Arizona Diamondbacks: Mid-Season Report Card
Team: Arizona Diamondbacks
Record: 50-45 (1st Place)
Biggest Surprise of First Half:
The Diamondbacks are in first place, and they should consider themselves very fortunate to be in this position. They play in a weak very division, and are the only team that over .500.
The biggest surprise is that despite their record, they have one of the worst bullpens in baseball. They have 19 blown saves on the season, with three different relievers each blowing five games; David Hernandez, Heath Bell, and J.J. Putz.
The saving grace is that they have won 21 one-run games, ten extra-inning games, and have 26 come from behind victories. Another surprise for the team is emergence of starting pitcher Patrick Corbin becoming the ace of the rotation; he has won 11 games with a 2.35 ERA.
Biggest Disappointment of First Half:
The team is first, but the bullpen situation will have to addressed by General Manager Kevin Towers over the All-Star break. He can either use players from within the farm system or acquire another reliever to help to the team out in this area.
Another disappointment is the performance of the starting rotation outside of Corbin. They have been very inconsistent with their play, and will have to get better in second half of the season.
Arizona has plenty of options with some pitchers in both Double-A and Triple-A which can replace the current starters in the rotation. Tyler Skaggs has already made a couple of starts with the team, and is improving with each start.
The Diamondbacks have another pitcher in top prospect Archie Bradley that could get called up if the rotation fails to improve.
There are two players that can be considered candidates for MVP with the club. Corbin as mentioned before is pitching great; the club is 17-2 when he pitches. He has given the club a chance to win each time he has pitched.
The other person who is the team MVP and probably has a chance to MVP of the NL is first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Goldy as the fans in Arizona call him is hitting .313 while leading the NL in RBIs with 77.
The club has at times struggled on offense, but Goldschmidt is the one player that has carried Arizona through the rough patches this season. I expect Goldy to have a big second half for the club.
Prospect Ready to Make an Impact:
They just got outfielder Adam Eaton back with the club, and his speed alone can change the complexion of a ballgame. He provides the team with a true leadoff hitter and can make their offense better.
Contender or Pretender:
Contender. The Diamondbacks are contenders with their play during the first half. They have spent 65 days in first place, and I see no reason why can’t maintain this lead through the end of the season.
This division is very unpredictable and no team will be able to run away with the division title. Arizona has the players and prospects to end this season as the division winner.
The bullpen and starting rotation will have to get better, and once that happens the team should have no more issues.
Overall Team Analysis:
Fans of the Diamondbacks know all too well what an adventure the ninth inning has been for the team.
Despite that, they have still won 50 games before the break and they have the heart of a champion. The team never gives up and believes they are never out of a game.
They will surprise people with their play, and just might end up playing in the World Series.