Saturday, March 4, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks 2017 season preview
Notable additions: SP Taijuan Walker, SS Ketel Marte, RP Fernando Rodney, C Chris Iannetta, SP Jorge de la Rose, RPs Tom Wilhelmsen, J.J. Hoover, Kevin Jepsen.
Notable subtractions: SS Jean Segura, C Welington Castillo, RP Daniel Hudson, 2Bs Phil Gosselin, Rickie Weeks, RF Mitch Haniger.
Biggest move: Hazen and Mariners GM Jerry DiPoto made one of the biggest trades this offseason, moving Walker and Marte to Arizona, and Segura and Haniger to Seattle.
X-factor: CF A.J. Pollock missed almost all of 2016 with a fractured elbow. If he can have a solid 2017 season, the D-backs can be a playoff contender.
Biggest bounce back: After trading top prospects Dansby Swanson and Aaron Blair to Atlanta for SP Shelby Miller, Miller posted a horrid 6.15 ERA. Miller needs to bounce back, or he'll probably lose his job.
Biggest breakout: Brandon Drury played both the outfield and the infield in 2016, batting .282. He also hit 16 HRs and 53 RBIs. Expect a big season for Drury, no matter what position he plays.
Guaranteed star: Paul Goldschmidt hit .297, 24 HRs and 95 RBIs in 2016, and also stole 32 bases. Similar numbers should occur in 2017.
The D-backs lineup should look like this:
1. CF: A.J. Pollock
2. LF: David Peralta
3. 1B: Paul Goldschmidt
4. 3B: Jake Lamb
5. RF: Yasmany Tomas
6. SS: Chris Owings
7. 2B: Brandon Drury
8. C: Chris Iannetta
The Diamondbacks rotation will probably be:
1. Zack Greinke
2. Taijuan Walker
3. Patrick Corbin
4. Shelby Miller
5. Robbie Ray
Cs Jeff Mathis, Chris Herrmann, SSs Nick Ahmed, Daniel Descalco and Jeremy Hazelbaker are on the bench.
Fernando Rodney will be their closer, and Randall Delgado and J.J. Hoover will set him up.
My prediction: The D-backs will be 4th in the division again, miss the playoffs, but improve in 2017.