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2008 Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball Preview

Fresh off a division title, the Arizona Diamondbacks (90- 72) are poised to once again win the NL West. With perhaps the best rotation in the league and a solid in field and outfield, they will be tough to beat.

The starting rotation is simply scary. Brandon Webb (18- 10, 3.01 ERA, 194 SO) proved to be durable although lack consistency at times. Webb has a fine stable of pitches. Dan Haren (15- 9, 3.07 ERA, 192 SO), who was acquired in a trade with the A’s, has a good fastball and a deadly splitter. Lefty Randy Johnson (4- 3, 3.81 ERA, 72 SO) continues to be harassed by injuries. He still has the ability to put hitters away. Health is a concern. Now that the Diamondbacks don’t have the league’s leading closer, Jose Valverde (47 SV), there’s reason to be concerned. They’re hoping the young Tony Pena (5- 4, 3.27 ERA, 63 SO, .207 BAA) can fill the gap.

The Diamondbacks were ranked last in batting average in 2007. LF Eric Byrnes (.286 BA, 21 HR, 83 RBI) is a sound hitter, while CF Chris Young (.237 BA, 32 HR, 68 RBI) simply crushes ball. Limiting his strikeouts would be a big plus. Orlando Hudson (.294 BA, 10 HR, 63 RBI) offers a quick bat on both sides of the plate. 3B Mark Reynolds, SS Stephen Drew and utility man Chris Burke need to contribute more.

Although the club’s fielding is average, second baseman Hudson is the real thing. Last season, he won his third straight Gold Glove. Shortstop Stephen Drew is solid, while the corner positions are questionable. In then outfield, Chris Young is a natural in center, Chad Tracy is a versatile performer and Eric Byrnes is a tough competitor.

GM Josh Byrnes and his staff have crunched a lot of stats to determine what’s best for the team. The other thing Byrnes has done is clear out crushing salaries that limited the club. Manager Bob Melvin, who was chosen as the NL Manager of the Year for 2007, has a contract through 2010. The front office has done a lot of work to make Arizona a contender for years to come.

Read more on the Diamondbacks other NL West division competitors like the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies, and San Francisco Giants.

For more info on the Diamondbacks check out the MLB official page for Arizona.

 

2008 MLB Preview

As usual we cover and break down all 30 of the major league baseball clubs. To read about a particular team simply click on the link of the division of where the team resides. The division pages will also give a quick thumbnail on each team and are order of finish. At anytime you can return to the main baseball preview page.

08 MLB Team Previews


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