2016 Arizona Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks had quite the winter. While the rest of the country was cooling off with the arrival of snow in the winter months, Arizona was heating up. But before we get into what to expect from the Diamondbacks in 2016, let’s check in with where they left off in 2015.
At 79-83, the Arizona Diamondbacks finished just below .500 and third in the talented NL West behind the recent juggernaut that is the San Francisco Giants and the LA Dodgers. When you look at the stats, the D-Backs were top ten in the majors in runs scored and batting average, but more middle of the pack when it comes to ERA and runs allowed.
With that being said, and the premium that is placed on pitching in the MLB in general, one would expect Arizona to target some free agent arms in the offseason to bolster their rotation, right? Well, I would say the Diamondbacks did that… and then some. Arizona was able to steal an ace from a division rival in Zack Greinke. Luring him to their squad is an obvious boost, but no longer having to face him multiple times a year is a boost to the offense at the same time. When you couple that with the acquisition of young stud Shelby Miller from the Braves (he was expensive) and the return of Patrick Corbin from injury, the Diamondbacks will sport one of the best rotations in all of baseball in 2016 and quite possibly for the next few years.
The Diamondbacks were also able to acquire shortstop Jean Segura from the Brewers over the winter. Segura brings speed and defense to the lineup and potentially some decent hitting. He’s shown flashes of power and average in the past but has not put it together consistently yet. However, a change of scenery and hitting in front of guys like Paul Goldschmidt and AJ Pollock could turn things around for him.
While it may feel like the Arizona mortgaged away a bit of the future in dealing Dansby Swanson in the Shelby Miller deal, the Diamondbacks have clearly expressed their desire to win now. The pitching staff has some shiny new toys, but the lineup returns with some of the same faulty parts. If Arizona is going to win the wild NL West in 2016, they’re going to need players like Segura and Yasmany Tomas to outperform expectations and provide a strong contribution to get this team over the edge. It’s certainly not out of the question, as these guys have shown the talent to do so, but we also shouldn’t be counting on breakout years, either.