Record 23-7-3. Change on 2015: +5.5
Let's start with the post-game roster news.
Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) March 31, 2016
This means the team will be going with Chris Herrmann as the backup to Welington Castillo. Herrmann's ability to play multiple positions, and the fact that he's a left-handed bat (and probably, a better overall hitter) are the most likely reasons for the decision, and are by no means implausible. But what makes it interesting is the report by Nick Piecoro earlier in the week that Dave Stewart's wife, is Herrmann's agent, having taken over the business when her husband became General Manager of the Diamondbacks. If you're handicapping the bullpen spots, might be worth considering that Enrique Burgos is also one of her clients....
Anyway, the final game for the Diamondbacks in the Cactus League this year was another underwhelming loss to the Rockies. We lost more times to Colorado this spring (four) than to every other team in the Cactus League combined (three). Though given our use of B-pitchers in particular, I can't say I am particularly concerned. This afternoon, it was Braden Shipley who was the sacrificial lamb on the mound this afternoon, allowing five runs on eight hits, a walk and a hit batter over five innings. He struck out three and was burned by the long-ball, home-runs to Charlie Blackmon and old friend Mark Reynolds being responsible for most of the damage.
Andrew Chafin worked a scoreless sixth; Randall Delgado allowed a run on three walks over his 1.2 innings, and Scott Rice got the final out for our pitchers at SRF this year. On offense, there were home-runs for Welington Castillo (#4) and Rickie Weeks Jr. (#2), both coming in the fourth inning. Weeks also singled, and Paul Goldschmidt completed his Cactus League campaign with a pair of hits, getting his spring average to .328. Jake Lamb also reached base twice, on a hit and a walk.
Despite the loss, the Diamondbacks finish with easily the best record in the Cactus League, and this may well have been the best pre-season in team history. While it's certainly worth remembering that will be worth exactly nothing once games start in earnest on Monday, it seems to me this month has gone by an awful lot quicker than previous springs. It's almost as if winning games is more enjoyable than losing them! Who knew... Anyway, it's off to Chase Field now, for two exhibition contests against the reigning World Series champion, Kansas City Royals, the first being tomorrow night at 6:40pm.