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Arizona Diamondbacks 25-Man Roster: Season Hinges On Zack Greinke’s Ability To Lead Rotation

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MIAMI, FL - JUNE 28: Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates with teammates after scoring a run in the second inning during the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on June 28, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JUNE 28: Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates with teammates after scoring a run in the second inning during the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on June 28, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
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Arizona Diamondbacks
ST. LOUIS, MO – JUNE 30: Luke Weaver #7 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch against the Atlanta Braves in the third inning at Busch Stadium on June 30, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Luke Weaver – 4th Season

Poor Weaver has an uphill climb in Arizona, where he’ll always be remembered as the core piece in the Paul Goldschmidt trade. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine the future that would make Diamondbacks fans think the trade was worth it.

I’m not giving up on Weaver, but the realistic best future for Weaver is that he develops this season and next, when the Diamondbacks can trade him for a non-tainted return just before he gets expensive. Sad but true, it sometimes takes until the second or third branch before a trade tree bears fruit.

In the meantime, the Diamondbacks will be tracking the development of Weaver’s secondary offerings. His fastball has been effective, but he’s also reliant on it at nearly a 60% clip, and he doesn’t seem wholly comfortable with any of his offspeed pitches.

He has experimented with a cutter, which could be a difference make if he can harness it effectively. Usage of his curve doubled last season, but hitters smoked it to the tune of a .529 xSLG. A straight change has been his most effective offspeed pitch, but that’s simply not enough firepower to get through opposing lineups three times.

Weaver can reset by working with a brand new coaching staff in Arizona. Having Dan Haren whispering in his ear will hopefully refine in his approach.  Haren was once over-reliant on his fastball, and it was his ability to adjust that kept him in the major leagues for thirteen seasons.

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