We all remember it just like it was yesterday. The Diamondbacks were down 2-0 in the NLDS to the powerful Milwaukee Brewers. Then the Diamondbacks stormed back winning 2 games forcing the elimination Game 5 in Milwaukee. The Diamondbacks tied the game in the 9th and it looked like the Diamondbacks Cinderella season would continue. Then the infamous RBI game winning single by Nyjer Morgan killed all hope in the Diamondbacks 2011 season.
Luckily we are entering a new season. This new season comes with new additions for the Diamondbacks and a National League that does not include Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols. Even better the Diamondbacks kept their core together for another magical year with some added bat power and some pitching help.
LF Jason Kubel
After an injury sidelined Kubel, the Diamondbacks are hoping he can return to the Kubel of 2009 when he hit 35 doubles, 28 home runs, 103 RBI’s, and a .300 batting average. However, it is an interesting addition considering the year that Gerardo Parra had along with Chris Young and Justin Upton. It is definitely an offensive move to ensure the Diamondbacks can get more runs on the board but it will be interesting in how Gibby balances playing time.
SP Trevor Cahill
The star starting pitcher from the A’s comes to the Diamondbacks in a trade with Craig Breslow. He started his MLB career in 2009 and hit the ground running in 2010. In 2011 he fell off a little bit, but is still a solid pitcher and will fit in perfectly into a young and stellar starting rotation. Kennedy, Hudson, Cahill, Saunders, and Collmenter should prove to be a tough starting five to face all season long.
RP Craig Breslow
Not the sexiest addition to the bullpen but an addition that should help the Diamondbacks down the stretch. If the Diamondbacks starting five can produce consistently this bullpen should be able to hold up this season.
ROOKIE IN WAITING
SP Trevor Bauer
If an injury hits the starting rotation or if Collmenter falters coming out of the gate, rookie Trevor Bauer is waiting for his chance to shine. Hopefully, the Diamondbacks can develop him more and we will not see him in 2012.
1B Paul Goldschmidt
Goldschmidt came onto the scene late in 2011 and did not disappoint. He is prone to strike outs but when he makes contact he really gets a hold of the ball. The Diamondbacks having a full year with Goldschmidt could prove lethal to the NL West. Don’t sleep on Miguel Montero having a solid year though; his long-term contract talks were shelved shortly after Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals got a big long term deal. He will be out to prove he deserves a similar contract from the Diamondbacks or any team for that matter.
RF Justin Upton
Upton had a stellar year in 2011 and don’t expect any different in 2012. Upton has improved every single year in the bigs and he will do much of the same in 2012. Don’t be surprised if he is the proud owner of the 2012 MVP Award.
1st Place 97-65
Will Ryan Roberts and Aaron Hill have seasons like last year? Most likely the answer is a solid no. However, the new additions will help this team for the long haul. The additions in the bullpen and starting rotation and the offensive additions in the outfield will ensure any drop off from last year will be bolstered with new talent. The NL West will be tough with the resurgence of the Dodgers and Rockies and a healthy Giants squad. However, the Diamondbacks will pull ahead in the West late in September. As well, expect one of the Wild Card teams to be from the NL West.
Before Opening Day expect a full NL West Preview from myself and fellow PSB writer for the Colorado Rockies: Steve Folsom.
About the Author
Written by Matthew Hesse
Matthew Hesse is currently located in Tucson, Arizona and he graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelors in Business Management in 2009. Graduated from Tiffin University with a Masters in Business Administration with a focus in Sports Management in 2011. Recent intern with the Pro Exposure Basketball Showcase and Greene Sports Management. Fan of Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, and the University of Arizona Athletics.