D-Backs

I have some shocking news. It looks like the Arizona Diamondbacks have remembered how to hit the ball. There have been some notable increases to personal batting averages in recent weeks.

Take the team’s top slugger, first baseman Christian Walker. As of this writing, his batting average is (gasp!) above .200! That goes with his 14 home runs and 26 RBI. If he keeps this up, he may actually cause pitchers to have to pitch around him or throw him strikes.

Others who have been hitting the ball well lately include Ketel Marte (3-.268-18) and Josh Rojas (3-.288-10). Daulton Varsho has slipped some, but he’s still at 8-.249-22.

Those numbers are starting to sound like those one would expect from a team that plays half its games in a hitters’ park like Chase Field.

The starting pitchers have slipped some, but the one who has emerged as the ace of the staff is Zac Gallan. He’s 4-0, 2.32. He’s the one D-Back pitcher you can bet their opponents don’t want to see on the mound.

The team is out of last place, and they’re flirting with a .500 record. D-Backs’ fans have reasons to be excited about this team. Their attendance is noticeably higher this year than it was in 2021. They’ve already drawn over 580,000 fans, and they’re ranked No. 11 of 15 National League teams.

At the same time, I’m worried. I’m wondering if we should hide players like Rojas, Varsho and Gallan so the management can’t trade them for mediocre minor league prospects. They have made a habit of lopsided trades in recent years.

D-Backs’ fans are still ticked off about the trade in 2018 that sent Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals. This was strictly a business decision, as the D-Backs’ concluded they couldn’t pay Goldy what he would want as a free agent and still pay Zack Greinke’s bloated salary. They figured it was better to trade him while they could still get something for him than get nothing when he turned free agent.

As of this writing, Goldschmidt is the Cards’ top slugger and hitter with 12 home runs, 47 RBI, and a batting average of .342.

As for the players the D-Backs got in return, two of them, Carson Kelly and Luke Weaver, started off well, and it looked like it might have been a fair trade. Since 2019, however, their performances have declined dramatically, and they can’t seem to stay off the disabled list.

The D-Backs should order some fleece uniforms as they always seem to get fleeced in these trades.

What is painfully clear is the D-Backs are now one of the “have not” teams in Major League Baseball. When they were first awarded the franchise, the D-Backs liked to present themselves as stuffed with cash, even earning the nickname “Greenbacks.” We now know all of that was an illusion.

I’m wondering if the D-Backs will become like the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers were for years. Owner Dan Sterling was cheap and the team was mediocre, but they always made money.

So much for the old saying that you have to spend money to make money.

So, what will the rest of the D-Backs’ 2022 season look like? If everyone stays healthy and keeps up what they’ve been doing, and none of the top stars are traded off, they might actually be respectable. That would be an improvement over the joke that was the 2021 squad.

I hope that’s not asking too much.   

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