ESPN’s Doolittle poses biggest offseason question for Arizona Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks rebounded in a big way from a 52-win 2021. With six games left in the season, they’re 72-84.
This is thanks in large part to key contributions from prospects like outfielders Jake McCarthy and Corbin Carroll. They also benefitted from career years out of Christian Walker and Daulton Varsho. This goes without mentioning the tandem of right-handed pitchers Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly, who became one of the league’s best pitching duos.
However, postseason baseball is not in the cards for the D-backs; it’s on to 2023.
ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle posed the biggest offseason question for each non-postseason team. For the D-backs, their biggest question was How close are we?
How much of all this was real, and how much was a blip? If it was real, the Diamondbacks would appear to be one or two big hitters away from making a run at a wild-card spot next season. We’ll get a solid indication of how Arizona views its run-prevention gains by the way it approaches this winter on the hitting side.
The Diamondbacks are tied for 27th in baseball with a .229 team batting average. Moreover, they’re tied for 24th in OBP and 20th in slugging percentage.
However, they were middle of the pack in home runs, runs scored and top-10 in stolen bases. On a rate basis, there’s certainly room for improvement. Yet in spite of that, they were a middle-tier ballclub in terms of scoring runs.
Targeting impact hitters is an indication of the front office’s expectations for 2023. In addition, how they address the bullpen should be given attention.
With six games left in the season, the D-backs rank 26th in reliever ERA. They also rank 20th in blown saves, with 25, and 25th in saves converted, with 32.
Addressing that may go a long way in establishing postseason expectations in Arizona. Although Doolittle also mentioned 2023 as potentially another “proof of concept” season. Only time will tell what expectations next year should be.
Regardless, this offseason should be an interesting one for Diamondbacks management.