Predicting The Arizona Diamondbacks’ 2014 Starting Rotation
Predicting The Arizona Diamondbacks' Rotation
It has been a very interesting offseason for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Back in late October, Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers essentially granted manager Kirk Gibson his quasi-permission to interview for the Detroit Tigers' managerial opening. If Gibson would have chosen to leave, the Diamondbacks already had a perfect replacement for him in Matt Williams lurking on their coaching staff. However, Gibson chose to forgo the opportunity to manage his hometown team, and Williams has since taken a job to manage the Washington Nationals.
Gibson’s decision to stay in Arizona was hardly a surprise when one considers his fiercely loyal demeanor. Furthermore, it is also very likely he feels that he has unfinished business with the NL West.
Gibson led the Diamondbacks to an NL West title back in 2011 during his first full season as their manager, and he was ultimately rewarded with the NL Manager of the Year award. However, his season ended in disappointment when the Diamondbacks fell in five games during the 2011 NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers. Gibson has since had back-to-back 81-81 seasons, and the 56-year-old yearns to return to the playoffs.
In 2013, Gibson watched the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, a team he once famously played for, run away with the NL West title and leave his team in the dust. The Diamondbacks have taken steps this offseason to reduce the chances of that happening once again in 2014.
It should also be noted that the Diamondbacks have a very strong rotation that could potentially become one of the best in the National League if not all of MLB. Without further ado, here is how the horses in Gibson's rotation could potentially line up during the 2014 season.
1. Patrick Corbin
The No. 1 spot in the Diamondbacks' rotation appears to be Patrick Corbin's job to lose. Corbin, a 24-year-old southpaw, was very impressive in 2013 as he posted a 14-8 record with a 3.41 ERA despite the fact that he stumbled to the finish line. In the first half of the 2013 season, Corbin was 11-1 with a 2.35 ERA and it appeared that the Diamondbacks had a Clayton Kershaw of their own. Corbin can be expected to wipe his slate clean, forget about the way that last season ended and pitch like the ace that he is.
2. Bronson Arroyo
Bronson Arroyo is going to be a great addition to the Diamondbacks. The 37-year-old veteran has posted ERAs below 4.00 in four of the past five seasons, and he should slide perfectly into the No. 2 spot. One does not typically use the term "crafty" when referring to a right-handed pitcher, but one would be hard pressed to find a better adjective to describe Arroyo's pitching style. Look for Arroyo to become a big brother to this very young staff and have the same type of effect that Kenny Rogers had on a youthful Tigers' rotation back in 2006.
3. Wade Miley
Wade Miley had an amazing rookie season in 2012, but he took a slight step back last season. However, he still posted a .500 record with a very respectable ERA of 3.55. He will be a perfect middle-of-the-rotation lefty for the Diamondbacks in 2014.
4. Trevor Cahill
Trevor Cahill has never quite been able to return to the impressive form he displayed in 2010 while pitching for the Athletics, but the soon to be 26-year-old is still good for a record around the .500 mark and an ERA under 4.00. Although he could probably be a front of the rotation starter in another rotation, the No. 4 spot seems to be the logical place for him in the Diamondbacks' rotation due to the fact that it features so many other great arms.
5. Brandon McCarthy
Although he was once thought to be a rising star and untouchable property of the White Sox, things just never really panned out for Brandon McCarthy. In addition to his time in Chicago, McCarthy has also had stints with the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics. He had a fairly low ERA while pitching for Oakland, but he has never once recorded double-digits in the win column. McCarthy found his way to the Diamondbacks in 2013 and went 5-11 with a 4.53 ERA. However, as unimpressive as he was in 2013, he is still likely to beat out the young Randall Delgado for the No. 5 spot in the Diamondbacks' rotation this spring.
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