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Arizona Diamondbacks second-half preview: Moving closer to contending

Verducci's Quick Pitch: Arizona Diamondbacks

Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci previews the second half of the MLB season for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Record: 40-56

Standing: 5th in NL West

Team Leaders:

Batting average: Paul Goldschmidt, .308

Home Runs: Paul Goldschmidt, 16

ERA: Josh Collmenter, 3.80

The Diamondbacks start the second half of the season at the bottom of the National League West. After a disastrous April that saw them start 9-22, however, Arizona has taken steps toward contending. Tony LaRussa is the team's new Chief Baseball Officer, and while the Diamondbacks in all likelihood won't contend for a playoff spot this year, LaRussa's guidance could help Arizona get back on track soon. 

Slugger Paul Goldschmidt hasn't hit quite at his 2013 pace this season, but he still leads the team with 16 home runs and 61 RBI. Arizona's pitching staff could use an upgrade: The Diamondbacks are 27th in the league in terms of ERA. 

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