2014 Outlook: Arizona Diamondbacks

2014 Outlook: Arizona Diamondbacks
January 6, 2014, 4:30 pm
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ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

2013 record: 81-81, 2nd place in NL West
Manager: Kirk Gibson, 5th season
Estimated 2014 payroll: $90 million
Key additions: 1B Mark Trumbo, CL Addison Reed, RP Brad Ziegler
Key losses: SP Tyler Skaggs, RP Heath Bell, SP Daniel Hudson

Projected lineup
CF Gerardo Parra
2B Aaron Hill
1B Paul Goldschmidt
C Miguel Montero
LF Mark Trumbo
3B Martin Prado
RF Cody Ross
SS Didi Gregorious

Projected rotation
LHP Patrick Corbin
RHP Brandon McCarthy
LHP Wade Miley
RHP Trevor Cahill
RHP Randall Delgado

Top relievers
CL Addison Reed
RP J.J. Putz
RP David Hernandez

Biggest questions entering 2014
1. Can they leap frog the Dodgers? 
The D-Backs finished second in the NL West, but the 11 games separating them and L.A. was the most in any division. The biggest problem is that the Dodgers are probably even better than the 92 wins they managed in 2013. They struggled early last year, and a full season at their second-half pace could see them challenge the century mark. Arizona was also nine games out of the final NL Wild Card spot, so their work is certainly cut out for them in 2014.

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2. Will they have enough starting pitching? 
As you see above, the Diamondbacks have no shortage of young pitching talent, but in 2013 it was their veteran arms that couldn't keep up. Despite solid seasons from Corbin and Miley, Arizona ranked in the bottom half of the league with a 4.13 ERA from their rotation. They upgraded their bullpen to help the cause and shorten games, but McCarthy and Cahill will have to be much better this time around. Delgado - brought over in the Justin Upton trade - will help in what should be his first full season in the majors.

3. How good will Goldschmidt and Trumbo be? 
The power potential of this duo could be special, two guys who combined for 70 home runs in 2013. Even with Goldschmidt's 36 the Diamondbacks ranked 25th in baseball as a team last season. This year, however, could be different. They now have two players who ranked in the top ten in home runs individually. Chris Davis and Adam Jones of the Orioles hit 86 homers between the two of them in 2013, Goldschmidt and Trumbo may not be far behind.

Projected lineup via MLBdepthcharts.com