Saturday, March 20, 2021

By the Gallen


2020 was the year of Zac Gallen in Phoenix. He cost the Diamondbacks Jazz Chisholm, an infielder that would continue to wait behind Ketel Marte and Nick Ahmed otherwise, but he delivered the best performance by anyone on the D-Backs last year. He's also yet to finish a season with an ERA higher than 3, despite playing for such pitiful teams as the 2019 Marlins and the 2020 Diamondbacks.

2021, however, could be the year of both Gallen and Madison Bumgarner. After a disappointing year for MadBum, he's looking at year 2 of his contract with a lot more optimism, has a 3.00 ERA in his early spring numbers, and is aching for a comeback in every sense of the term. Right now, though, the only D-Backs pitchers who seem to be excelling are Bumgarner and Gallen. Merrill Kelly, Luke Weaver and Caleb Smith have all struggled in spring starts, and it's looking like it's gonna be another top-heavy rotation year.

Which is fine. Having two excellent starters is better than having none. But it also means that a lot of potentially great starts could be dive-bombed by the status of not being on a great team. Yes, we're looking at strong years from Ketel Marte, David Peralta and Josh Rojas, but the majority of this team is filing into the very 'okay' category. And in the NL West, if you're registering at 'okay', you might as well not even bother to show up. The Dodgers and Padres are looking at repeating in those two playoff spots, and even competing against those two will be difficult in itself. Even more so considering that Kole Calhoun might be out for a bit with an injury. 

So while this may not be a perfect Diamondbacks team this year, I'm still expecting great things from the pitching. Gallen could turn into a league-caliber arm that everyone's eyes will be watching. 

Coming Tonight: One of two former members of the Mets rotation of 2015 now camping out in the AL East.

1 comment:

  1. Sure hoping Gallen turns out to be a star. Last year, I requested a replacement for a redemption card I had been waiting on for several years from Panini. They ended up sending me a Gallen autograph.