Jul 4, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Martin Prado (14) gets a base hit against the Atlanta Braves during the ninth inning at Turner Field. The Diamondbacks defeated the Braves 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
The All Star Break is almost over and that means the second half of the 2014 MLB Season is coming up. Just like in the preseason when I made predictions, it’s time to make some second half predictions. Can’t believe the baseball season is already half over. Just because this team is out of the postseason race and is ready to sell and sell some more, doesn’t mean this team won’t be interesting to watch and it doesn’t mean there won’t be interesting story lines to keep your eye on. Here are five bold predictions for the second half:
The Deadline will continue to be the big story in baseball throughout July and the Dbacks are sellers which makes things interesting. The team has already traded Brandon McCarthy, Joe Thatcher, and Tony Campana but this team is t likely not done. The top two names that have come up in trade negotiations are second basemen Aaron Hill and third baseman Martin Prado. The Blue Jays need both a third basemen with Brett Lawrie out and they need a second basemen and Hill would be a reunion. Their are other teams but the Blue Jays are the front runners. If the Dbacks can get a great deal especially a player that can play third right now than I think they trade both. Hill is easier to trade because Didi Gregorius can play second and Chris Owings or Nick Ahmed can play shortstop. The Blue Jays like Prado’s versatility and if they really want him they will give the Dbacks a third basemen back and if Eric Chavez doesn’t retire they might have him. Brandon Dury is also developing quickly and in a lost season might be ready for a call up. Bottom line is the Dbacks want to cut payroll and both Hill and Prado have expensive contracts that run through 2016 and both aren’t really performing this season.
2. The Dbacks will end up in third place in the N.L West by the end of the season:
The Dbacks had a horrible start to the season. They lost both Patrick Corbin and David Hernandez to Tommy John surgery before the season and then in the middle of the April they lost Mark Trumbo who at the time was a key part of the offense. They lost both games in Australia and you just knew this wasn’t going to be the Snakes year. Those bad breaks contributed to the horrible 9-22 start and suddenly this team was in a huge hole. However everybody knows that this team is way more talented than there record. They might not reach the postseason and go on a Rockies 2007 run, but they will get back to respectively in the N.L West. With the Rockies continuing to slide, and with the Padres not being as talented as Arizona and there horrible offense, I think the Dbacks roster is talented to get back to third place and they may not loose 100 games. I think they can win at best between 70 and 75 wins especially if they get Pollack back.
3. The rotation will be much better:
With Brandon McCarthy gone, I think the Dbacks rotation will be much better in the second half. The rotation looks like this: Wade Miley, Chase Anderson, Josh Collmenter, Trevor Cahill, and Vidal Nuno not in any particular order. Miley is pitching like an ace and in my opinion he will get back to being the pitcher we saw in 2011. Wouldn’t be surprised at all if he gets to 15 or 16 wins. Chase Anderson has been consistent and he will continue to pitch well and be a candidate for the starting rotation in 2015. Josh Collmenter is here to stay and Nuno has pitched pretty well since coming to Arizona. The big question is Trevor Cahill. I do think this rotation is underrated with the expectation of possibly Cahill and will move up the era stat sheet.
4. Kirk Gibson and Kevin Towers won’t be fired by the end of the season:
After April the Diamondbacks were horrible and it was a guarantee that Towers and Gibson would be gone. Then they hired Tony La Russa and he said he wanted to take his time with Towers and Gibson. The latest reports are saying that Towers and La Russa are getting along and agreeing. Especially if the Dbacks bounce back in the second half no decision will be made until the offseason.
With Mark Trumbo coming back and with Goldschmidt already putting up 61 RBI’s and 36 doubles and his average being higher this year I think he will have more RBI’s this year. He already set the franchise record for doubles before the break but he won’t get votes for the MVP.