Five New Year’s resolutions the Arizona Diamondbacks should have:
1. Keep the clubhouse camaraderie strong.
I am not a huge proponent of the idea that you need a strong clubhouse atmosphere to succeed in baseball but there was a discernible difference in the players’ attitudes from 2010 to 2011 and that attitude should stay for 2012.
2. Continue to cut down on strikeouts.
In 2010, the Diamondbacks were historically bad (or good?) at striking out. In 2011, they made a positive jump in that category, mostly by the elimination of strikeout King Mark Reynolds and strikeout Prince Adam Laroche. However, they were still in the bottom half of the National League and to continue to progress as a team, they need to improve their strikeout rate.
3. Find enough playing time for Gerardo Parra.
With the surprise signing of Jason Kubel, the D-backs were able to find a left-handed hitter that will provide some pop besides Miguel Montero. However, Kubel is a sub-par defender and Parra had an outstanding season roaming left field. Parra also is underrated at the plate because of his lack of power but his .357 on-base percentage will be missed from a line-up without very many high OBP guys. The fact that Parra is able to play all three outfield positions will help but he needs to find his way on the field at least 100-120 times if he continues to play like he did in 2011.
4. Find a stable spot for Steven Drew in the lineup.
Drew has been inconsistent for much of his career. He has periods where he is absolutely on fire and other periods where he can’t buy a base hit. It is possible that is caused by his constant movement up and down the lineup from game-to-game. Drew is most likely suited for the leadoff spot in the D-backs lineup when he is healthy, but wherever Kirk Gibson decides to put him, keep him there as much as possible.
5. Win a playoff series.
This is obvious I know; however, last year felt a lot like the 2007 season that filled fans with high hopes and expectations only to be followed by three disappointing seasons in a row. The D-backs need to capitalize on the momentum and return to the playoffs and succeed in them in 2012. The front office realizes that as well with the acquisition of Trevor Cahill being the key piece of evidence.
Bonus resolution for D-backs fans: Attend more games.
The attendance was not where it should be for a playoff team last year. The prices continue to be very low and the team is one of the most fun to watch. So, if you have the means, please go see a few more games than you did last year, you won’t be disappointed!