Diamondbacks camp report: Likes, dislikes
Martin Prado is easy to like, but you wonder how much the Diamondbacks will miss Justin Upton's talent.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- What I like, and don't like, about the Diamondbacks:
• A few days around Martin Prado convinced the Diamondbacks he was everything they thought they were getting in the Justin Upton trade. "We're proud to have him," said Ken Kendrick, the managing general partner who wasn't always as complimentary when talking about Upton. "I've never seen anyone work harder," club president Derrick Hall said.
• I'm not going to tell you Ian Kennedy is the best pitcher in the National League. But I will tell you Kennedy's 36 wins are the most by any NL pitcher over the past two years (Clayton Kershaw is second, with 35). And that's not bad.
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• You can call them grinders or gritty or whatever you want, but the Diamondbacks should have a fun team that plays hard. That doesn't matter if you don't have talent, but the Diamondbacks have some of that, too. Now, do they have enough?
• Like some other teams, the Diamondbacks have long been looking for a true leadoff man. Adam Eaton could well be the guy. Scouts wonder whether he's a true center fielder, but agree he should be a fit atop the batting order.
• With Upton gone, the Diamondbacks' focus is unlikely to be on one player. But if there's one guy who figures to get the most attention, it's catcher Miguel Montero, and that's not a bad thing.
• Diamondbacks people make a reasonable case why Upton had to go, but they also talk about how talented he is. Getting rid of your most talented player is always a risk, even if you're not sure he'll ever make the most of that talent if he stays with you.
• Are the Diamondbacks better than the Giants, who have won two of the last three World Series? Are they as talented as the Dodgers, who have been throwing around money and acquiring as many stars as possible? I don't want to say the Diamondbacks are overmatched in the NL West, but they go into the season with quite a bit to prove.
• Kennedy has a lot of wins, and Brandon McCarthy should prove to be a good pickup. But can the Diamondbacks rotation match up with the Giants and Dodgers? On paper, no, it can't.
So if the rotation isn't dominant, can the offense score enough runs? There are good hitters here, but there aren't superstars. So whether you call it by that name or not, they're going to need a lot of gritty grinding.