5 things to know about Diamondbacks going to camp
Five things to know about the Arizona Diamondbacks as they start spring training camp:
GOLDSCHMIDT'S A BARGAIN: The front office looks brilliant for signing 1B Paul Goldschmidt to a five-year contract worth $32 million a year ago. He went on to hit .302, was tied for the NL lead with 36 HRs, led the league with 125 RBIs and finished second in MVP voting. He also won a Gold Glove in his just his second full season in the majors. And, he topped the Diamondbacks with 15 stolen bases. With his even-keeled approach to the game, expect the 26-year-old star to cement himself among the game's elite.
TRUMBO'S BAT: Arizona needed a power hitter to provide some help for Goldschmidt, so they gave up youngster OF Adam Eaton and LHP Tyler Skaggs in a three-team trade to bring in Mark Trumbo, who hit 34 homers for the Los Angeles Angels last season. After Goldschmidt's 36 HRs last season, no other Diamondbacks player hit more than 14 (Martin Prado joined Goldschmidt as the lone Arizona players with at least 50 RBIs). Trumbo hit .234 while playing first base, strikes out a lot, doesn't draw a lot of walks and isn't likely to improve manager Kirk Gibson's outfield alignment. But he's coming in to hit the ball out of the park - that's something he's done quite well in his career.
WHO'S THE SHORTSTOP?: Didi Gregorius held the position much of last season. A superb fielder, Gregorius faded at the plate late in the season and finished at .252 with 28 RBIs. Now he faces stiff competition from Chris Owings, considered the top position player in the Diamondbacks' minor league system. Owings tore up the Pacific Coast League with a .330 average for Triple-A Reno but is not the sterling defensive player Gregorius is. Whichever youngster emerges, or if they split time, they will have veteran Cliff Pennington around to provide backup.
THAT ROTATION: Coming off an 81-81 season, GM Kevin Towers made no secret he was looking to add a top-of-the-rotation starter, and the team took a run at Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka before he signed with the Yankees. The Diamondbacks still might add someone - Bronson Arroyo? If not, the Diamondbacks' top pitcher might be young lefty Patrick Corbin, who got off to a sizzling start but struggled down the stretch. There's also lefty Wade Miley and veteran right-handers Trevor Cahill and injury-prone Brandon McCarthy. The fifth starter probably would be right-hander Randall Delgado, unless young Archie Bradley makes the opening-day roster. Arizona began reshaping its mound presence shortly after the season, firing pitching coach Charles Nagy and hiring Mike Harkey.
IS ARCHIE READY?: The Diamondbacks invited 21-year-old sensation Bradley to spring training and he has a shot at cracking the starting rotation. Considered among the best, if not the best right-handed pitching prospect in the minors, Bradley was the seventh overall pick in the 2011 draft. He's 26-11 overall in the minors, has reached Double-A and averages more than a strikeout per inning. Arizona might opt to start him off in the minors to work on his secondary pitches, but there's little doubt he'll see the majors soon.