Patrick Corbin JAMIE SABAU/GETTY IMAGES SPORT FIELDING No baseball player roams right field as well as Gerardo Parra, whose 4.0 defensive Wins Above Replacement score ranked third for any position in 2013. The two-time Gold Glove winner had a league-leading 15 assists from right field, while also ranking second in range factor per 9 innings as a right fielder (2.34). At first base, Goldschmidt’s Gold Glove is an asset, but the Diamondbacks are pretty much average after that, ranking 12th in Defensive Efficiency Ratings last season, according to Baseball Prospectus. Pretty much the same starters are giving it a go in 2014, with the exception of Trumbo and promoted shortstop Chris Owings. STARTING PITCHING Patrick Corbin (14-8, 3.41 ERA), who was the only 2013 Diamondback starter with a winning record, is the only pitcher on this staff that people still believe in, but he is done for the season after Tommy John surgery. You had Wade Milley and Trevor Cahill posting 3.55 and 3.99 ERAs in 58 combined starts for Arizona in 2013. Then there was Brandon McCarthy, who bottomed out in the National League with a 5-11 record and 4.55 ERA. But the glass-half-full community can point out the former Oakland A’s ace had a 3.29 ERA in 282 combined innings in 2011 and 2012. Throw in Reds acquisition Bronson Arroyo, who had a 14-12 record and 3.79 ERA in Cincinnati last season, and there is indeed reason for optimism here. Randall Delgado, who came the the Diamondbacks from the Braves in the Justin Upton trade, will be called upon to fill in the rotation. RELIEF PITCHING Management went out and signed right-handed closer Addison Reed because former Diamondback Heath Bell had such trouble with the job, blowing seven of 22 save opportunities, while posting a 4.11 ERA and 1.371 WHIP in 2013. Brad Ziegler and J.J. Putz did a fine job putting a band-aid on the situation, but the team would rather rely on Reed, the former White Sox closer who had 40 saves in 48 opportunities, allowing righties Ziegler (8-1, 2.22 ERA, 1.137 WHIP) and Putz (3-1, 2.36 ERA, 1.252 WHIP) to do what they do best. MANAGING General manager Kevin Towers rolled the dice in making roster/ payroll changes in turning Adam Eaton, Tyler Skaggs and Heath Bell into Mark Trumbo, Bronson Arroyo and Addison Reed. Towers is in the last year of his contract, as is Manager Kirk Gibson. So if the two can work magic with the subtle lineup/rotation/bullpen changes, they may battle the California teams for the title, hoping some of that 2011 magic rekindles. Remember, in that year, Arizona had four starters mow down the competition, while former closer Putz slammed the door shut with 45 saves and a 0.914 WHIP.
2014 Houston Gameday HQ
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