Enemy Lines

A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP THE DIAMONDBACKS

It's all about their starting pitching—they can compete with the Dodgers and the Giants if the rotation stays healthy and gives them innings.... Ian Kennedy has to have all his pitches working and hit his spots. He's not overpowering. He's more of a middle-rotation guy on a good club.... Patrick Corbin's stuff has stood out this spring. His velocity has spiked a little since last year. He was throwing 91, now he's around 93-94.... Tyler Skaggs, their top pitching prospect, needs a bit more seasoning.... Randall Delgado can get it up to the mid-90s. He has shown pretty good stuff this spring, but his command is not real sharp.... They thought their bullpen was pretty well set, but Joe Paterson has pitched well this spring. He could find a way into the equation.... Paul Goldschmidt is an intriguing hitter—he has big power. Whether he's going to make enough consistent contact remains to be seen.... Whoever ends up as their starting shortstop, Cliff Pennington or Willie Bloomquist, is just keeping the seat warm. Prospect Didi Gregorius, who came from the Reds in that big three-team trade in December, has really stood out in camp. He's a special talent defensively, and he's no gimme out with the bat. Plus he has a little pop. He'll be ready sooner rather than later.... Adam Eaton will solidify their leadoff spot. He knows his strengths and stays within himself, doesn't expand the strike zone, and he'll work the count. He has sneaky power if you make a mistake.

The Lineup

2013 Projected Statistics

MANAGER KIRK GIBSON

Third season with the Diamondbacks

[originallink:10890421:1010898]

ROTATION W ERA WHIP K/9
RH IAN KENNEDY 16 3.45 1.21 8.0
RH BRANDON MCCARTHY 11 3.47 1.21 6.2
RH TREVOR CAHILL 14 3.65 1.26 6.8
LH WADE MILEY 15 3.46 1.26 6.6
LH PATRICK CORBIN 9 4.09 1.28 7.9
BULLPEN SV ERA WHIP K/9
RH J.J. PUTZ 38 2.73 0.98 10.3
RH DAVID HERNANDEZ 6 3.17 1.11 10.9

NEW ACQUISITION (R) ROOKIE

LINEUPS AND STAT PROJECTIONS BY ROTOWIRE.COM

The K Meter

Percentage of 2012 plate appearances that ended with a strikeout, and major league rank

BY HITTERS | 20.6% | 20TH

BY PITCHERS | 19.8% | 14TH

Best Case

The pitching staff emerges as the game's deepest one through 12, and Arizona returns to the postseason.

Worst Case

They lack major flaws—but are short on strengths. Average offense, defense and talent lead to another .500 mark.

Joe Lemire has more on the Diamondbacks at SI.com/mlb

Modest Proposal

If not for Bryce Harper's big September, Arizona's Wade Miley would most likely have been the NL Rookie of the Year. Unheralded coming into the year, the lefty had a 3.33 ERA in 194 2/3 innings and showed excellent command—just 37 walks—while limiting home runs (only 14) in a tough park for pitchers. But in projecting Miley's future, you see some trouble spots. His 17.8% strikeout rate was just passable for a starter and his rate of homers allowed on fly balls, a figure that almost always reverts to the mean, was extremely low (6.9%, the fourth-lowest among qualified MLB starters). Miley doesn't have overpowering stuff and wasn't terribly effective at the upper levels of the minors. Put it all together, and 2012 likely represents his best work. If Arizona wants to contend it should be aggressive about replacing Miley if his ERA climbs toward 5.00. The team sent top pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs to the minors after a poor spring. But Skaggs has more raw talent than Miley and should replace him, perhaps as soon as Memorial Day.

PHOTOBRAD MANGIN FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MCCARTHY)Brandon McCarthy PHOTOCHRISTIAN PETERSEN/GETTY IMAGES (MILEY)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)