Arizona Diamondbacks 2021 Preview
As I begin my team previews for 2021 I want to do more then a typical preview. I want to know and preview what makes each team fun, exciting, and interesting. With that being said I am still going to do the standard lineup and rotation preview, as well as a win prediction range. No better place to start then the lowly Diamondbacks.
Arizona went 25-35 in 2020, in a normal year that translates to 68-94. This team was far from good in 2020 but luckily they have talent on this team and Colorado got worse. Do not get high hopes for this team but at least they have a great TV broadcast and a beautiful stadium.
The best thing Arizona has going for them is their catcher situation, and by best I of course mean most fun. As boring as Carson Kelly is and has been, the backups steal the show. Catcher slash centerfielder may be the most fun phrase in baseball: and that is what you get with Dalton Varsho. 3rd string is everyone's favorite STEVE VOGT !!!. Steve: if some dumb reason you are reading this. Please never change
That may be where the fun stops on this roster. The infield is bleak, even I can not defend Christian Walker anymore. Nick Ahmed had a great 2020, maybe one of only 10 people that did, but that all seems to be an outlier at the plate, although he will make a nice play or 2 in the field. Eduardo Escobar and Ketel Marte are both trying to prove 2019 and that every other year of their career was wrong. I wouldn't bet on it. If the freight train David Peralta can get going he could make this team worth a watch some nights but there is nothing else going on in the outfield unless you believe Kole Calhon, if you do , we all have been there before and you too will learn the breakout is never coming.
Pitching pitching pitching, it really is sad to see how far Madison Bumgarner, or Mason Saunders, has fallen. Not sure if its arm fatigue or what it is, but only a few years ago he was the number one most feared big game pitchers. 6.48 ERA in 9 games was bad in 2020 but it honestly looked worse. He had no control, could not paint the corners like he used too, instead everything was over the heart of the plate or uncatchable. Somehow Madbum was not the worst pitcher of the rotation. That belongs to Luke Weaver. Weaver and Carson Kelly were the returns for Paul Goldschmidt, and it has not worked out in the slightest for Arizona. Weaver was beyond awful in 2020 yet kept pitching every 5th day. New ace Zac Gallen was the only bright spot on the mound for Arizona, and he looks to continue that going forward. This rotation should go, Gallen, Bumgarner, Weaver, Caleb "Dr. K" Smith and Merrill Kelly.
Lets find the fun on this team. Non-roster invites are always were I start for joy on bad teams. Arizona is inviting former Astros bullpen ace Chris Devenski, who was once thought to be a top 10 bullpen arm in the league. Trayce Thompson (Klay's brother) getting the invite as well. I always thought he got a rough deal and had the talent to be a 4th outfielder for a good team. In typical backwards fashion the Diamondbacks coaches are more fun then their roster. Jonny Gomes as the outfield and baserunning coordinator, former Diamondbacks catcher Humberto Quintero as the bullpen catcher and lastly Eric Hinske as the assistant hitting coach.
I think this team end up with 70-72 wins. I do not believe Weaver is this bad and that Ketel Marte and David Peralta can get back to respectable. Unfortunately this team plays in the same division as the Dodgers and Padres. The wins they would make up from the Rockies trading Arenado, they will lose with everything the Dodgers and Padres did this offseason.
Fun food item listed online: 505 Southwestern Fry Bread Taco
Native fry bread, ranch beans, carnitas, 505 Southwestern green chili sauce, cheddar lettuce, tomato, sour cream.