|2007 Postmortem: Arizona Diamondbacks||| Print ||
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on November 24, 2007
Regular Season Record: 90-72
Highlight of the season:Â Winning the NL West was a real coup for a team which was so young and inexperienced and which was essentially unknown even though they had the very best record in the National League.Â But it came down the wire and the Diamondbacks had to fight until the second to last game of the season to secure the title and that celebration has to be the highlight of the season.Â
Low point of the season:Â Getting swept by the Colorado Rockies in the NLCS hurt, but that was hardly a real low point.Â The Dâ€™Backs have a ton of young talent who have yet begun to show what they can do.Â Losing hurt, being swept hurt, but for the Dâ€™Backs this was a wonderful season.Â
Best move of the season:Â Adding Doug Davis may not have seemed like a major move and evoked skepticism during the last offseason, but Davis was the Diamondbacksâ€™ second most effective starter managing a 13-12 record with a 4.25 ERA.Â After Randy Johnson was lost to injury, Davis helped stabilize the rotation and keep the team afloat.Â
Worst move of the season:Â Picking up Randy Johnson from the Yankees.Â Johnson managed just 56.2 innings over the season while appearing in just 10 games and going just 4-3.Â Â While those games were well pitched and he posted a 3.81 ERA with 72 Ks, age finally got the best of the ancient pitcher and he spent the majority of the season on the DL.Â
Key Player:Â Brandon Webb.Â If you ask any baseball fan to name one Arizona Diamondback, the name you are likely to get is Brandon Webb.Â Webb, the 2006 NL Cy Young winner, is one of the most dynamic and coveted pitchers in the National Leagues today and is talked about in the same breath as Jake Peavy, Carlos Zambrano and Pedro Martinez.Â Â Even in the obscurity of Arizona, a place many newsmen overlook, Webbâ€™s numbers -- 18-10, 3.01, 194 Ks -- stood out in 2006.Â
Up and Coming Player:Â It would be easy to say that the up and coming player on the Diamondbacks is Chris Young who in his rookie season hit 32 home runs and stole 28 bases, but while Young should improve - at least in terms of average (he hit .237), I think the guy to watch is third baseman Mark Reynolds.
What went right:Â The pitching ranked fourth in the National League and that combined with the ability to manufacture runs out of nothing at all carried them to the best record in the NL.Â A lot of the credit has to go to Manager of the Year Doug Melvin who probably did as much as any manager possibly could in forcing the team to win time and time again as the offense sputtered.
What went wrong:Â Â The Diamondbacks never made it easy for themselves especially offensively as their opponents actually outscored them over the course of a season.Â That lack of offense (14th overall in the NL) kept the West a close race and made the Diamondbacks sweat it out into the last week of the regular season.Â Those bats were even more obviously lacking in the NLCS as they only managed to score 8 runs over the four games against the Rockies.Â
Offseason Preview:Â For the Dâ€™Backs the offseason looks to be one of gain rather than loss.Â The only significant player whoâ€™s filed for Free Agency is Livan Hernandez but at this point in his career Livan isnâ€™t exactly a top notch pitcher but heâ€™s by no means a bad one.Â Still itâ€™s likely that the Dâ€™Backs will be able to replace his arm.Â The team will look for another starter and relief help but probably wonâ€™t dig deep into the pockets of ownership to find it.Â
Instead theyâ€™ll try to deal players like Chad Tracy, Conor Jackson and prospects, including top prospect Carlos Gonzalez in order to rent a player for a year or two while the young Dâ€™Backs continue to mature and farm system develops pitchers internally.Â
Offensively the team will be looking for upgrades and could use another bat but the organization has faith that the â€śBaby Backsâ€ť are already developing into a powerhouse which will only get better.Â Â That doesnâ€™t mean that Augie Ojeda should feel all that comfortable as the Dâ€™Backs wouldnâ€™t mind having another division title next September.