Roundtable: Expectations, predictions for the 2024 Arizona Diamondbacks

Mar 28, 2024, 8:00 AM | Updated: 8:32 am

A World Series run changes things, no doubt. The Arizona Diamondbacks have amped expectations in 2024, with most of the relatively young roster returning and additions made in several key spots to improve the lineup and build depth.

A few injuries heading into the regular season that begins Thursday night against the Colorado Rockies remind us that some luck is involved.

Still, hopes are high in the desert. Here’s how hosts and editors for us at Arizona Sports are viewing the D-backs in terms of expectations and the heights we think they’ll reach.

What constitutes a successful 2024 season for the Arizona Diamondbacks? Do you think they will achieve that?

Luke Lapinski, co-host of Wolf & Luke: After what they did last season and this offseason, I don’t know how you can expect anything less than a playoff spot. Not only did Mike Hazen keep the main core of this team completely intact, he added some huge pieces at key positions. And their biggest path to improvement might actually still just be internal improvement from the younger players. That’s scary.

The injuries to Eduardo Rodriguez and Paul Sewald are annoying reminders that nothing is a given, and they’re in a division with a team that casually throws a billion dollars around in the winter like it’s nothing, but this team is built to succeed — both now and in the future.

Hazen’s doing this the right way, and the fact that he and Torey Lovullo are on the same page is a major intangible working in the D-backs’ favor that can’t even really be measured. I’m thinking 90 wins and a team that’s capable of taking anyone out in the postseason if they stay healthy.

Ron Wolfley, co-host of Wolf & Luke: The Diamondbacks have to make the playoffs. Anything short of that would be a big disappointment.

This team is built on pitching and defense. I expect their strength to be enough to win 90 games or more.

Vince Marotta, co-host of Bickley & Marotta: A successful season for the D-backs, to me, is a return to the postseason. Historically, repeating a postseason appearance hasn’t come easy for this franchise. Of the six playoff appearances Arizona has in its history only once has a team gone back to the playoffs the next year and that was in 2002, the season after the Diamondbacks won the World Series.

The late acquisition of Jordan Montgomery really fortifies the franchise’s desire to do it for the second time, but it won’t be easy. Life in the NL West will be incredibly difficult with the Dodgers, Giants and Padres and there are a handful of other teams that could be in the Wild Card mix.

But I think they do it. They’ll win 90 games and get back to the postseason as a National League Wild Card.

Dave Burns, co-host of Burns & Gambo: A successful season has three components for me. First, finish with more wins than last year’s 84. It may seem trivial if they make the playoffs again with the same number of wins, but I think the effort put into making this team better needs to be rewarded with the very basic notion of more wins. Second, make the playoffs. Third, win at least your first-round playoff series. I think everything else (championship Series, World Series repeats) is too random to have any certainty or expectations attached. But I’ll add one more; a successful season also involves big crowds and big buzz at the ballpark. Not every night and certainly not every team but the expectations of this fan base have been raised after their support in October.

Alex Weiner, Arizona Sports’ D-backs reporter: A successful 2024 Diamondbacks season would show they are building a consistent postseason contender, something they’ve set out to achieve with this young corps. The Diamondbacks ended a five-season playoff drought last year with a lot of young players breaking out such as Corbin Carroll and Gabriel Moreno, so getting back to the postseason where they showed anything can happen would constitute as an accomplishment. There are degrees of being a playoff team, so for 2024 let’s say improve the 84-win record and play October baseball.

The D-backs went out and added veterans to balance the lineup and rotation as well as bringing in more leadership to an already tight clubhouse. Arizona should boast one of MLB’s best rotations when healthy with Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, Eduardo Rodriguez, Brandon Pfaadt and recent reported signee Jordan Montgomery. Their lineup has more power, plus the defense and base running were strengths last year that should be again.

The NL West appears to be deeper and the D-backs are already dealing with early season injury adversity, but their additions factored in with internal improvements should put this club right in the thick of playoff races down the stretch.

Kevin Zimmerman, lead editor: It’s hard not to expect more out of the playoff experience from a year ago. Players like Alek Thomas have spoken candidly about how the success in the postseason built their own confidence.

And the team faced plenty of lows last regular season and postseason as well. That’s got to age you in baseball terms in a good way, where there is a knowledge of how to get out of the valleys looking at 2024. The roster got better thanks to the front office. The young players like Corbin Carroll, Gabriel Moreno, Geraldo Perdomo and Brandon Pfaadt should only take steps forward. Even minor leaps by each will collectively do a lot.

Even with expected speedbumps, the playoffs are the expectation. There is tons of competition in the NL West alone, however, and maybe the expectation floor of making the postseason is also not far from the ceiling.

But call it a 92-win team and a threat to make another deep postseason run.

Tyler Drake, editor:

It would be easy to say “World Series or bust” after the magical – and improbable – run we all watched last year on top of the extra funds spent this free agency. I do think, though, that a deep playoff run that doesn’t include a World Series finish could still be chalked up as a successful 2024 for Arizona.

As far as a record prediction, put me down for right around 90 games, give or take a couple.

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Roundtable: Expectations, predictions for the 2024 Arizona Diamondbacks