Baseball is back.
Well, we think baseball is back.
It might come back at the end of July but then again, who the hell knows.
For the sake of this conversation, lets assume that baseball is in fact back.
Thats great news for the Arizona Diamondbacks because they are built for this.
You know how some people are better suited to manage a long term quarantine? Take me for example. I'm built to be bunkered down inside. I've got red hair and blue eyes, the sun is my mortal enemy. I crave routine; I've made the same smoothie for breakfast every day for the last six years. I eat the same lunch every day. The less disruption to my routine, the happier I am. I was built for this.
The Diamondbacks are built for a 60 game, bizarre MLB season.
They boast a rock solid starting five in the rotation with plenty of depth and upside anchored by an ornery Madison Bumgarner who will thrive pitching like every game means something. Robbie Ray is pitching for everything and Zac Gallen could be on the verge of becoming the team's long term ace. Add in Luke Weaver, Mike Leake, Merrill Kelly, Jon Duplantier and Alex Young and the Dbacks have the depth team's will need this year.
The bullpen was fortified in the offseason and finally has some stability at closer. While catching an infectious disease has always been a looming specter in Old Town Scottsdale, assuming Archie Bradley can avoid the area during the pandemic, he's likely to finally fulfill his on field promise with the team as its closer. With Hector Rondon and Junior Guerra added, the team now has six reliable bullpen options with those three, Kevin Ginkel, Andrew Chafin and Yoan Lopez.
The lineup has youth and depth. If you could bottle up David Peralta's best for 60 games, he'd be an MVP candidate. Ketel Marte will try and stay in the conversation as one the the game's best. Starling Marte adds some danger to the top of the lineup and Kole Calhoun adds some thump in the middle. Carson Kelly won't have to sit three times a week for load management at catcher. Jake Lamb is some much needed pop off the bench. This is a deep, versatile lineup with very few obvious holes.
Plus, with teams allowed to carry a 30 man roster due to the weirdness, the Dbacks farm system is well stocked with young arms and bats.
Add Torey Lovullo's deft leadership and this team could absolutely thrive in a shortened season.
Most seasons wear mid market teams down and expose their lack of depth. The Dbacks can't spend $8 million on a seventh inning arm or go out and acquire a $10 million dollar utility player. But this year, those aren't advantages for other teams. You are going to sink or swim based on your current roster. The injury and COVID bug doesn't care about your payroll size or team history, its going to be a crapshoot for everybody.
It's been a roller coaster ride for everyone in 2020 and we've all learned things about ourselves, our relationships and our neighbors.
By the end of the MLB season this year, we're going to learn just how glad we are that baseball is back because the Dbacks were built for this.