2011 National League West Previews: Diamondbacks

Today’s Focus: Arizona Diamondbacks

2010 Record: 65-97

The Diamondbacks offense was literally hit or miss last year. They were 3rd in the NL in home runs but also broke the MLB all-time strikeout record. Some of this can be blamed on Mark Reynolds but the team still strikes out way too much. The players who stuck out at least 23% of the time with a minimum of 200 PA are; Kelly Johnson (25.3%), Chris Young (24.8%), Adam LaRoche (30.7%), Mark Reynolds (42.3%), Justin Upton (30.7%), Miguel Montero (23.9%), Chris Snyder (31.3%), Rusty Ryal (32.4%) and Tony Abreu (24.4%). Justin Upton is a bounce back candidate and I think Chris Young is a lock for 25/25. I’m not sure how well Russell Branyan plays in an NL lineup and Melvin Mora is showing his age.

The Diamondbacks defense was pretty good according to fangraphs. They scored a UZR rating of 54.3 that’s good for 2nd in MLB. Gerardo Parra (13.3), Stephen Drew (8.7) and Justin Upton (7.6) led the way. Every starter for the D’Backs earned a positive UZR in 2010. Mark Reynolds and Adam LaRoche had uncharacteristically solid years defensively but they will be replaced by Melvin Mora and Russell Rranyan/Juan Miranda.

Wow. Ian Kennedy gets the opening day nod April 1st at Colorado. This is the same Ian Kennedy that sports a 7.88 ERA this spring and carries a 10-14 record with a 4.33 for his career. I thought this was a joke the first time I read it. Daniel Hudson will be their number 2. The rest of the rotation looks like;  Joe Saunders, Barry Enright, Armando Galarraga. They added J.J. Putz and David Hernandez to help bolster their bullpen which was amongst the worst of all time.

Notable Losses: Mark Reynolds, Brandon Webb, Adam LaRoche

Notable Pickups: J.J. Putz, Melvin Mora, David Hernandez, Zach Duke, Juan Miranda, Xavier Nady, Armando Galarraga, Micah Owings, Russell Branyan

The D’Backs show little to no signs of improving.

Prediction: 67-95, last place NL West

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