The Arizona Diamondbacks are bringing back their coaching staff intact for the 2021 season, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
After remaining surprisingly competitive throughout the 2019 season, the Diamondbacks entered 2020 as a dark horse contender in the National League. The season went about as poorly as possible for Arizona, who finished 25-35, last place in the NL West. They ended with the second-worst record in the National League, better only than the 19-41 Pirates. Still, manager Torey Lovullo and those in the organization are not letting themselves be swayed by the bizarre circumstances of a 60-game season. It would not be uncommon, of course, for a team in their situation to make some changes on the coaching staff, even if ownership were intent on retaining the manager. Credit the Diamondbacks for their show of faith in this group. Arizona’s coaching staff will now get at least another season to prove the anomalous nature of their 60-game stretch in 2020.
The starting pitching presented particularly poorly over the first half as Robbie Ray, Madison Bumgarner, and Luke Weaver each got off to poor starts. Their struggles were untenable over a full campaign, and positive regression was sure to come had it been a normal season. Of course, how much of a return-to-form to expect is difficult to gauge. Bumgarner, for example, entered the 2020 campaign without ever yielding an ERA or FIP over 3.99. The 31-year-old free agent prize nevertheless posted a 8.53 ERA over his first 7 starts while opposing hitters slashed .319/.392/.689.
A pair of spotless 5-inning outings to finish the year somewhat salvaged his campaign, though Bumgarner still finished with a highly uncharacteristic 6.48 ERA/7.18 FIP. Though his final two outings didn’t accomplish much in terms of lessening the eyesore of his 2020 season, they did lend some credence to the idea that significant positive regression was in the offing has the season continued to its usual length.
Regarding the true talent level for this group, Piecoro provides a quote from General Manager Mike Hazen, who said, “My mindset going (into the offseason) is I feel like we have a good baseball team. I feel like we have a good baseball team that did not — and as a group, for whatever reason — we didn’t come out on the end of making the playoffs. That still doesn’t take away from what I feel like is the talent base of the roster and we need to make sure we maintain some focus on that and not overreact in the other direction.”
Starting pitching was atrocious. Unsure what happened there.
Starting pitching was pretty bad around the league.
Bumgarner seemed like a bad signing based on his 2019 ERA at home (2.92) and away (5.29). Ray changed his body in an attempt to enhance his trade value. Gallen was good though he tailed off at the end of an abbreviated season. A mediocre bunch overall.
It is possible that the Dbacks overachieved in 2019. After his breakout power season, Ketel Marte dropped back to a level more befitting of his career trajectory (.981 OPS in ’19 down to .732 in 2020). The offense is otherwise not impressive for a team in a hitter-friendly ballpark. Compare their roster and farm system to what the Dodgers and Padres have. Huge talent gap. It is hard to win and rebuild simultaneously.
“It is hard to win and rebuild simultaneously.” And almost impossible to do on a tight budget.
That Bumgarner contract is going to look worse and worse with every start
Every time he left that pitcher’s paradise in San Francisco he got clobbered.
Offense was down throughout the league yet ERA’s around the game were terrible.
Bumgarner will never be as good as he was in San Francisco and is a far cry from his ace days. he can still be a middle of the rotation option who can serve as a mentor to the young arms
Between the Diamondbacks, Suns, Coyotes and Cardinals (117 seasons) there is only one championship. It is unrealistic for us to think there’ll be another. Hope : certainly!
See it happen : nope !
That’s just how it is. The more things change…….
Lute Olson’s death didn’t get nearly the national attention it deserved. What a legacy! He had that program humming so well that he became taken for granted.
Cey Hey hit one out of the park with that Lute acknowledgement. He was awesome and will be missed forever but remembered by us locals even longer. Thanks C.H.
Ghost Pepper, You are welcome, although Lute led to some frustration by me. As you might remember, Lute had some strong teams that were bounced surprisingly early from the NCAA Tournament. In my office pool in New Jersey, I picked the Wildcats to go far a couple of times with bad results. So the year they won, I had them bowing out in the first round. Oops. Great coach, though. Some great talent on those teams and he let the players play, as opposed to other coaches who micromanaged their every move. Fun teams to watch. I just looked it up. After the 11-17 record in his first season, he took Arizona to the NCAAs 23 straight years with 11 Sweet 16s or better, four Final Fours, a national title, and a runner up. Amazing. It’s sad to think that there were national media types who suggested he didn’t win enough when he essentially won nonstop for 30-plus years at Arizona and Iowa. Arizona went to the NCAAs just three times prior to his arrival and has gone 32 times since. A true program builder.
I was talking 2001 though.
Team really underperformed this year. I am surprised that they didn’t make any changes to the coaching staff. I’d still put money on someone leaving the organization for “a different opportunity” before next season rather than being outright fired.
It’s not the coaching staff that fans need to be concerned about, it’s the front office. The Dbacks had a 2020 payroll of about 60 million. More than 34 million of that was paying players to play for OTHER teams. Want to know why times are tough in Arizona baseball, look no further.