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Arizona Diamondbacks 2019: Scouting, Projected Lineup, Season Prediction

Arizona Diamondbacks: David Peralta

Arizona Diamondbacks: David Peralta

The Diamondbacks face the daunting task of replacing franchise icon and perennial MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt as well as free agents Patrick Corbin and A.J. Pollock. Although many in the industry believed the Goldschmidt trade to St. Louis signaled an immediate tear-down, the D-backs held on to their other movable assets, including righthander Zack Greinke. They believe that a return to health from Jake Lamb and Steven Souza Jr. will help compensate for the loss of Goldschmidt, the only NL player to make each of the previous six All-Star rosters. 

Opposing Scouts Size Up the Diamondbacks

“They can be a really tough series for three games, if you see Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray and Zack Godley. They’re all really well prepared, they know how to exploit hitters’ weaknesses — and then nobody wants to face Archie Bradley in the bullpen. But when you lose your best position player and best starter in the same offseason, you’re going to feel it. They’re not in full teardown mode, but with no Paul Goldschmidt or Patrick Corbin, there’s no pathway to contention. On a day-to-day basis, they’ll be pesky — not just because of the pitching, but because that lineup still has enough to cause problems. David Peralta is outstanding, Jake Lamb and Steven Souza Jr. should have bounce-back seasons, and their middle infielders have decent pop for their positions. But Goldschmidt was such a steady force, a reliable run producer who took the pressure off everyone else. They can’t make up for that bat, or for the high-quality innings they got from Corbin. They’ll win some games, but not enough to contend.”

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Beyond the Box Score

K-Zone The Diamondbacks starters have bought into the work done by pitching strategist Dan Haren and the analytics department, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive. In 2018, the Arizona starters, led by Patrick Corbin, Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray, had 953 total strikeouts and averaged 9.31 strikeouts per nine innings, the fourth-highest mark by a National League team since 1913. All four of those seasons have come recently. The D-backs starters set a league record by averaging 9.45 strikeouts per nine innings in 2017, when Washington also averaged 9.36. The Los Angeles Dodgers broke the D-backs’ record by averaging 9.46 strikeouts last season.

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Success Story

Outfielder David Peralta, who spent parts of three seasons in independent league ball after an arm injury derailed his pitching career in the St. Louis organization, played his 500th MLB game last season, and it is safe to say the transition from the mound to the outfield has gone well. Peralta had a career-high 30 homers last season and already ranks fourth in franchise history with 32 triples while playing four-plus seasons. Peralta won a 2018 Silver Slugger award, joining MVP Christian Yelich of the Brewers and Nick Markakis of the Braves in the NL outfield.


Free Ride The D-backs reintroduced the bullpen cart last season to mixed results. While Brad Ziegler was the only home team pitcher to take a ride, 11 opponents took advantage. Houston’s Collin McHugh was the first on May 5, and Washington’s Sean Doolittle used it on all three of his appearances in a four-game series later in May. “People are making a big deal out of it,” Doolittle said. “Why would I not conserve my energy before going into a game in the biggest moment? When [I] run in from a bullpen, I spend my eight or nine warmup pitches trying to slow my breath down. I’m not really getting a lot out of the pitches. I loved it.” And to prove there is a stat for everything: Cart riders were 1–0 with five saves, two holds and a 5.12 ERA in 19.1 innings. 


Welcome Back Former general manager Joe Garagiola Jr., who shepherded the D-backs through their formative years, rejoined the team as a special advisor to president/CEO Derrick Hall in the offseason after serving a long stint in the office of the commissioner. Garagiola Jr. made the best trade in franchise history, obtaining Luis Gonzalez from Detroit for Karim Garcia before the 1999 season, and was the point man in signing free agents Randy Johnson and Steve Finley. 

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Projected Lineup

LINEUP

3B  Eduardo Escobar (S)
2B  Wilmer Flores (S)
LF  David Peralta (L)
RF  Steven Souza Jr. (R)
1B  Jake Lamb (L)
SS  Nick Ahmed (R)
C   Carson Kelly (R)
CF  Jarrod Dyson (L)

BENCH

C   Alex Avila (L)
C   John Ryan Murphy (R)
1B  Christian Walker (R)
INF  Ildemaro Vargas (S)

UT  Ketel Marte (S)

ROTATION

RHP  Zack Greinke
LHP  Robbie Ray
RHP  Zack Godley
RHP  Luke Weaver
RHP  Merrill Kelly

BULLPEN

RHP  Greg Holland (C)

RHP  Archie Bradley
RHP  Yoshihisa Hirano
LHP  Andrew Chafin
LHP  T.J. McFarland
RHP  Nick Green
RHP  Matt Andriese

2019 PREDICTION

3rd NL West