After a historically bad 2014, the Arizona Diamondbacks hope new players and staff will lead the team back into relevance this season.
Last season, the D-backs ended the season with the worst record in the league at 64-98, two wins behind the Colorado Rockies. Center fielder A.J Pollock is among the players cognizant of last season’s problems (he missed most of it with a broken hand).
“We came into the season thinking we had a good team and we didn’t play well,” Pollock said. “Injuries happened as a whole and everything that happened was like a spiral.“
A bad season could affect the team for years, but Pollock reminds everyone that they should not mull over the past and start to focus on this season.
“The biggest thing is not dwelling on the past,” Pollock said. “Everyone is going to be talking to us about it and it’s about moving on. As a team, you either listen to what’s being said about you or you could put it in the past.”
The D-backs were very busy in the offseason. The team fired general manager Kevin Towers, traded longtime catcher Miguel Montero, signed promising Cuban Yasmani Tomas and hired new manager Chip Hale. All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt commented on how Hale has brought some light to the team.
“I think the one thing that sticks out is that he has a lot of energy,” Goldschmidt said. “He’s always ready to go, bouncing around different fields. The other thing I noticed is that he’s super competitive, whether we’re taking ground balls or actually playing the game. He wants to win and be successful.”
When healthy, the D-backs are a competitive bunch. From pitchers Josh Collmenter and Patrick Corbin (who should be back in June), to Goldschmidt and infielder Aaron Hill, the team has a decent core. Even if the starters become injured, the team has some talent behind those players. Left fielder Mark Trumbo only hit 14 home runs in 88 games last season due to injury, and he says that despite the claims, the team has lots of good players to fill the roles.
“We have an extremely talented group of guys that are hungry and anxious to tear it up this year,” Trumbo said. “I don’t see many weaknesses on this team, but we are younger, so maybe a little inexperience. But that’s why we’re out here working so hard to gain that advantage. “
With a young team comes mistakes and lack of experience on the field. This season is considered a rebuild year but just because it is considered that does not mean that the Dbacks should just wait to see what happens next.
“Hopefully we’ll go out there and play well and win,” said Goldschmidt. “It doesn’t really matter what we say now, we got to go out there and perform.”