Tag Archives: Ian Kennedy

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.

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10 Bold Predictions for 2012: Justin Upton & the Arizona Diamondbacks Regress

As part of our preview for the upcoming 2012 season, we’ll be doing a 10 Bold Predictions for 2012 series that will be featured between now and Opening Day. Our sixth prediction is that Justin Upton and the Arizona Diamondbacks are in for a long 2012 campaign.

Justin Upton was unbelievable last season. If it weren’t for J-Up and his motley crew that made up the rest of the band, what would we have possibly done with ourselves down the stretch run? As unheralded and unlikely as the Diamondbacks were, they came so very close to reaching the NLCS last fall.

Upton had a season that will always stand out on the back of his baseball card as his breakout performance. He finished 4th in MVP balloting with a .289 average, 31 home runs, 105 runs, 88 RBI, and 21 stolen bases. His slash line was a pretty .369/.529/.898, falling just short of that rare .900 OPS air. He was a 6.4 fWAR player at age 23, entering even more rare company.

And now it all comes crashing down for Upton, at least somewhat. A large part of his success last season was because he appeared in 159 names, such is always half the battle in putting together a big time season. We’re going to predict a season in which he has a production similar to 2010 (.273, 17 HR, 69 RBI, .356/.442/.799). And it’s going to be due to a catastrophic injury of some type that limits his playing time to less than 120 games rather than regression of ability. That’s the only thing that bring a talent like Upton’s to a screeching halt at this point.

It’s not due to any data or evidence either. Like with all of our predictions, this one deals with gut feeling. We don’t think it’s likely that Upton strings together another season in which he playas in over 150 games. Maybe it’s because we took him with our first pick in fantasy baseball in one of our most important leagues–and things like that just usually don’t work out for us. But we feel that something out there will keep Upton from staying on the path of becoming the next Junior Griffey type talent of baseball.

And such leads to the snowball of the Diamondbacks who will go as Upton goes in 2012, and they know it.

Kirk Gibson willed this team to 94 regular season wins in 2011, no small feat when your regulars were guys like Gerardo Parra, Ryan Roberts and Willie Bloomquist among others. A summer to remember it will be, especially when the Diamondbacks struggle to get to 75 wins in 2012.

Another guy we see the regression grim reaper coming for in a large way is closer J.J. Putz. He was a strength last year with 45 saves and a 2.12 ERA, but he’ll be 35 this season and last season’s remarkable performance came on the heels of three straight up and down campaigns for Putz. Expect David Hernandez to emerge as the closer by mid-season for one reason or another.

We think that Daniel Hudson will actually be a lot better in 2012, but there’s no way Ian Kennedy goes 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA again. Trevor Cahill, Joe Saunders, and Josh Collmenter won’t combine to do much for you after those two, either.

Everyone is predicting a breakout year for Paul Goldschmidt whom we love, but 30 homer projections are probably a year early at this point. Stephen Drew is banged up and the scab under the band-aid peels completely off this season, while guys like Roberts and Chris Young settle in to who they really are as players rather than having career years again.

This team will finish no greater than third in the NL West to pitching rich San Francisco and the underrated Rockies.

Welcome to the Postseason, 2011 Arizona DiamondBacks

The D-Backs are in the playoffs. They did it by going through the front door, defeating the defending World Champions 3-1 in Arizona. The big blow was yet another big hit by Paul Goldschmidt, a two run triple in the 8th inning with the game tied.

There’s nothing sexy about this team. In my opinion they’ve got the NL MVP who they’re built around, and a gritty manager who will be great for years to come in Kirk Gibson. Daniel Hudson and Ian Kennedy have been phenomenal; and J.J. Putz has had a great year. But other than that little core–they’re chalked full of guys that if they ran out together for another 20 seasons would never be able to repeat this feat.

And it’s because of this unlikely turn of events that we’ve hopped on the D-Backs bandwagon. This is awesome. Justin Upton and Kirk Gibson against the world. We hope they write the first chapter in a remarkable story this fall.

Justin Upton’s broken-bat home run the only score tallied in D-Backs 1-0 win over Pirates

[Box Score]

The Diamond Backs won 1-0 last night in Arizona over the Pirates, and Ian Kennedy went 8 strong innings to win his 20th game of the season.

The season of magic continues for the Dbacks–that was the first 1-0 game in Arizona since 2008–and the lone run of the game came off the (broken) bat of who else, Justin Upton for a solo home run.

And this is my playoff horse. I want the D-Backs to make a run that ends with them playing an AL team in the World Series. They’ve been scrappy enough to distract me from the listless, lethargic, lifeless Cincinnati Reds. For that I’ll be forever grateful.

The D-Backs magic # now sits at just 4 with 8 to play.