The Diamondbacks surprisingly hung around the Wild Card race until mid-September this season, despite shedding the faces of their franchise over the course of the six months previous. The postseason has been a who’s who of important Dbacks of the last half decade, as Patrick Corbin has taken out the rest of the Dbacks former talent core, starting with A.J. Pollock and the Dodgers and Paul Goldschmidt and the Cardinals. He’ll take his best shot at Zack Greinke and the Astros in game 3 of the World Series, aka the former Dbacks ace bowl. Of course, Mike Rizzo, the Nationals GM, is also an ex-Diamondback. He served as Arizona’s Scouting Director from 2000 to 2006. Let’s take a look at some Diamondbacks news from Rizzo’s era up to the present day…
- It’s unsurprising to realize Rizzo repurposed the team-building blueprint from the 2001 Diamondbacks champs in putting together his team in Washington, per MASN’s Mark Zuckerman. Mainly, that means two aces up front and a host of veteran hitters capable of putting together veteran at-bats. All in all, it’s a pretty uncannily accurate casting job on the part of Rizzo. Max Scherzer is Randy Johnson, Stephen Strasburg is Curt Schilling, Patrick Corbin is an evolved Brian Anderson, Anibal Sanchez is Miguel Batista. Many of the vets also fit the mold: Howie Kendrick can play Mark Grace, Gerardo Parra as David Dellucci or Danny Bautista, Ryan Zimmerman as Matt Williams, Asdrubal Cabrera as Jay Bell, Adam Eaton as Reggie Sanders, Matt Adams as Greg Colbrunn and Kurt Suzuki is Damian Miller. In the bullpen, Fernando Rodney is definitely Mike Morgan, Sean Doolittle is Matt Mantei (I guess?), Daniel Hudson is (gulp) Byung-Hyun Kim. Okay, perhaps it’s not 1-1 all the way through, but those Diamondbacks did win the World Series after a 92-win season – after a 93-win season in Washington, Rizzo hopes to replicate his old team one last time.
- Despite two recent aces facing off for different teams in the World Series, the Diamondbacks offseason focus is the offense, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The Dbacks put together a middle-of-the-pack offense in 2019, but the bats went away in an 11-game stretch in mid-September. They went 3-8 and pretty much fell out of race while scoring less than 2 1/2 runs per game. Those are the games that stick out for GM Mike Hazen, who will be on the lookout for ways to diversify their offense. Parsing the profile of the type of hitter Hazen may target is more difficult, as Arizona’s offense didn’t really stand out in any which way. They finished below-average in home runs, but not by a lot, above-average in men left on base and GIDP, but again, not by much. They were exactly league-average in batting average and on-base percentage, while their team slugging (.434 SLG) was below average by .001 SLG – as close to average as any team in the MLB.
- As far as Ketel Marte is concerned, the Dbacks aren’t making a decision about his 2020 defensive home until they build out the rest of the roster. Second base could be where they look to improve offensively, in which case Marte will head back out to center. Essentially, the plan remains the same, with Hazen and the Dbacks set to take full advantage of the versatility Marte affords.