The Diamondbacks brought in an assorted group of solid players that included JJ Putz, Armando Galarraga, and Zach Duke. However, they lost their second best player in Mark Reynolds in what was a terrible deal that was a steal for the Orioles. Adam LaRoche had a nice year in 2010, but he’s gone as well. The D’Backs also lost injury prone ace Brandon Webb, who could turn out to be monstrous if he can get healthy again. The Diamondbacks got a little bit worse this offseason, thanks to the loss of Reynolds. That won’t bode too well for a team that finished in last in the division last season. Expect another dismal year in Zona.
Reliever David Hernandez was the only useful player they got in the Mark Reynolds deal. Juan Gutierrez make up a boom or bust set-up man duo. Closer JJ Putz is another boom or bust player at closer. If he reverts to his old form, the D’Backs might actually have a solid bullpen. If Putz gets injured or does poorly, then this bullpen will be quite awful. If he only does okay, I would still consider the pen to be a liability.
It is pretty pathetic that Juan Miranda is the starting first baseman for this team. They will dearly miss the solid play of Adam LaRoche, but they should keep their fingers crossed in the hope that Miranda turns out to be as good as fellow heralded former Yankees’ prospect Ian Kennedy was in his debut year on a new team. I don’t think that happens. Kelly Johnson was great last year, and I think he and Stephen Drew make up a solid middle infield duo. Melvin Mora is a poor player at this stage in his career, so I don’t have high hopes for them at the corner positions.
Going back to Miranda, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Russell Branyan take over at first. The Diamondbacks signed him to a minor league deal. Branyan isn’t anything good- he strikes out far too much- but he makes up for that with really good power. You won’t get anything in the field or contact wise, but you will get some hefty power. Miguel Montero is a lock at catcher. He has some solid pop and isn’t bad in any specific category. He is a solid player and hitter, and that’s all you can ask for from a catcher.
Xavier Nady might be a useful contact hitter, but I really don’t see anything else that this guy could hope to bring to the table. I think he’s done. Gerardo Parra will overtake him in left field. Chris Young and Justin Upton are the D’Backs’ two best players. They are the team’s only hope. Both of them are extremely talent young outfielders that are great all-around players. Upton is disappointingly inconsistent- much like his brother- but I think Justin is better than BJ and should be able to break out of his shell. I love that outfield duo.
Joe Saunders and Ian Kennedy are two decent pitchers that should fill in their slots nicely. I love Daniel Hudson, and that Edwin Jackson trade was a real steal. Hudson is one of the best prospects in baseball, and they also got highly touted shortstop prospect Dave Holmberg. Hudson is the best pitcher on this staff. Barry Enright is solid. He doesn’t do anything great, but he isn’t terrible at any one category. He slots in nicely. Zach Duke has a chance to really impress with a change of scenery. Duke has always had the stuff, but he was always stuck on the Pirates. The D’Backs stink, but they are much better than the Pirates. Duke has the chance to be great, but it’s only a chance and not a lock.
Armando Galarraga has name recognition for his near perfect game, but I think he is only an average pitcher. That being said, he isn’t bad and he gives the D’Backs more depth. They also signed Micah Owings to a minor league deal. The Diamondbacks have no star power in their staff, but it is a deep one with solid talent. I think they do okay there, but they will still end up as the worst team in their division.