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Diamondbacks simply waiting for end

The Arizona Diamondbacks were supposed to be in the heat of the National League pennant race at this juncture of the Major League Baseball season.

General manager Dave Stewart got aggressive this offseason and raised hope, trading for Shelby Miller and signing Zach Greinke to bolster the starting rotation. Stewart also had a core that was already in tow with Paul Goldschmidt, Yasmany Tomas, A.J. Pollock and more.

Instead of becoming a power in the NL West, Arizona has sunk all the way to the bottom. The Diamondbacks are sitting in last place at 48-69, despite a very respectable road mark of 29-30. Arizona has been outscored by 128 runs, only eclipsed by the Atlanta Braves in the senior circuit.

The Diamondbacks have to be wondering how it happened. Going into Monday, they are a full 18 games out of first place, meaning they will almost be eliminated from the division race by Labor Day. On Sunday, just to drive the point home on their ineptitude, the Diamondbacks lost to the Boston Red Sox, 16-2.

Everything began to fall apart for Arizona in spring training, when Pollock injured his elbow. The youngster is yet to play a game and could miss the entire season. Yet it has been the pitching staff which has brought upon the biggest disaster. Greinke has been in the Cy Young Award race for years, but this season has pitched to a 4.31 ERA. Amazingly, that is the best ERA of any starter on the team. Miller has been the biggest disgrace in recent memory, posting an absurd 7.14 ERA in 14 starts before being sent to the minor leagues.

Offensively, there have been some bright spots in an otherwise hideous season. Third baseman Jake Lamb has become one of the best young players in the game, hitting .271 with 24 home runs and 73 RBI. Goldschmidt has continued his great career with a .295 average to accompany 18 homers and a team-high 74 RBI. Then there is shortstop Jean Segura, who is hitting .309 and has 10 blasts to go with 22 stolen bases.

Unfortunately, it has not been nearly enough for a team that was supposed to challenge for its second World Series appearance. Arizona has been the most disappointing squad in baseball by any metric, and now hits an offseason with a truckload of uncertainty looming. Should Stewart try to blow up the team at the Winter Meetings, or simply hope for better results from a fairly stacked roster?

Whatever Stewart does, he needs to be right this time around. If he’s not, Arizona could be undergoing a complete housecleaning, something unfathomable only a few months ago.

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