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Diamondbacks Finish Strong With Young Core & Cap Flexibility

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October 2, 2019

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Photo: Arizona Sports

The Arizona Diamondbacks lost some of their best players to trades or free agency over the past 12 months. The Diamondbacks finished 85-77, a three-game improvement from 2018 and good for second place in the NL West.

The good news for the Diamondbacks is they have a relatively young group of talented players in the everyday lineup like Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar, Christian Walker, Nick Ahmed and Carson Kelly. There’s also depth in the pitching staff after rookies like Zac Gallen and Alex Young performed well in the season’s final months.

GM Mike Hazan said, “I don’t know how many games we finished out of the division, but it was a lot,” Arizona general manager Mike Hazen said. “We need to make that up. The level of preparation it’s going to take for our players, the front office and the coaching staff offseason-wise is significant.”

ALL STAR BREAKOUT SEASON FOR MARTE AND ESCOBAR

The 25-year-old Marte turned into a superstar this season and will be the centerpiece of the lineup moving forward. He finished second in the NL batting race with a .329 average and added 32 homers, 36 doubles and 10 stolen bases while providing excellent defense in center field, at second base and even occasionally at shortstop.

Escobar also had a career year, batting .269 with 35 homers and 118 RBI while playing mostly third base.

MIKE BUTCHER LET GO

Pitching coach Mike Butcher will not return to the Arizona Diamondbacks next season. The Diamondbacks finished with an 85-77 record. Arizona was in the National League wild-card race until the last week of the season.

Butcher’s departure is somewhat surprising considering the Diamondbacks finished with a 4.25 ERA, which ranked seventh out of 15 teams in the NL. Arizona remained competitive despite dealing ace Zack Greinke at the trade deadline. Several young players like Zac Gallen and Alex Young pitched well down the stretch. Butcher was with the Diamondbacks for four seasons.

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