ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Diamondbacks listed by ESPN as a possible surprise contender

Mar 22, 2019, 7:00 PM
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)...
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The Diamondbacks open up the 2019 season next Thursday, with perhaps more uncertainty than in seasons prior.

The departures of Patrick Corbin and A.J. Pollock via free agency and Paul Goldschmidt via trade have left a lot of production that needs to be replaced, which has made people pessimistic on the team’s chances to improve on the 82 wins they posted last season.

The D-backs still have some talented players left over, though, which is why Craig Edwards of ESPN named them in his article listing four teams that could follow the 2018 Oakland Athletics and be surprise contenders in 2019.

While the lineup lacks star power, every position has a player with at least average production. If David Peralta and Eduardo Escobar repeat their solid 2018 seasons and Jake Lamb recovers from shoulder problems in a lost year, the Diamondbacks should have a well-rounded lineup.

Edwards named the D-backs’ rotation as a strength of the team, and claimed that it could be good enough to keep them in the playoff hunt in the wide open National League.

On the mound, Zack Greinke should provide another good year. Robbie Ray struck out 31 percent of opposing batters last season and continues to show the stuff of an ace. Zack Godley was solid last season and could be again. If Luke Weaver can develop a solid third pitch, he has a ton of promise as well. Merrill Kelly is a wild card after pitching in Korea the past three seasons.

Edwards also said that the D-backs’ bullpen could be a big factor next season, and listed a couple of players that he feels could do well in late-inning situations.

In the pen, Greg Holland pitched well for the Nationals after the Cardinals moved on, and Archie Bradley should provide a ton of key outs. Yoshihisa Hirano and Andrew Chafin could help in late innings, and Taijuan Walker could come back at some point and help in the rotation or in relief.

The D-backs have a lot of ifs that need to go their way in 2019, but in the event that they do, they could surprise some people similar to how the A’s did last year.

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Diamondbacks

A general view of Chase Field during a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondback...
Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks sign highly ranked international shortstop prospect

The Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to sign one of the top international shortstop prospects, Abdidas De La Cruz, for $1.2 million. 
8 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte (4) throws to home plate in the bottom of the fifth...
Arizona Sports

D-backs scheduled to face Rockies in Las Vegas spring series

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies have scheduled a spring training series on March 18-19 in Las Vegas.
9 days ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals and head coach Kliff Kingsbury wait along the sidelines du...
Kevin Zimmerman

New Year’s resolutions for the Arizona sports teams in 2022

Here are what the local teams that air on 98.7 FM can look forward to achieving in the new year. Let's lend them some resolutions.
25 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns dunks the ball over Ivica Zubac #40 of the LA Clippers  durin...
Arizona Sports

The best Arizona sports plays of 2021

Being in high-leverage games tends to produce big moments, and multiple local teams competed for a championship this year.
23 days ago
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)...
Arizona Sports

The most-read ArizonaSports.com stories of 2021

It's been a newsy year in the sports world. For ArizonaSports.com, we looked at the two most-read articles for every month of 2021.
24 days ago
Suns’ Devin Booker doesn’t play 4th quarter of NBA Finals’ Game 3 loss (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)...
Kellan Olson

The best Arizona sports performances of 2021

The Arizona sports scene provided some great individual performances in the year 2021. Here are some of the best.
26 days ago
Diamondbacks listed by ESPN as a possible surprise contender