Team Strengths: The D-backs return the majority of the pitching staff that finished fourth in ERA this past year. The reduction of Patrick Corbin in free agency strikes, however, the D-backs retained Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray, get Taijuan Walker back from Tommy John surgery during the calendar year, additional Luke Weaver via trade and stand to profit from the looming ascension of high pitching prospect Jon Duplantier.
Team Weaknesses: The D-backs finished 19th in runs scored last year, then traded business icon Paul Goldschmidt and lost A.J. Pollock in free service. It lasted a long, dispiriting run of developing impact homegrown position players just to lose themfollowing Justin Upton, Adam Eaton, Carlos Gonzalez, Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson and Mark Reynolds.
What They Did About It: The D-backs signed just two free agent position players–Wilmer Flores and Caleb Joseph–and also will attempt to pay for the reduction of Goldschmidt and Pollock with standing rotates. Seven of the D-backs’ top eight place prospects have yet to perform above Class A, therefore internal reinforcements won’t be coming on a large scale for at least another year.
Final outlook: The pitching team may keep the D-backs campaigning to get a bit, but a subpar offense appears probably denying the golf club to its first losing season in three decades.