The Arizona Diamondbacks‘ trek through the first quarter of the 2016 season has certainly hit its share of potholes as they open up a tough six-game road in St. Louis against the Cardinals this weekend.
The starting rotation has underperformed. All-Star first baseman and face of the franchise Paul Goldschmidt has struggled. The club is just 7-17 at Chase Field.
But, according to one baseball insider, there is reason for optimism and it has nothing to actually do with the D-backs themselves.
“There are no superpowers in the National League West,” ESPN’s Pedro Gomez told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat during a recent phone interview. “For that reason, nobody is going to run away [in the division]. If you had the Diamondbacks’ record at this point in the NL Central, you’d have no chance of catching the Cubs.”
The same could be said for the NL East where the Nationals, Mets and surprising Phillies appear to have a stranglehold through mid-May.
Gomez’s advice to the D-backs through the upcoming dog days of summer is simple: survive.
“I think if the Diamondbacks can just tread water and if they can get on a roll, they can absolutely jump in,” he said to Cesmat. “Because they have that type of talent…they do have that capability because of Zack Greinke, because of Paul Goldschmidt. There are signs there that point to them contending.”
There is further hope if Arizona can remain in the playoff race until July owner Ken Kendrick will open his checkbook much like he did last winter when he remodeled and upgraded the roster of a sub-.500 team a year ago.