5 Surprises: Arizona Diamondbacks

Five Diamondbacks surprises that I would not have predicted in the offseason:

  1. Josh Byrnes' firing.  Byrnes' contract ran through 2015 and included an ownership stake, so his July dismissal took me by surprise.  The departure of Jeff Moorad may have been a factor, reported the Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro.  General Managing Partner Ken Kendrick cited the team's weak farm system as a primary reason, in that Piecoro article. 
  2. Brandon Webb a non-factor.  Byrnes and the rest of the team's management saw enough in Webb to exercise his club option in January at an $8MM net cost.  Presumably they expected at least five months out of him.  Instead, his recovery from August 2009 shoulder surgery will delay his 2010 debut until September, when he'll try to make a few relief appearances.
  3. The terrible bullpen.  I wasn't thrilled with the D'Backs' additions of Aaron Heilman and Bob Howry, but I did not expect their pen to post an ERA near 6.00.  Chad Qualls and Juan Gutierrez were much worse than expected, but the D'Backs haven't found much on the scrap heap or in the minors either.
  4. The Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson trades.  Haren is signed through 2012 and Jackson through '11, but once Byrnes was fired these trades became much more realistic.  I also thought Haren would bring a better package in return if dealt.
  5. The performances of Chris Young, Ian Kennedy, and Kelly Johnson.  The bounceback seasons for Young and Johnson were not shocking, as they've had big league success before.  The feeling on Kennedy heading into the season was that he made for a questionable #3 starter who would be decent if healthy.  The 25-year-old righty is having a fine season with 140 strikeouts in 158 innings.

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9 Comments on "5 Surprises: Arizona Diamondbacks"

5 years 16 hours ago

Mustn’t forget the Barret Loux debacle

5 years 15 hours ago

Good call.

Barry Enright has also been a nice surprise as well.

5 years 15 hours ago

How about Justin Upton (unexpected) and Mark Reynolds (expected) taking a fairly significant step backwards from their 2009 seasons. They needed more out of those two and a healthy Webb and they would have had an exciting team to watch. Also, to see their ace Dan Haren struggle so badly early on in the season must have been tough. I had high expectations for this team heading into the season.

5 years 15 hours ago

Not this season, but there was debate as to who won the Velverde/Qualls, Guity trade and many pointed out that the D-Backs did OK because they got so much of the players under team control as opposed to only 2 years of Velverde for the Astros. I am not, by any stretch of the imagination a Wade apologist (though I am an Astros fan), but that trade was awesome for the Astros as they also got 2 draft picks this year from the A status free agent Velverde.

5 years 15 hours ago

Worst bullpen ever

5 years 11 hours ago

TBay’s is 07 was pretty terrible.

5 years 14 hours ago

Ian Kennedy had to be a surprise to most. He gained a few ticks on his FB as I’ve seen him throw as high as 92-93. He definetly has an impressive change that he didn’t really use while with the Yanks and I don’t think anyone expected him to have as many k’s as he has now.

5 years 13 hours ago

Hey Tim, It would be cool if you did this for every team. 5 Surprises San Diego Padres, 5 Surprises Boston Red Sox ect…

5 years 10 hours ago

Definitely, I was going to say the same thing. This is a great article.