By: Jim Marshall
It has been a long and trying season for everyone associated with the Arizona Diamondbacks and when the season ends September 28th the organization will be looking for a new beginning.
The season began with starter, Patrick Corbin, and set-up man, David Hernandez, sustaining injuries during Spring Training, which lead to Tommy John surgery and a season of recovery. Those injuries definitely weakened the club’s pitching depth. It left the Diamondbacks without a true frontline starter and without a regular set-up guy they could count on to see them through late innings. Free-agent acquisition, Bronson Arroyo, also underwent Tommy John surgery in June. Pitchers, Brandon McCarthy and Joe Thatcher, were traded and Trevor Cahill was sent down to the minors in an attempt to find his form, but the jury is still out on him.
Injuries to everyday players AJ Pollock, Chris Owings, Mark Trumbo and Paul Goldschmidt, the Eric Chávez’ retirement, inconsistent pitching from both the starters and the bullpen, team hitting under .230 with runners in scoring position are just a few of the other setbacks the Diamondbacks have had to deal with this season.
All that, plus questionable trades, ultimately led to the dismissal of General Manager Kevin Towers on September 5th. Whoever takes over as the club’s next GM has plenty of work in front of them? One could easily say that this franchise is in worse shape now than it was on Towers’ first day on the job. In fact, the Diamondbacks have been moving in the wrong direction under Towers since their NL West title in 2011. No timetable has been set for a replacement, but interviews are ongoing. One would expect this organization to look for a GM with different ideas and philosophies than Towers, to avoid a repeat of the team’s current issues.
The Diamondbacks organization needs a new outlook as it looks to become more competitive in the tough National League West division, as the Dodgers and Giants look set to be annual spenders/contenders The Diamondbacks’ roster sorely needs more young and impactful talent. The Diamondbacks will also need to decide whether or not to bring Kirk Gibson back. If they do bring him back, this team will need to address the issues of hiring a new pitching and hitting coach.
The team has also cleared money from the payroll for the new GM and Tony La Russa to use to start acquiring and developing new talent.
So once again the Diamondbacks off-season will be a very busy one.