Diamondbacks looking to exceed expectations
The Arizona Diamondbacks haven’t even had their first workout of spring training yet, but according to SI.com, they’re already behind the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.
During the offseason, the D-backs acquired Martin Prado, Cody Ross, Brandon McCarthy and Heath Bell to name a few, but dealt Justin Upton, Chris Young, Trevor Bauer and Chris Johnson in the process.
But as far as the D-backs are concerned, preseason predictions mean as much last year’s third place finish: nothing.
“It’s a new year, new players in the clubhouse — a lot of good players,” D-backs catcher Miguel Montero said. “We got really good pitching and I know we have a really good group of guys. I know they’re good teammates and good clubhouse guys.”
One of those clubhouse guys is Ross, who stated a lot of things went into his decision to be a D-back.
“This team is being built and shaped to be winners,” Ross said. “This is a really good team with some really good young pitching. They’re trying to get back to that Gibby way of playing the game — go as hard as you can for 27 outs and leave everything on the field. I couldn’t fit that mold any better.”
That Kirk Gibson mentality of giving it your all while on the field is shared by a majority of the new D-backs, including Prado.
“I want to do whatever they want me to do,” Prado said. “My goal is to make my teammates understand that I’m going to be there for them and for the team.”
Unlike Prado, who’s only been with one team throughout his career, McCarthy is now with his fourth franchise in eight seasons. However, the seven-year veteran is aware of Arizona’s deep rotation and understands what he needs to do to play his part for the team.
“It’s my job to fill in and hold up my end of the bargain,” McCarthy said. “It’s my job to make the best of that.”
The 6-foot-7 starting pitcher was part of last year’s American League West division champion Oakland Athletics, who won the division for the first time since 2006. However, McCarthy doesn’t feel any added pressure of leading the D-backs to a similar result.
“I don’t think you can do anything more than what you’re capable of,” McCarthy said. “It’s trying to pitch as well as you can every time you go out there.”
McCarthy also reiterated Ross’ statements, crediting Towers for assembling a team that he believes should turn some heads.
“The way the team is set up, there’s no glaring weak points,” McCarthy said. “It’s a collection of guys that if you’re playing at your potential … with as much talent as there is, it’s going to be pretty hard to stop.
“The way the team is put together I really like it.”