first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, it’s downright mind-boggling to look up at the NL West standings and see that manager Chip Hale’s club is five games out of first place in the division entering Monday’s action.
Arizona’s surging play of late is not only a testament to the emergence this season of players such as center fielder A.J. Pollock and left fielder David Peralta, both of whom have swung red-hot bats through the month of August, but also an ode to the tremendous reclamation effort spearheaded by Hale, who virtually no one thought would have the D-backs sniffing playoff contention this deep into the season.
And it’s not just members of the Phoenix media who have taken notice.
According to CBS Sports baseball writer Matt Snyder, the D-backs skipper is firmly in the mix for postseason recognition as the National League Manager of the Year.
Of Hale, Snyder stated the following:
The first-year skipper took over a team that won 64 games last season and has had to deal with one of the worst pitching staffs in the majors. After sweeping a series in Cincinnati, the D-Backs are now over .500 and only five games out in the NL West, which just sounds insane given the immense talent of the Dodgers and the presence of the three-time champion Giants. If they somehow win the NL West (yes, it’s incredibly unlikely), Hale may well win this award instead of Maddon. Either way, his work this season is commendable.
No matter how improbable, with precisely 38 games remaining this season, one can safely surmise that at this juncture, Hale and the D-backs aren’t want to go quietly into that good night.
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- Change in D-backs rotation allows Greinke to start final game if needed