Gomez: D-backs’ Rotation, Staff Equalling Success

The Arizona Diamondbacks 2017 success is no desert mirage early August.

Arguably one of the biggest surprises in Major League Baseball this summer are in excellent position to be playing in the post-season for the first time since 2011.

The club’s turnaround can be attributed to many factors but likely none bigger than an absolute necessity for sustained, season-long success.   

“One of the biggest reasons,” ESPN baseball insider Pedro Gomez said to Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a recent phone interview. “Is that the starting pitching has been pretty good. They’re in the top 5 in ERA in starting pitching.”

The D-backs’ rollercoaster starters in past seasons were plagued by a number of things, included and not limited to, injuries, overuse, under achievement and pitch location among others.

First-year Arizona manager Torey Lovullo overhauled the staff this winter. Gomez believes one of his off-season hires has been essential in flipping the script this season.

“Mike Butcher, the pitching coach, I think has done a phenomenal job with this team,” he explained to Cesmat. “Considering where it’s been the last few years.”

The D-backs trail only the Los Angeles Dodgers in team ERA in all of baseball. They also rank among the top 10 in strikeouts, earned runs allowed and fewest walks. 

Ace Zack Greinke has returned to form with a team-leading 13 wins and an ERA of 3.10, while the bottom of the rotation has been boosted by the steady pitching of Zack Godley whose 2.86 ERA was best among Arizona starters entering this weekend’s series against the Giants in San Francisco.

Although there are still around two months of baseball to be played, Gomez feels a playoff berth is the Diamondbacks to lose at this point.

“I think they have the goods, especially lineup-wise to hang on and reach the post-season.”

In a season of unexpected successes, who are we to argue.