Colroado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks are one of the must infuriating teams in baseball. Easy as it is to dislike the reasoning behind their player personnel decisions, damned if they didn’t built a decent team in the desert. Which sucks, honestly.

It is easier to mock a team which makes questionable moves if those moves don’t, you know, end up forming a decent team in the end. Sure, a few of the Snakes signings end up towards the bottom of the “rank the offseason transaction” lists but, in the end, Arizona looks like a pretty darn good team.

In spite of dealing a high-ceiling prospect in Trevor Bauer, the Diamondbacks have a very deep and very nice looking rotation. While they lack a real ace, they seem to have scads of decent to above-average starters vying for spots in the rotation.

The current rotational depth chart looks like this:

  1. Ian Kennedy
  2. Trevor Cahill
  3. Wade Miley
  4. Brandon McCarthy
  5. Tyler Skaggs

Behind them sit Patrick Corbain, Josh Collmenter, and key piece in the Justin Upton trade, Randall Delgado. Again, no real ace. Ian Kennedy is a number two on his finest day only, Cahill is at worst a three and at best a two. Wade Miley is a big time regression candidate. Tyler Skaggs might be a number two down the road but he’s still young and in search of the strike zone.

While the ceiling is limited, the floor on many of these players is high. The D-Backs rotation accounted for 15 fWAR last year, the top seven pitchers on the current roster project to produce…around 17 WAR according to ZiPS.

Every team wishes to have a legit stud in their rotation, the inning-eating horse who simply dominates lineups no matter who he opposes, there is something to be said for the balanced attack Arizona will throw at teams in 2013. Even if Brandon McCarthy misses time with an injury (he’s Brandon McCarthy!) and Miley regresses, there is enough depth in Corbain and Collmenter and Delgado to step in and be, at worst, serviceable.

As Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic notes, not only are the top pitchers in the D-Backs rotation safe bets, they also pitched as much better than just “pretty good” in the past few seasons. Again: the floor for this group of players is high enough that a little good fortune might turn them into something much more than okay.

For a team built around a very solid offense, the Snakes cannot ask for much more from their pitching staff. It might not be Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson but this Arizona rotation might just form the basis of a good team in Phoenix this year. Dammit.

And the rest

Staying in the NL West, the Padres rotation: nope. [Padres Public]

Dan Haren, looking good. Everything is coming up Natitude! [Washington Post]

A Marlins fan writes an open letter to Jeffery Loria. [Fishstripes fan post]

To appease the poor Marlins fans, a little cinéma vérité featuring a few of their top prospects. [Miami Herald Fish blog]

Nice little washed ball affair on Oscar Taveras [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Ken Rosenthal gets all up in the James Shields/Wil Myers trade in a most excellent insiderish fashion [Fox Sports]

Despite what you might have heard, Darren Oliver is in fact NOT getting too old for this shhhhh [Tao of Stieb]

Looking back at the Hanley Ramirez/Josh Beckett blockbuster. Hey, those guys play on the same team now! [BP (free)]

In a similar vein, your boy Brisbee doesn’t sweat the ascendance of Zack Wheeler [McCovey Chronicles]

Today in Jason Parks twitter scouting reports:

Umpires are getting better, we’re just getting crankier [Fangraphs]

Crashbag! [Crashburn Alley]

Keri on the Blue Jays [Grantland]