Arizona Diamondbacks 2013 Season Preview

goldiebearjew
I am Bear Jew, hear me roar.

It wasn’t long ago that the Diamondbacks were the feel good story in all of baseball. It seemed like that 2011 team was Justin Upton and a bunch of guys, and they rolled into the NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers where they came ever so close to advancing to the 2011 NLCS. The model worked as it should, a team built around a young superstar overachieved a year ahead of schedule. Bruce Springsteen was being played on the stadium organ. Good times were had by all. With some luck and decent moves, a supporting cast would be built around Justin Upton for years to come.

It would never be more than a mirage for Arizona. This offseason wasn’t about who they added, but rather the trade that sent their franchise player to Atlanta to play with his brother. The package the Dbacks received in return for Upton wasn’t all that exciting, and it’s clear that they settled for much less than they could have yielded at other points if they were so set on trading Upton.

The organization continually remarked behind closed doors that Upton wasn’t “a winning player”. Go ahead and Google it now, you won’t find any other reasons behind why Upton was dealt. That’s because there were no good reasons. It was a stupid move and even when Arizona makes it back to the postseason in another eight or so seasons, it still won’t be a good move. It didn’t have to go down this way, and the Dbacks have unofficially stuck their flag in rebuild mountain.

They traded Trevor Bauer for being a dipshit, too.

Major offseason moves:

  • Traded Justin Upton for Martin Prado and Randall Delgado
  • Signed Eric Chavez
  • Traded for Tony Campana
  • Signed Rod Barajas
  • Traded Trevor Bauer for Didi Gregorius
  • Signed Brandon McCarthy to a 2-year, $15.5 million dollar contract

After the jump we’ll take a look at the 2013 Diamondbacks projected lineup and pitching staff.

But first we’ll take a good look at the biggest asshole in baseball, Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers!

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And here he is, folks. Give him a big hand and by hand we mean middle finger, especially if you’re a Dbacks fan. Towers has always struck us as being one of those smartest guy in the room types. Not that baseball doesn’t have a handful of them, but Towers is probably the worst. He’ll have proverbial egg all over his face for the Upton trade until the day he’s fired. We’ll stop ripping the guy in case his nephew stumbles upon this page. You’re an idiot, Towers. Your mother is a jackal! Okay, now we’re done.

Projected starting lineup:
Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 11.06.54 PM

As you see here on the chart, they acquired what is apparently a ‘winning player’ in Martin Prado. Prado is a grinder that can play a few different spots and he’ll fit in Arizona well because he can acclimate himself around the diamond. Aaron Hill had a resurgent year in 2012 (.886 OPS, 26 HR, 85 RBI). Montero is a solid offensive catcher last year who played 88 runs and walked 73 times. He strikes out at a pretty good clip, though. Jason Kubel hit 30 long ones last season and will need to anchor the middle of the lineup if the Dbacks are going to score runs. My gut feeling is that Kubel fails to replicate the year he had last year again in his career, though he won’t completely bottom out this season.

The real story here is the man who headlined this post, Bear Jew Paul Goldschmidt.

Goldschmidt enters the season at age 25, and is coming off a year that he hit .286 with 20 bombs and 80 RBI. If he can find a way to get on base a little more or collect a few more extra base hits, he’ll be a .900 OPS player in 2013. The sky’s the limit for Bear Jew, and with Upton leaving town he’s the new cornerstone for this franchise.

Don’t forget pesky bench hand Gerardo Parra. They’ll slip him into as many games as they can as a fourth outfielder. I guess he’s a ‘winning player’ type. Have fun with that sub .400 slugging from a corner outfielder. Not to pick on a fourth outfielder, but I swear these GM’s outsmart themselves sometimes. Why the hell do you trade Justin Upton?

Projected pitching staff:
Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 11.08.14 PM

The big name missing from this year’s rotation is Trevor Bauer. Bauer’s big unveiling after all the hype lasted all of four games and sixteen innings pitched. I understand that sometimes you need to go in a different direction for reasons like Bauer shaking off his catcher and being on his own schedule. He’s obviously a different bird. But four games? If I was a Diamondbacks fan and my team behaved this irresponsibly in the offseason, dealing the two guys we were told a year ago that the franchise would be built upon; I would probably spend my days watching a team that didn’t piss me off so much. Or just follow the Pirates. They’ll do the same thing but it’s acceptable if you’re the Pirates.

I actually like Ian Kennedy, the de-facto staff ace. I look for him to shave some of that 4.02 ERA off from last season and grind out 15-17 wins on a club that won’t be all that great. Trevor Cahill will dazzle one night, and walk a small Indian reservation the next. You’re in trouble if he’s your number two. Brandon McCarthy is still recovering from that ball that went off his head. I give the guy a lot of credit if he bounces back from that horrifying scene and is able to find any semblance of his old self this season.

I love rookie of the year candidate Wade Miley. The 2012 All Star throws four good pitches (4-seam, 2-seam, slider, change) with an occasional fifth (curveball) and I think he’s in for a solid career in the big leagues. I wouldn’t expect him to better his numbers from last season, but he could easily end up with the best numbers on the staff. Tyler Skaggs is an up and comer and a former first round pick of the Anaheim Angels. The Dbacks need Skaggs to show that he’s got a big future, and he should be fun to watch on the occasional fifth night.

The pen is anchored by closer JJ Putz who dedicated himself to getting into the best shape of his life in the offseason. And I’ll make one guarantee in this post: before the season is over Putz will somehow lose his grasp on the closer spot to Heath Bell. It’s inevitable. You know it’s going to happen. I can see it now. Kirk Gibson probably ends up drinking wild turkey and shooting squirrels on the off days with Bell. They talk about their younger days chasing skirts and attending rodeos. Putz gets the quick hook throwing one too many down the heart of the plate. Just wait and see.

Mevs’ Projected Record:

78-84, fourth place in the NL West

I could easily put them in front of the Rockies, but I like the Rockies roster better. I’ve lost a ton of faith in this organization, and they’ll be watching the Upton brothers in the playoffs while they’re all booking winter vacation with their wives. For all the ‘winning players’ the Dbacks aspire to employ, I see a lot of scrap heap guys and what I would call ‘losing players’. And that’s exactly what they’re going to do. They won’t be .500, if they do I’ll retire from writing on this blog.

No I won’t. I won’t because Kevin Towers is a liar and he said he wasn’t trying to trade Justin Upton yet he did nothing all along but try to trade Justin Upton. Towers, you lying chickenshit. This isn’t the NFL, buddy. When a new regime comes in they like to find their quarterback and they dump the old first rounder for their brand new first rounder. That’s not how baseball works. And when you eschew a player like Upton, there will be consequences.

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