Diving into the depths: Arizona Diamondbacks

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Arizona Diamondbacks
Rotation
1. Dan Haren
2. Brandon Webb
3. Edwin Jackson
4. Ian Kennedy
5. Billy Buckner
6. Kevin Mulvey
7. Rodrigo Lopez
8. Bryan Augenstein
9. Barry Enright
10. Matt Torra
11. Cesar Valdez
The Diamondbacks should have the money to add one more pitcher, though whether it’ll be a fifth starter or another setup man remains to be seen. As is, I imagine Buckner would be the favorite in the competition with Mulvey and Lopez for the fifth spot. However, I’m not confident that any of the three would be adequate in that role. Considering that Webb and Kennedy are so far away from being sure things and there are no top prospects on the way — Jarrod Parker is out for the season following Tommy John surgery — adding a legitimate No. 5 should be a priority.
Bullpen
1. Chad Qualls
2. Juan Gutierrez
3. Bob Howry
4. Aaron Heilman
5. Clay Zavada
6. Blaine Boyer
7. Esmerling Vasquez
8. Billy Buckner
9. Zach Kroenke
10. Leo Rosales
11. Rodrigo Lopez
12. Daniel Stange
13. T.J. Beam
14. Roque Mercedes
15. Jose Marte
The bullpen lacks a true stud, but it contains four solid right-handers and plenty of potentially useful options after that. Bypassing Jose Valverde to sign Adam LaRoche and, hopefully, another rotation option was the sound strategy.


Catcher
1. Miguel Montero
2. Chris Snyder
3. John Hester
First base
1. Adam LaRoche
2. Mark Reynolds
3. Conor Jackson
4. Brandon Allen
5. Jeff Bailey
Second base
1. Kelly Johnson
2. Ryan Roberts
3. Tony Abreu
4. Rusty Ryal
Third base
1. Mark Reynolds
2. Ryan Roberts
3. Rusty Ryal
4. Tony Abreu
Shortstop
1. Stephen Drew
2. Augie Ojeda
3. Pedro Ciriaco
4. Tony Abreu
If Snyder gets traded this spring, then Hester figures to take over as Montero’s backup. It’s just too bad the Diamondbacks haven’t found a taker for his contract yet, since doing so would give them a lot more flexibility in adding a starting pitcher.
Left field
1. Conor Jackson
2. Gerardo Parra
3. Ryan Roberts
4. Cole Gillespie
5. Drew Macias
Center field
1. Chris Young
2. Gerardo Parra
3. Evan Frey
Right field
1. Justin Upton
2. Gerardo Parra
3. Ryan Roberts
4. Cole Gillespie
5. Drew Macias
The move to release Eric Byrnes would seem to clear the way for Parra to get 350-400 at-bats, even though he’ll open the season in a reserve role. It looks like Roberts and Ojeda will join Parra and the backup catcher on the bench. The Diamondbacks could still carry Abreu as their 25th man, since Roberts can serve as a fifth outfielder, but it’d make more sense to add another true outfielder and let Abreu play regularly in Triple-A.

The Red Sox start is ridiculous

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The red-hot Red Sox completed a sweep of the previously red-hot Angels last night, outscoring them 27-3 in their three-game series. Last night’s game was, relatively speaking, a close one, with the Sox winning “only” by six runs. They did manage to strike out Shohei Ohtani three times, though, so some style points help make up for the “squeaker.” Also worth noting that they held Mike Trout of all people to a 3-for-11 line in their three-game series. He did not score a single time and drove in no runs.

That series win puts the Sox at 16-2 on the year. They dropped their Opening Day game to the Rays, but then won their next six games against Tampa Bay, which I’d say makes up for it. In between those two series they swept a two-game series from the Marlins and afterwards they took two of three from the Yankees and three in a row from the Orioles. The only thing that even threatened to slow this juggernaut down is the weather, resulting in a postponement of Monday morning’s Patriot’s Day game. Somewhere in here we should notice that they’re doing this with their starting shortstop and starting second baseman on the disabled list.

As we’ve noted many times, their 16-2 record is the best start in the Red Sox’ 118-year history. It’s also the best start for any team since the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers began 17-1 (let us just forget, for the time being, that those Brewers lost 18 of 20 in May of that year). They are the fourth team since 1961 to win 16 of its first 18 games.

The Sox aren’t simply getting lucky here. They’ve scored 116 runs and have allowed only 50, which is a Pythagorean record of 15-3. They lead all of baseball in offense, scoring 6.44 runs a game, leading individually in average, on-base percentage and slugging. They are only three one hundredths of a run behind the Astros from leading all of baseball in pitching, allowing only 2.78 runs a game. They’re winning all of these games because, in the early going, they’ve simply been that dang much better than everyone they’ve played.

No, the Sox are not going to go 144-18, as they are currently on pace to do. Yes, they are going to find a lot more trouble in their schedule once they play the Orioles, Rays and Marlins less, play a healthier Yankees team more and face off against the Astros, the Blue Jays, the Indians, the Twins and some tougher interleague opponents. This is baseball, obviously, and no one makes it through a season without rough patches, long, short and numerous.

Still: this has been one whale of a start for Boston. Those wins are in the bank. It’s been quite the thing to see.