2010 Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball Preview
The Arizona Diamondbacks (70-92) spiraled downward last season just two years after winning the N.L. pennant and going all the way to the World Series. Their downfall was directly tied to Brandon Webb’s injury. The ace eventually had surgery on his ailing right shoulder on August 3. The result was that Arizona finished last in the West and posted the only losing home mark in their division.
In 2008, Brandon Webb (0-0, 13.50 ERA, 2 SO) earned a 22-7 record. Last season, the former Cy Young winner saw it all go in the garbage as he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the first game. Dan Harren (14-10, 3.14 ERA, 223 SO) is a consistent, premium starter. More good news for the starting rotation comes in the form of former Detroit starter Edwin Jackson (13-9, 3.62 ERA, 161 SO) and former Yankee pitcher Ian Kennedy (0-0, 00.00 ERA, 1 SO). Jackson mixes up his pitches well and offers a big upside as an athlete. Kennedy knows how to pitch and will get a chance to prove it this season.
Chad Qualls (2-2, 3.63 ERA, 24 SV, 45 SO) can setup or close. He suffered a dislocated kneecap last season that required surgery in September. His 92 to 93-mph fastball sinks with authority, taking hitters out of the game. Aaron Heilman (4-4, 4.11 ERA, 1 SV, 65 SO) offers versatility in long or short relief, but he has a tendency to leave the ball over the plate. Juan Gutierrez (4-3, 4.06 ERA, 9 SV, 66 SO) may have command issues, but he sports a big arm and keeps the ball in the park.
Shortstop Stephen Drew (.261 BA, 12 HR, 65 RBI) has a tough time against lefties. He does possess bat speed and power. In the field, he’s proven to be a premium fielder. In left field, Garardo Parra (.290 BA, 6 HR, 60 RBI) is ineffective at “D.” It’s at the plate, with his aggressive, quick bat, that he excels. Third baseman Mark Reynolds (.260BA, 44 HR, 102 RBI) offers massive power at the plate. At third, he’s an average player.
Connor Jackson (.182 BA. 1 HR, 14 RBI), first baseman, was shut down in May with pneumonia. The normally sound hitter saw his average drop from .300 to below .185. He is a fine fastball hitter, offering a quick bat. In the field, he’s subpar. A big plus at the plate is catcher Miguel Montero (.294 BA, 16 HR, 59 RBI). He dives at the ball when he swings but manages to generate good bat speed. Behind the plate, he is inadequate.
Manager A.J. Hinch was doubted by his players last season and was unable to motivate them. He needs to set the right tone in spring training to keep everyone on track. GM Josh Byrnes may have an extension to 2015, but he still needs to show some success.
The pitching has been improved drastically and that will go a long way to helping Arizona get back on track. They should be more competitive this season. They have young hitters and if the team can put some good numbers on the board that will go a long way to getting them to the next level.
For more info on the Diamondbacks check out the MLB official page for Arizona.