The Diamondbacks will be without top reliever Joe Mantiply start the season. Manager Torey Lovullo told reporters the southpaw will open the year on the 15-day injured list as he battles shoulder fatigue (via Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic). Arizona will carry Kyle Nelson on the active roster in his place.
Mantiply had a breakout 2022 campaign. The southpaw threw a career-high 60 innings over 69 appearances, posting a 2.85 ERA. Mantiply racked up grounders at an excellent 53.5% clip while punching out more than a quarter of batters faced. Perhaps most impressively, he kept his walks to a microscopic 2.5% rate, the second-lowest mark among relievers around the league.
That secured Mantiply his first All-Star nod and pushed him into high-leverage innings. The Snakes set out to deepen their bullpen this offseason with additions of Miguel Castro, Scott McGough and Cole Sulser. They’ve already lost Mark Melancon and Corbin Martin for extended stretches this spring, and now they’ll be down arguably their top reliever headed into the year. The team hasn’t provided much clarity on Mantiply’s return date.
To backfill the bullpen, the D-Backs are turning to a few less proven arms. Right-hander Drey Jameson is moving to relief, the club announced over the weekend (relayed by Steve Gilbert of MLB.com). Ryne Nelson secured the fifth starter role and Arizona elected to carry Jameson out of the big league bullpen rather than send him back to Triple-A Reno. Jameson impressed over his first four MLB starts last season but has long faced questions from evaluators about whether he can hold up as a starter, due both to a rather slight frame and some inconsistency in his control.
Meanwhile, 23-year-old righty Carlos Vargas will get a season-opening bullpen job (as first reported by Eno Sarris of the Athletic). He’s already on the 40-man roster but hadn’t previously gotten a big league call. Arizona acquired Vargas from the Guardians back in November.
The Dominican Republic native split the 2022 season between Cleveland’s top two affiliates, combining for a 3.67 ERA with a decent 24.7% strikeout rate but an alarming 11.3% walk percentage across 34 1/3 innings. He managed a 13:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 10 1/3 frames of three-run ball while averaging north of 100 MPH with his fastball this spring. He’s a volatile but possible high-upside arm for Lovullo to call upon in the middle innings.
Dunno why all the “experts” are so high on the Dbacks. They could be really bad. Beat up, questionable pen, no rotation depth, and they lost their best position player in Varsho. Really good in a couple years, but I have no idea why they are reporters’ darlings again.
I pick Arizona to finish in third place with maybe 76-77 wins.
Their bullpen cannot get any worse than last year. Melancon and Kennedy stink the place up. Both had good years in the past but truly awful 2022 seasons. Chafin and Gough are upgrades
Gallen is an ace. Kelly is serviceable.
Moreno at catcher will be great, he will hit for average right away. Christian Walker is good. Ketel should improve over last year. Rojas should remain good. Carroll is the team’s best player and McCarthy is good. Gurriel and Thomas are ok. Longoria can play some games at third and DH if Lewis fades.
The only reason this team can be 0.500 is because a 3-4-5 starter group includes MadBum, Drew, Ryne and Pfaadt. MadBum is the best post-season pitcher of this generation but you don’t win games with memories. The three youngsters are probably not ready to carry a team.
If this team had signed Verlander and Rodin, I’d have picked them for a wild card but their starting pitching is too weak compared to Atlanta, LA and Mets. And their offense does not match SD or Philly. So I predict 76-86 but an exiting team. Jordan Lawler and Andrew Jones are two of the dozen best MLB prospects but both are two full years out.
No rotation depth? They have some of the best rotation depth in the league. The team has the 3rd best farm system talent-wise. Did you do ANY research before coming to your clearly wrong conclusion? Also, their best position player is Carroll, the number 2 prospect in the league and ROY favorite.
I have no idea why you’re posting about something that you obviously have no real knowledge about.
No rotation depth = Gallen, Kelly, Bumgarner, Davies, Nelson, Jameson, Henry, Pfaadt, Walston, and Cecconi (and the last three don’t need to be on the 40-man yet). If that’s what no rotation Depth looks like, there are are quite a few teams with worse than no rotation depth.
Beat up, questionable bullpen: Castro, Chafin, Ginkel, Jameson, McGough, K. Nelson, Sulser, and Vargas starting in MLB (and that’s after 3 injuries to projected bullpen starters; Mantiply is only on the 15-day), along with Frias/Martinez already on the 40-man (both high-octane arms already at AAA) and a number of guys sitting off of the 40-man. Mantiply is the preferred LHRP option, but K. Nelson is still better in that role than what most teams have. BTW, Jameson averaged 95.9 mph on his 4S and got up near 100 mph late in the season out of the rotation, plus his Slider is vile (and that’s only 2/5 pitches he has); just saying
Lost their best position player: they traded Varsho (who they hoped would develop into an offensive minded C) for an offensive C option with a glove (Moreno would have been a Top 5 prospect if he had maintained his Rookie eligibility) plus a high-contact RHH OF; all of that while simultaneously clearing extra OF reps against RHPs for Carroll, McCarthy, and Thomas and adding Lewis to the mix (another RHH OF, but this time power-over-hit). How many CF does one team NEED? Because there are still 3 on the MLB roster after Varsho’s departure.
