Eduardo Escobar

Eduardo Escobar bats at Chase Field in July. He was a pleasant surprise for the D-Backs this past season as he turned into a top notch power hitter. He went 35-.269-118.

The 2019 season is over for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Given how many key players they traded in the 2018-19 off-season, it may come as a surprised they posted a better record in 2019. They were 85-77 in ’19 as compared with 82-80 in ’18. Granted, that’s not much of an improvement, but it was better than what people figured the D-Backs would do after they lost the likes of Paul Goldschmidt.

A cause for concern for management is the attendance. It was down by more than 100,000, from 2,242,695 in 2018 to 2,135,510 in 2019. They went from No. 9 in the National League in attendance to No. 12. At least they’re not as bad off as the Miami Marlins. Hopefully, a winning team will bring out more fans.

Offensively, the D-Backs were very much improved as they scored 813 runs, which was 120 more than they scored in 2018. On the other hand, they also allowed 99 more runs in 2019. A total of 743 runs were scored on the D-Backs in 2019.

It looks like the D-backs are good at scoring runs. They need to work on keeping their opponents from scoring runs.

The D-backs might have done better if not for the injury bug. One of the players the D-Backs obtained in the Goldschmidt deal, right-handed pitcher Luke Weaver, was 4-3, 2.94 when he went on the disabled list. He had 69 strikeouts and just 14 walks in 64 innings pitched.

A fan favorite, leftfielder David Peralta, also spent a lot of time on the disabled list. In 99 games, he was 12-.275-57. Jake Lamb is still recovering from injuries in 2018, and Ketel Marte was on the disabled list at the end of 2019, and that may have cost him a shot at 100 RBI.

One can only guess about what these players may have done, and how the D-Backs might have finished, if they had all been healthy for the whole season.

Speaking of Marte, he and Eduardo Escobar were two of the most pleasant surprises of the season as they turned into top-notch power hitters. We knew they could both hit the ball. However, few people realized they could hit the ball like they did in 2019.

Escobar was 35-.269-118 with 10 triples. Marte led the team with a .329 batting average, along with 32 home runs and 92 RBI.

D-Backs fans may be excused for asking, “Goldy who?”

Whatever they’re doing, I hope they keep it up in 2020.

Another nice surprise from the Goldschmidt deal was catcher Carson Kelly. We all knew his defensive skills were outstanding. However, in three years in St. Louis, he gave little indication he could hit like he did in 2019. He had been hitting in the .260 to .270 range, but he slumped near the end of the season and ended up at 18-.245-47 in 111 games. That’s still 90 points higher than his 2018 average with the Cardinals.

As for pitching, Zack Greinke is gone. This leaves Robbie Ray as the ace of the staff at 12-8, 4.34. Merrill Kelly was 13-14, 4.42. With Weaver out, several other pitchers saw time in the starting rotation. Alex Young (7-5, 3.56) and Taylor Clarke (5-5, 5.31) were the two Manager Torey Lovullo had in the rotation at the end of the season.

In the bullpen, the D-backs found they had two closers. Archie Bradley appeared in 66 games, finished 32, and got 18 saves. His record was 4-5, 3.52. Greg Holland appeared in 40 games, finished 27, and had 17 saves. His record was 1-2, 4.54.

Curiously, no D-Back pitcher had a complete game in 2019. I guess that’s a sign of the times.

What do they need for 2020? Pitching, of course. They also need for all the key players to stay healthy, and for the hitters to keep hitting like they did in 2019.

The 2020 season should be interesting.


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