Mar 28, 2024 - News

The Arizona Diamondbacks have big 2024 expectations

A baseball player prepares to bat.

Outfielder Corbin Carroll was NL Rookie of the Year in 2023. Photo: John E. Moore III/Getty Images

The Arizona Diamondbacks won't take anyone by surprise in 2024 the way they did last year. Everyone sees them coming.

The big picture: After winning the National League pennant and earning a trip to the second World Series in franchise history, last year's underdogs have bigger expectations this season.

Flashback: This time last year, many expected the team would improve but thought they weren't ready to compete for the playoffs.

  • The D-Backs ended up going almost all the way, losing the World Series to the Texas Rangers in five games.

Driving the news: The team starts the 2024 season Thursday with a home game against the Colorado Rockies at 7:10pm.

State of play: Last season, outfielder Corbin Carroll was NL Rookie of the Year. This season he could be MVP.

Between the lines: Arizona added a few noteworthy players in the offseason, trading for third baseman Eugenio Suarez and starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, and outfielder and designated hitter Joc Pederson.

Plus: The team recently sent top prospect Jordan Lawlar down to Triple-A Reno, but there's some buzz about what we might see from the 21-year-old shortstop later in the season.

Reality check: No matter how well the D-Backs did last year or what kind of potential they have, few expect them to contend for the National League West crown, thanks to the big-spending Los Angeles Dodgers.

  • After Arizona swept them in the NL Division Series last year, the Dodgers responded with one of the most eye-popping off-seasons in MLB history, signing superstar Shohei Ohtani to a historic deal.
  • Los Angeles also signed Japanese pitching sensation Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
  • That adds tremendous firepower to a team that already won the NL West last year — even if Ohtani won't pitch this season and will only bat this season while recovering from elbow surgery.

Yes, but: The D-Backs can still get to the playoffs through a wild-card spot, the same way they did last season.

Friction point: Closing pitcher Paul Sewald will miss the season's first weeks with an oblique strain, a critical loss to a bullpen that was crucial to the team's playoff run.

What we're watching: Just one of CBS Sports' six baseball writers, who unanimously picked the Dodgers to win the NL West, thought Arizona would finish second in the division. Only three thought the team would get into the playoffs.

  • Sporting News also predicted a second-place finish for the D-Backs, as did ESPN, which estimated a 51% chance to reach the postseason.
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