Their biggest problem in ’22 (aside from the low quality bullpen arms) was early injuries to Ahmed, C. Kelly, Marte, and Rojas that necessitated throwing Herrera, Kennedy, Perdomo, and Thomas (due to Varsho covering Kelly’s time behind the plate) into too large of a timeshare. C. Kelly is injured again (there is Moreno in his stead now) but Ahmed/Marte/Rojas (and Lewis) have been looking healthy thus far and are expected to be be at least moderate contributors.
The next biggest issue in ’22 was DH production due to a lack of above average bats, where only Marte/Walker were worth their salt in the role; Hazen has added Gurriel Jr., Lewis, and Longoria to the mix, so it’s easy to forecast an improvement there.
We saw the defense improve as the year went on from the introduction of Carroll, McCarthy, and Thomas to the OF (all long-side platoon options as LHB; McCarthy had neutral batting splits, though), now we have Ahmed coming back and an ability to use Perdomo as a late game defensive replacement. It’s going to be an upper third defense in MLB (with one of the best defensive OF groups).
This has been with no mention of their top 3 farm system (although some names have popped up), most of whom are concentrated at the upper levels of MiLB. There is more quality depth in every area except C sitting at AAA (and there are still some interesting guys there).
“…. reporters’ darlings again”; Again? When was the first time? The common acknowledgement about the DBacks offseason is that the expected “high-ceiling” contributors are essentially all young guys coming up (and shouldn’t be expected to hit the ground running), while most all of the external additions addressed depth with “high-floor” players that fill out existing roster holes (and pushes MLB ready depth to AAA in preparation for imminent injuries).
All of this information that DBacks fans have been poring over all offseason is equally as accessible for you; I’d recommend doing some digging so that your statements have more weight, because as it is right now your opinion in this instance is irrelevant (no offense, but it was lazy commentary). The “experts” are “so high” because they’ve looked over and considered many of those things in the aggregate.
P.S. did you see the initial Vegas over/under line for win total? If you think the ’23 DBacks are 3 games better than their ’22 counterparts by the end of season, you think that the over is a worthwhile bet (76.5 wins).
The “highest” expert I’ve seen on them was Dan ZiPS at essentially 81-81, and he’s only leaning that way because his projections are leaning that way (he was questioning the conclusion of his own process); it’s not so much about them being high as it is you being low
You stayed awake through all that?
Some people don’t need to take medication to pay attention to long-form thoughts; if you refill your ‘script maybe you could, too.
I get it though, too much information is apparently scary; it gets better bud.
Zzzzzzzzzz… wait, what?
Blah BLAH blah BLAH blah BLAH blah…
Some people DO need medication when they’re on their menses (or are in high heat), and ramble on incoherently. An egg-timer would also help identify when ‘sit-down and shutup’ time is at hand.
Sounds like a worthwhile investment on your end; you haven’t said a single thing to contribute to the conversation.
And no, your opinion doesn’t mean much when you don’t back it up. You should try logic some time. It’s fun.
Dumpster Divin Theo
The season has yet to start and it would seem that the Snakes woes have begun to mantiply. It would seem
But losing Melancon was addition by subtraction
Dumpster Divin Theo
What is a Melancon? Is that some sort of cosplay convention where everyone dresses as East European underwear models?
It’s a Melatonin Convention. Like a ComicCon.
Dbacks are a better team in 2023 than they were in 2022, when they won 73 games. How much better is the question?
Their two glaring weaknesses in 2022 were their bullpen and their right handed lineup against left handed pitching. This entire off-season has been dedicated to shoring up those two weaknesses.
The Dbacks totally changed their approach to re-constructing the bullpen. Instead of retread veterans, they signed intriguing, young power arms this off-season. The reality is that the 2022 bullpen was the worst in Major League Baseball. The good news is they can’t get any worse than worst, so they are going to be better this year.
The extreme susceptibility to left handed pitching was arguably corrected to a strength this year. Longoria, Gurriel, Jr., Lewis and Moreno are vast upgrades over Luplow, Garrett, Kelly and the other misfit right-handed lineup fielded by the Dbacks last year. And most importantly, the young left-handed hitting OF (Carroll, McCarthy and Thomas) have more experience hitting against left handers.
The youth movement (Carroll, McCarthy, Thomas, Nelson, Jameson, Pfaadt, Moreno, Henry, etc.) is now in its first full season, and should sort itself out and improve over the course of this season. For those who falter, there is a second wave of youth this season to plug holes (Pfaadt, Walston, Alexander, Martinez, etc.)
The only question is how much better? 7-8 wins better equals a .500 ballclub. 17 wins better equals a Wild Card. I’m betting it’s somewhere between those two improvement marks, even in a tough NLW. The balanced schedule should help teams that would otherwise face the Dodgers and Padres 12 more times and will instead play the pirates, Nationals, Reds, Royals, Tigers, A’s, etc.