The Dodgers are currently in Arizona taking on the division rival D-backs. Like the Dodgers, the D-backs have revamped their front office and their roster. I caught up with Joe Jacquez, the editor over at Venom Strikes. I asked him a few questions about the new season for the D-backs. You can also check out the answers I gave to Joe about the Dodgers over on Venom Strikes.
LL: What are the D-backs planning to do with Yasmany Tomas?
Joe: That is a really good question, and nobody really knows at this point. It just amazes me that a player that will make 68.5 million over the next 6 years is in the minors, but it had to happen. He was way too aggressive at the plate in spring training, and he made some errors at third. I think he will be up in the bigs eventually either in the outfield or at 3B, but until he fine tunes his approach at the plate, and he improves at third, he won’t be in the bigs.
LL: The D-backs made some big moves this offseason, but do you think the changes will yield more wins on the field?
Joe: The Diamondbacks made a lot of great offseason moves under their new front office. The N.L. West is going to be tough this year thanks to the Padres massive amount of offseason moves, but I think the Diamondbacks can win 78 games.
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LL: Where do you see the D-backs finishing in the N.L. West this season?
Joe: I think the Dbacks will finish fourth between the Dodgers, Padres, and Giants, and I think they can finish in third ahead of the Giants.
LL: Paul Goldschmidt absolutely terrorizes the Dodgers, what do you expect from the veteran this season?
Joe: As long as he plays the full season I expect an MVP type season. 30-35 home runs, 120-140 RBI’s and a .320 average.
LL: Why do the D-backs get so aggressive with so many hit batters from the pitching staff?
Joe: I think most of that is overblown, and I think most of those are just pitchers missing their spots. There were certainly times where they did it on purpose, but every team does that. I don’t think it will occur as much with Chip Hale in charge.
LL: Are the D-backs still resentful toward the Dodgers for the Chase Field pool incident, or is that all behind us now?
Joe: I think it still stings a little, but it’s not that big of an issue.
LL: Which Arizona rookie are you the most excited for this season?
Joe: Definitely Archie Bradley now that he is in the rotation. I’m just buzzing to see what kind of impact he can have. He has great stuff and he has added a slider to his mix.
LL: The Arizona rotation seems to be in shambles. Who do you see as the five-man set, and why did the D-backs trade away so many good pitchers?
Joe: Right now it’s Collmenter, De La Rosa, Hellickson, Anderson, and Bradley and I don’t see that changing. I think Nuno could see time if he pitches well in the minors along with Allen Webster. I could also see Aaron Blair and Brandon Shipley getting their chance late if the Diamondbacks are out of it. The Diamondbacks traded away a lot of young pitchers, but that was Kevin Towers. Dave Stewart came in and acquired pitching depth back, and that is what he had to do. I’m glad that the Diamondbacks have hard throwers. Don’t be surprised if the rotation looks completely different next season.