For the first time in six years, the Diamondbacks are headed back to the playoffs. The upstart D-Backs snared a spot in the MLB Postseason, thanks to star power in both the Arizona lineup and pitching staff. Here’s an overview of the Diamondbacks look as Arizona gets ready for the 2023 MLB Postseason.
A Look at the Diamondbacks’ Offense
The Diamondbacks offense didn’t blow off the doors in 2023, as Arizona as of October 1 had the 17th-best team OPS (.730) and tied with the Blue Jays for 14th in total runs scored (746).
Arizona’s lineup includes a top-heavy group of standout hitters, led by likely NL Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll. Carroll had himself a historic rookie season, as he belted 25 home runs and stole 54 bases for Arizona.
Aside from Carroll, much of the offense went through Ketel Marte, Christian Walker, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. All three hit at least 24 home runs, and the 2023 season proved to be bounceback campaigns for both Marte and Gurriel Jr.
However, the D-Backs offense couldn’t get much from the likes of Emmanuel Rivera, Alek Thomas, or Jake McCarthy. Evan Longoria, who signed with Arizona this past winter, hit .226/.296/.428 with 11 home runs and 20 extra-base hits over 73 games.
A Look at the Diamondbacks Pitching
Much was made of the D-Backs rotation at the start of the season, one that much like the team’s lineup proved to be rather top-heavy. Madison Bumgarner and Zach Davies were tagged hard in the desert this season and ultimately DFA’d by the team’s management.
Youngsters Drey Jameson and Tommy Henry are both on the IL, while Ryne Nelson gave up 85 earned runs in 143 innings. Arizona did receive better results from Brandon Pfaadt in the second half, but he too owned an ERA north of 5.00 in 2023.
Kelly continued to provide a steady presence in the D-Backs rotation. The veteran righty logged 177.2 IP for the Diamondbacks this season, won 12 games, and owned a very respectable 3.29 ERA. And in the second half. Kelly recorded a solid 3.57 ERA and 84 strikeouts over 75.2 IP.
The 34-year-old managed to actually post a better ERA after the All-Star break than Zac Gallen, who struck out 95 over 91.2 IP but also posted an ERA north of 4.00. Still, Gallen was from an overall standpoint among the best starters in the National League this season.
The ace of the D-Backs staff struck out 220 batters over 210 innings and won 17 games for Arizona.
The back end of the Diamondbacks bullpen proved to be an adventure throughout the season, even after Arizona acquired reliever Paul Sewald from the Mariners. Still, Sewald recorded 13 saves for Arizona and proved to be steadier than Scott McGough, Miguel Castro, or Andrew Chafin.
How the Diamondbacks Can Win it All
The Diamondbacks won’t have it easy in the MLB Postseason, as Arizona will need to win a best-of-three right off the bat against a formidable Brewers team that features one of the best rotations in baseball.
If the Diamondbacks want to advance in the MLB playoffs, Arizona will need their two guns — Gallen and Kelly — to match Milwaukee punch for punch. But with only two consistent, reliable starters, the Diamondbacks will need the bullpen to also shoulder a hefty load.