Diamondbacks roster and schedule
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Arizona Diamondbacks roster and schedule for 2020 season

Leave a comment

The 2020 MLB season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. First up: The Arizona Diamondbacks roster and schedule:

DIAMONDBACKS ROSTER (projected)

When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Diamondbacks roster to begin the season:

Catchers:

Carson Kelly
Stephen Vogt

Infielders:

Christian Walker
Jake Lamb
Ketel Marte
Nick Ahmed
Ildemaro Vargas
Eduardo Escobar
Jake Lamb

Outfielders:

Starling Marte
David Peralta
Kole Calhoun
Tim Locastro
Jon Jay
Trayce Thompson

Starters:

Madison Bumgarner
Robbie Ray
Zac Gallen
Luke Weaver
Merrill Kelly
Alex Young

Relievers:

Archie Bradley
Andrew Chafin
Hector Rondón
Junior Guerra
Kevin Ginkel
Yoan López
Stefan Crichton


BREAKDOWN:

With a gaping chasm in the starting rotation after trading Zack Greinke last summer, the Diamondbacks went out and added Madison Bumgarner in free agency. Bumgarner, soon 31, is not the dominant lefty he was just a few years ago, but he’s still more than capable of turning in a dominant season. Last season, Bumgarner averaged nearly five strikeouts for every walk and put up his best strikeout rate since 2016. Nevertheless, he finished with a 3.90 ERA, the highest mark of his career. Moving from the spacious home park in San Francisco to the more hitter friendly confines in Arizona will not do him any favors. But if you put any stock in his defense-independent numbers, he is not to be overlooked.

Mike Leake opted out of the season due to COVID-19. His spot in the rotation will be taken by either Merrill Kelly or Alex Young. The rest of the rotation will feature Robbie Ray, Zac Gallen, and Luke Weaver. Over 12 starts in 2019, Weaver flashed potential, posting a 2.94 ERA and averaging close to five strikeouts per walk issued. If he can continue that kind of dominance, and if Robbie Ray can bounce back from last year’s disappointing — by his standards — 4.34 ERA, the D-Backs could be working with something here.

The D-Backs also added outfielders Starling Marte and Kole Calhoun. While Marte’s defense in center field leaves a bit to be desired, he is one of the most dynamic players on offense. Last season, he collected 31 doubles, 23 homers, and 25 steals while knocking in 82 runs and scoring 97 times. Calhoun, not to be forgotten, slugged 29 doubles and 33 homers for the Angels in 29. Marte’s addition allows Ketel Marte to move back to second base. Marte, mostly playing center field last year, broke out with a .981 OPS, earning his first All-Star nomination and finishing fourth in NL MVP voting. We haven’t even gotten to Carson Kelly, Christian Walker, David Peralta, Eduardo Escobar… this is an offense that could contend as one of the league’s best if everyone performs to expectations.

The Diamondbacks’ weakness will be their bullpen. This is not to say that it’s bad, but if things go wrong, it will likely be here. Archie Bradley will handle save situations and he’s only a few years separated from a dominant 2017 in which he posted a 1.73 over 73 innings. But in the closer’s role last year, Bradley accrued 18 saves with a 3.52 ERA. He’s not in the elite echelon yet. And, again, there is no one truly lights out and major league-proven behind Bradley, either. He’ll be flanked by Hector Rondón, Andrew Chafin, and Kevin Ginkel.

No surprise, the Dodgers are expected to run away with the NL West. The Diamondbacks, however, are legitimate Wild Card contenders.

DIAMONDBACKS SCHEDULE:

Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

  • July 24-27: @ Padres
  • July 28-29: @ Rangers
  • July 30-August 2: vs. Dodgers
  • August 4-6: vs. Astros
  • August 7-9: @ Padres
  • August 10-12: @ Rockies
  • August 14-16: vs. Padres
  • August 17-18: vs. Athletics
  • August 19-20: @ Athletics
  • August 21-23: @ Giants
  • August 24-27: vs. Rockies
  • August 28-30: vs. Giants
  • September 1-3: @ Dodgers
  • September 4-7: @ Giants
  • September 8-10: vs. Dodgers
  • September 11-13: vs. Mariners
  • September 15-17: @ Angels
  • September 18-20: @ Astros
  • September 22-23: vs. Rangers
  • September 25-27: vs. Rockies

The entire Diamondbacks schedule can be seen here.

Angels’ Andrelton Simmons opts out of final 5 games

Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has opted out of the remainder of the Los Angeles Angels’ season.

The Angels announced the four-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop’s decision Tuesday before they faced the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles (24-31) is still technically in the playoff race with five games left in the regular season, and Simmons clearly caught the Angels by surprise, although the club said it respected his decision.

The 31-year-old Simmons, who can be a free agent this winter, is finishing his fifth year with the Angels. After spraining his ankle in late July and missing 22 games, Simmons is currently batting .297 with 10 RBIs while playing his usual stellar defense, albeit with four errors in 30 games.

“At this time, I feel this is the best decision for me and my family,” Simmons said in a statement. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming and making us feel at home.”

Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged he was caught by surprise when general manager Billy Eppler told him about Simmons’ decision Monday night after Simmons went 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the Angels’ home finale. Maddon texted Simmons, but hadn’t heard back by Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve really enjoyed this guy a lot,” Maddon said. “I’m a big fan. This guy is a good baseball player, and I’ve enjoyed the conversations, too. It’s just unfortunate. He’s really a big part of what we’re doing right now.”

Simmons is a favorite of Angels fans for his defensive wizardry, and owner Arte Moreno has described Simmons as perhaps his favorite player to watch on the roster. Simmons has batted .281 with 36 homers and 281 RBIs during his five seasons with Los Angeles, and he won the Gold Glove in 2017 and 2018.

“He’s a thinking kind of a player, and I’ve enjoyed him a lot,” Maddon said.

Simmons will be a free agent this winter, and the Angels have an obvious replacement for him in David Fletcher, who has a .374 on-base percentage while regularly hitting leadoff for the Angels during his breakout major league season. Fletcher has been playing second base since Simmons’ return from injury.

But the Angels haven’t publicly closed the door on Simmons’ return, and he could be given a qualifying offer. Maddon has repeatedly said he would like Simmons to return in 2021 if possible.

The Angels haven’t had a winning season during Simmons’ five years in Anaheim, although Simmons said last week he wasn’t discouraged by the lack of team success. Simmons played his first four major league seasons in Atlanta, and he hasn’t appeared in the postseason since 2013.

Simmons also said he hadn’t been involved in any recent contract talks with the Angels, but he had enjoyed playing for the club. When asked if he wanted to return to the Halos, Simmons said he would have to “plead the fifth.”