Friday, June 14

Can the Diamondbacks Rebound After a Tough 2016 Season?

The Arizona Diamondbacks have had a rough season, with a current record of 55 wins and 76 losses for the regular season. That puts them in last place in the National League West, and second-to-last place in the National League overall standings, ahead of only the Atlanta Braves.

With just a month left of regular season play, the Diamondbacks are a full 18 games behind the NL West leaders, the LA Dodgers. While they’re well out of the running for postseason wildcard standings, many fans are wondering: What’s the future of the team?

“As 2016 proved, anything that can go wrong has,” writes Michael McDermott for AZ Snakepit, “but that’s not a valid excuse for avoiding change where it is needed. The worst thing the team can do is double down on a mistake as opposed to owning up and working to fix them.”

The team might have caught a break earlier this month, for instance, when they played against the Boston Red Sox. Second baseman and leadoff batter Dustin Pedroia left the series early with “flu-like symptoms.” Clearly, he hadn’t listened to the advice of the Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which recommends everyone over the age of six months gets a flu shot every season.

Even so, the Diamondbacks lost the game four to nine, and the entire series, zero to three.

McDermott argues that the team’s biggest struggle is in finding a strong pitching roster for both starters and relief. “The current bullpen is composed of inexperienced relievers and unwanted veterans,” he says. “That has been a recipe of disaster as the younger players were unable to grasp a back-end role to make the offseason evaluation process easier.”

So will the Diamondbacks be able to bounce back in 2017?

“To answer the main question of whether the team can compete and contend next year, I would have to say no,” McDermott admits. “There are too many questions surrounding this roster, even for the players having a good year.”

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