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March 28, 2017

After three straight losing seasons, including a 69–93 campaign in 2016, the Diamondbacks have moved past the retrograde regime of chief baseball officer Tony La Russa and general manager Dave Stewart, dismissing the latter and re-assigning the former. While new general manager Mike Hazen will have to flesh out his own blueprint, he's inherited a roster that's primed for rebounds on several fronts. Ace righthander Zack Greinke scuffled his way to an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in the first year of his six-year, $206.5 million contract; fellow righty Shelby Miller completely unraveled in his first season after a trade from Atlanta, posting a 6.27 ERA and even earning a demotion to Triple A; and well-regarded youngsters Archie Bradley, Patrick Corbin and Robbie Ray were knocked around for ERAs in the vicinity of 5.00 as well. It's hard to imagine all of them being worse, and if they're better, Arizona could have the makings of a strong rotation. On the offensive side, franchise cornerstone Paul Goldschmidt fell short of his own high standards but is still a potent slugger, and perhaps the biggest improvement could come from having outfielder A.J. Pollock back. After ranking fourth in the NL with 7.4 WAR in 2015, he was limited to 12 games last year by a fractured right elbow, but he's now healthy.

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