Five Buring Questions For The Arizona Diamondbacks
Spring training is finally upon us giving fans of the Arizona Diamondbacks a chance to forget the putrid season on 2014. With Goldschmidt retruning from injury and the debut of Yasmany Tomas there is reason for the fans to be optimisitc.
This season should be a better one for the Diamondbacks but in order for that to happen there are plenty of questions to be answered.
Here are five burning questions for the Arizona Diamondbacks as they begin spring training.
1. Can the Diamondbacks young guns continue to develop?
When the Diamondbacks traded Didi Gregorius in the offseason they went all in on Chris Owings as their everyday shortstop. It was a good bet considering Owing age (24) and the fact that he has more power than does Gregorius. The x-factor however is whether or not Owings is fully recovered from offseason shoulder surgery.
The trade of Gerardo Parra also freed up some more time of A.J. Pollock in the outfield. Pollock seemed to put it all together in part-time duty last season and could be a force offensively and defensively if he continues to develop.
2. Who will emerge as the ace of the starting rotation?
Josh Collmenter is the favorite right now as the pitcher who will toe the rubber on opening day but that could change as spring moves forward. General Manager Dave Stewart brought in Jeremy Hellickson in a trade this offseason with hope that he would develop into a top end of the rotation starter. Hellickson was once considered one for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays top prospects but fell out of favor after a couple of sub-par seasons. A change of scenery might bring out the best in Hellickson who is getting a second chance to shine in the Arizona sun.
The team also acquired Robbie Ray in the offseason from the Detroit Tigers. Considered the prize in the Detroit Tigers trade of Doug Fister, Ray was a Nationals top prospect before stumbling as a starter in Detroit. According to scout the left-hander has Ace potential but has failed to live up to the hype.
Bronson Arroyo is still recovering from Tommy John surgery and probably will not be available to August according to Rotoworld.
3. Will Aaron Hill finally earn his big salary?
Hill owed $12 million a year over the next two years. He has never lived up to the huge free agent contract he signed with the Diamondbacks in 2012 and is virtually untradeable because of it. Hopefully Hill can fins the stroke he had in 2012 when he hit 26 dingers and knocked in 85 ribbies. Otherwise fans could be in for a long season at second base.
4. Who will replace Miguel Montero behind the plate?
This will be an interesting battle to watch this spring. It is the classic battle between veteran and youngster. Tuffy Gosewisch wins the contest for best name but the journeyman minor league veteran may have trouble competing with catching prospect Oscar Hernanadez. The 22-year-old Venezuelan will be trying to make the jump from A-ball to the majors this season.
Both players will have to compete with the recently signed Gerald Laird. Laird signed a minor league deal with an invite to spring training a couple of weeks ago brings with him 11 seasons of major league experience.
5. Will Yasmany Tomas make the club out of spring training?
The Arizona Diamondbacks committed over $68 million on the Cuban outfield this offseason and are expecting him to contribute as soon as possible. There is no question the big man can hit but with the glove he is a little bit of an unknown commodity.
Even if Tomas proves to be a liability with the glove expect the Diamondbacks to give him a chance to learn on the job just to keep his big bat in the line-up.