Arizona comes into the season with new manager Chip Hale. They fired Kirk Gibson after he went 353-375 in four and a half seasons as skipper. The expectations are low for Hale as Arizona isn’t expected to immediately compete for the NL West crown.
The Diamondbacks were dealt with injuries to many of their top stars. Paul Goldschmidt and Mark Trumbo both missed time and pitchers Daniel Hudson and Patrick Corbin didn’t start a single game in 2014 due to both needing Tommy John surgery.
Can Arizona’s young talent speed up Arizona’s rebuilding process?
How will Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas transition to the Majors?
Here is the 2015 MLB season preview for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
2014 Win/Loss Record: 64-98
Key Additions: SP Jeremy Hellickson, 3B Yasmany Tomas, SP Robbie Ray, SP Allen Webster, C Gerald Laird, SP Lucas Harrell, SP Rubby De La Rosa & OF Ben Francisco
Key Losses: C Miguel Montero, SP, Wade Miley, SS Didi Gregorius, RP Will Harris, OF Alfredo Marte, 3B Eric Chavez, RP J.J. Putz, RP Eury De La Rosa, OF Tony Campana, SP Mike Bolsinger & OF Roger Kieschnick
Interleague Schedule: AL West
Projected Starters: Tuffy Gosewisch, Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Hill, Yasmany Thomas, Chris Owings, David Peralta, A.J. Pollock & Mark Trumbo
Projected Starting Rotation: Jeremy Hellickson, Josh Collmenter, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster & Trevor Cahill
Closer: Addison Reed
Fantasy Sleeper: 3B/OF Yasmany Tomas – Arizona signed the Cuban slugger to a contract bigger than Yasiel Puig, Jose Abreu and Yoenis Cespedes signed when coming from Cuba. He’s a power hitter that could end up putting similar power numbers as Abreu. His defense is a huge question mark, so he could be used in the outfield. If he gets 400+ at-bats, he could end up with at least 20 homers. You might be able to get him late in the draft.
Prospect To Keep Your Eye On: SP Archie Bradley – Bradley was once considered the consensus top pitching prospect in baseball. In 2013, he had a 1.97 ERA in Double-A. His 2014 season was marred with injuries. He only made 17 starts in-between Double-A and Triple-A. I expect to see him in the Majors as some point…if he can keep his walk-rate down in the minors.
Team Analysis: Arizona has been teetering between trying to win and rebuilding. I believe they know where they stand now. I expect a lot of roster changes to be made this season. I wouldn’t be surprised if Aaron Hill and Mark Trumbo both get put on the trading block.
If Arizona was in the NL Central or even the NL East, they could keep their head above water with their current roster. Unfortunately, they are in the NL West…a division with the defending World Series champion (Giants), a legit contender (Dodgers) and the team that was most active this offseason (Padres). They will still be able to beat up on the Rockies, so they have that going for them.
Paul Goldschmidt will have his usual 30/100 season, but there are holes in their lineup. They will need to rely on playing small-ball and hope their pitching staff can win games for them. Adding Jeremy Hellickson was a nice move. It helps them while Patrick Corbin is on the shelf until mid-season.
2015 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 72.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2015 Projected Win/Loss Record: 69-93 (4th in NL West)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.