Arizona Diamondbacks

 

2005 Record: 77-85. 2nd in division.

Anticipated Opening Day Roster:

 

Lineup

1-Craig Counsell-SS

2-Orlando Hudson-2B

3-Luis Gonzales-OF

4-Chad Tracy-3B

5-Tony Clark-1B

6-Shawn Green-OF

7-Johnny Estrada-C

8-Eric Byrnes-OF

Starting Rotation

1-Brandon Webb-R

2-Miguel Batista-R

3-Orlando Hernandez-R

4-Brad Halsey-L

5-Russ Ortiz[ii]-R

Bullpen

Jose Valverde[i]-Closer

Luis Vizcaino-R

Brandon Medders-R

Claudio Vargas-R

Brandon Lyon-R

Jason Grimsley-R-Long Relief

Terry Mullholland[iii]-R

 

Utility: Connor Jackson 1B/OF, Jeff DaVanon OF, Damion Easley INF, Chris Snyder C,

 

25th man contenders: Robby Hammock INF/OF/C, Greg Aquino RHP, Brian Bruney RHP, Koyie Hill C, Stephen Drew SS[iv]

 

Departures: Troy Glaus 3B, Jasvier Vasquez SP, Alex Cintron OF, Shawn Estes SP, Tim Worrel RP. Mike Koplove RP,  Royce Clayton SS,  Jose Cruz Jr. OF

 

Additions: Johnny Estrada C, Orlando Hudson 2B, Orlando Hernandez SP, Miguel Batista SP, Eric Byrnes OF, Luis Vizcaino RP

 

Strengths: If potential won Cy Young’s, then Arizona would have five contenders in the starting rotation. An active off-season resulted in the acquisitions of several solid ball players that should keep Arizona respectable. A veteran core should be able to guide a group of young talent, like Chad Tracy, Brandon Webb and Stephen Drew. Arizona could go either way, and giving veteran ballplayers the benefit of the doubt- this could be a competitive team.

 

Weaknesses: No lefty out of the pen, and a very inconsistent group of performers following Brandon Webb in the rotation makes for the potential of a tired bullpen. The lack of depth and immediate talent to fill in if injury occurs could lead to a long season in the heat of Arizona’s retractable cage.

 

Foreseen variables: Russ Ortiz has been ticketed to take over the first spot in a rotation for a few years now, however after a horrendous 2005 campaign, this year could exude a little fire from the calm hurler. Tony Clark plays first base as if rigor mortis has set in; expect a trade to an American League if the Dbacks start to falter early. Chad Tracy may exceed all expectations; he certainly has the talent to do so.

 

2006 Projection: 4th in the division. Veterans on the decline, uncertainty in the rotation and lack of depth in the pen are a volatile combination.


 

[i]  Jose Valverde-Mean, angry, ideal closer. Well over one strike out per inning.

[ii]   Russ Ortiz-close to a 7 ERA in 115 innings in ’05. can’t throw strike, terrible K/BB.

[iii]  Terry Mullholland- the 43 year old has been with 12 teams in his 20 year career

[iv]  Stephen Drew-signed for 5.3 mil one year after being AZ’s top choice, 15 minutes before reentering the draft. Like his brother, represented by Boras. Future SS in AZ.