Eighteen years have passed since Andy Benes took the hill at the newly constructed Chase Field to inaugurate the lone Arizona baseball franchise. The Diamondbacks were routed by Vinny Castilla and the Rockies by a score of 9-2 on the first day of the franchise.
Since then, the Diamondbacks have become a formidable Opening Day squad; they are 10-8 all time on Opeining Day. They won seven consecutive Opeining Days from 2007 to 2013, topping it off with a 6-2 victory over the National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Last Year, Arizona had the privilege of welcoming the reigning World Series champion Giants to Chase Field on Opening Day. As expected, the poised San Francisco veterans exposed the weaknesses of a young, incomplete Arizona team, pulling out a 5-4 victory in a close yet sloppy game.
There’s no secret that the Diamondbacks’ Opening Day losses in 2014 and 2015 were a testament to the rest of their seasons—as they finished 30 and 13 games respectively behind the division-champion Los Angeles Dodgers. However, this is not the same Arizona team we bore witness to last season: and the Diamondbacks made it known with their offseason acquisitions.
Shortstop Jean Segura and pitchers Zack Greinke, Shelby Miller, and Tyler Clippard—all of whom have represented the National League in scattered All-Star Games throughout the past five years—headline the additions the Diamondbacks have made to their 2016 squad. Clearly, General Manager Dave Stewart is focused on winning now.
While there were some losses, such as the trade of Ender Inciarte and untimely injury of A.J. Pollock, the Diamondbacks have supplied the fan base with much to look forward to in 2016. Young players on the horizon in Yasmany Tomas, Jake Lamb, and Socrates Brito will undoubtably play big roles in the 2016 season, as they have all spring in preparation to kick off the season against Jorge De La Rosa and the Colorado Rockies today.
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