Not much went right for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2014, finishing the Major League Season with the worst record whilst also losing Bronson Arroyo and Patrick Corbin to long-term injury.
There was not even respite for the club’s star play Paul Goldschmidt who finished the season on the injury list after obtaining a broken hand in early August despite hitting 19 home runs up until then.
The D-Backs poor season ultimately cost manager Kirk Gibson and the GM Kevin Towers their jobs with Chip Hale taking over the manager’s role whilst Dave Stewart came in as GM with the remit to improve the fortunes of the Phoenix based side.
Fast forward to the end of May and the D-Backs look set to improve on finishing as the worst side in baseball and seem to have turned a corner. Currently they sit 21-23 and are third in National League West division having just whitewashed the Miami Marlins in their mini-series and that is despite trading away some of their most valued starters in catcher Miguel Montero to the Chicago Cubs and pitcher Wade Miley to the Boston Red Sox, despite the bearded left-hander being one of the bright sparks of a dismal season for the Arizona pitchers.
The Diamondbacks have seen a return to form after an injury hit season for outfielder AJ Pollock who is hitting .311 for the season so far whilst youngster Nick Ahmed, Ender Inciarte and David Peralta continue to look impressive for every game they play.
The return from injury for Goldschmidt who has hit 12 home runs already this season whilst big-hitting Mark Trumbo looks finally to have settled into the desert having hit 7 home runs himself this season. The surprising form and consistency of catcher Tuffy Gosewisch has meant the club have not missed the services of Montero and the general feel good factor is returning to the club.
Pitching wise the club look more settled with Josh Collmenter the leader but the form of Rubby De La Rosa has been the surprising factor in the starting pitching with fellow off-season recruit Jeremy Hellickson getting off to a slow start though, an upturn in fortunes in recent weeks is a good omen.
Relief pitching continues to be up and down with saver Addison Read struggling but with Brad Ziegler continuing the form of 2014, the rest of the bullpen have that standard to work too. Add into the equation that both Corbin and Arroyo may yet make it back before the end of the regular season, there is hope that the pitching will continue to improve and there are fingers crossed in Phoenix that the club’s bad luck with injuries are now firmly in the past.
It may take a couple of seasons for the D-Backs to be back in with a shout of a divisional title with both the LA Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants still the top two teams in their division but there is renewed hope amongst the ball club that they are on their way back up after hitting rock-bottom.