LOS ANGELES, March 28, 2013 — The Arizona Diamondbacks are close to being a serious contender. Very close. They finished the 2012 season with an even 81-81 record.
Their offense took a hit when one of their top prospects, Adam Eaton, injured his elbow. Another prospect, A.J. Pollock, will take his place in right field. The Diamondbacks traded away Justin Upton, but still have plenty of pop in their lineup with Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Hill, Miguel Montero, Jason Kubel and the newly acquired Martin Prado.
Arizona’s ace, Ian Kennedy, should have a bounce back year and return to his 2011 form. If Brandon McCarthy can stay healthy, although he never does, Arizona will have one of the better five-man rotations.
Their bullpen was strengthened with the addition of Heath Bell, who used to be one of the best closers in the game before going to Miami and struggling last year.
If all goes as planned, the Diamondbacks will be a viable contender for the wild card this year.
Projected payroll: $81,165,500
Notable Players Out: RF Justin Upton, 3B Chris Johnson
Notable Players In: 3B Martin Prado, SS Cliff Pennington, OF Cody Ross, RHP Brandon McCarthy, RHP Heath Bell
Prospect Watch: SS Didi Gregorius and LHP Tyler Skaggs
Highlight Hitter: 1B Paul Goldschmidt (ZiPS 2013 Projections: .259/.342/.467 26 HR/77 R/92 RBI)
Highlight Pitcher: RHP Ian Kennedy (ZiPS 2013 Projections: 14-9, 3,71 ERA, 7.84 K/9, 201.3 IP)
Projected Lineup: C Miguel Montero, 1B Paul Goldschmidt, 2B Aaron Hill, 3B Martin Prado, SS Cliff Pennington, LF Jason Kubel, CF Gerardo Prado, RF A.J. Pollock
Projected Rotation: RHP Ian Kennedy, RHP Trevor Cahill, LHP Wade Miley, RHP Brandon McCarthy, LHP Pat Corbin
Projected Closer: RHP J.J.Putz
Manager: Kirk Gibson
Projected 2013 Finish in NL West: 1. TBA 2. TBA 3. Arizona Diamondbacks 4. San Diego 5. Colorado Rockies
Kevin J. Wells writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music. Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseballThe Diamondbacks are on the brink of doing something great, will that be this year?
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