Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/19/14

The Diamondbacks completed a miraculous transformation from 2010 to 2011, going from last in the division to first. Their attack was led by a good, young starting rotation, and a potent offense led by MVP candidate Justin Upton. GM Kevin Towers tinkered with his team this offseason, and manager Kirk Gibson has an extremely talented young squad that is looking to repeat as NL West champions.

Diamondbacks on TOC
End of Season Postmortem
Top Ten Prospects
You May Say I'm a Dreamer

Depth Chart (as of 3/26)
C: Miguel Montero
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
2B: Aaron Hill
SS: Willie Bloomquist
3B: Ryan Roberts
LF: Jason Kubel
CF: Chris Young
RF: Justin Upton
SP: Ian Kennedy
SP: Trevor Cahill
SP: Daniel Hudson
SP: Joe Saunders
SP: Josh Collmenter
CL: JJ Putz

New Faces
Jason Kubel is the team's new left fielder, a move that many (myself included) criticized with the presence of the fabulous defensive stylings (and adequate bat) of Gerardo Parra in left last season. Arizona also picked up a new stud starting pitcher in former A's hurler Trevor Cahill, for a package highlighted by potential ace Jarrod Parker. Arizona also strengthened their bullpen by bringing in veteran Takashi Saito.

Departures
Parker was the highlight of the Cahill deal, but fourth outfielder Collin Cowgill was also included in the deal. Arizona didn't lose any starters from their team this offseason, with just quasi-utility man Xavier Nady and failed fifth starter candidates Jason Marquis, Zach Duke, and Micah Owings leaving town.

Impact Rookies
With a pair of soft tossers at the back-end of the Diamondbacks rotation in Joe Saunders and Josh Collmenter, there's a reasonable chance that those two will lose their jobs, with stud prospect Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer waiting in the wings. If Arizona decides that those two are still a little raw, Pat Corbin and Wade Miley could get the first shot at rotation jobs.

Position Battles
Nothing overly exciting here. Willie Bloomquist is a placeholder at shortstop until Stephen Drew is fully healed from a broken ankle suffered last year, but Bloomquist could lose playing time to the defensive-minded John McDonald until Drew is ready to roll. I still think Parra could eat playing time from Kubel (especially when Arizona is playing in AL parks during interleague play), but Kubel's contract will likely prevent that from happening.

Injury Concerns
Drew's broken ankle will probably necessitate him missing some time, but he's clearly the starting shortstop, and won't lose any playing time when he's healthy. Arizona has had a healthy spring outside of Drew.

Burning Question
Who is a better comparison for Paul Goldschmidt: Ryan Howard, or Mark Reynoldsr?

Best Case
Arizona pretty much does what it does last year, and suffocates the rest of the NL West with its youth and talent. Justin Upton wins the MVP award, Goldschmidt hits 40 homers, and the Kennedy-Cahill-Hudson trio wins 55 games at the top of the rotation.

Worst Case
Cahill struggles in his transition to the National League, Goldschmidt looks like Mark Reynolds (part two), Kubel is a disaster defensively in left, Drew misses half the season with his ankle, and Aaron Hill looks like the guy he's been for the past couple of seasons with the Blue Jays (which is not good). The Diamondbacks are involved in a dogfight in the NL West with teams much less talented than they are.

Realistic Prediction
I really think this is the best team in the division, and it's not even close. If everything goes according to plan, the Diamondbacks will cruise to a division title. But you know how baseball goes sometimes...not everything happens the way it's supposed to.

[follow]

{loadposition content3} 

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bears to bench Jay Cutler, start Jimmy Clausen

Bo Pelini calls Nebraska AD a ‘c–t’ and ‘p-ssy’

49ers release Ray McDonald

Take your pick: Colin Kaepernick or Derek Carr

Jim Harbaugh to Michigan speculation building

Heat lose a key player with McRoberts out for rest of season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Belichick: Ryan is 'buttering me up' with Hall of Fame praise

Marshall: Bears need to gel and do some kumbaya

Red Sox appear content with rotation despite lack of true ace

Iguodala gets technical for mocking Conley travel

Bo Pelini takes shot at Nebraska during introductory presser

Belichick: Patriots need to play better against the Jets

WATCH: Did Flyers' Giroux wipe boogers on linesman’s back?

Royals sign Edinson Volquez to 2-year deal

12 candidates to replace Paul Chryst at Pitt

Brad Halsey claimed he was on cocaine for Bonds record HR

Wade Miley confident in health, diet after trade from D-Backs

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson lead in 2014 athlete Google searches

Max Scherzer next domino to fall in free agent market

Another "Fire John Idzik' plane flies at Jets practice

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

Report: Some Browns shunned Manziel during pregame

Making an attempt to understand Celtics' priorities

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

RG3 quits social media for season

Each NFL division’s MVP

5 NFLers who must step up in Week 16

Most impressive college hoops teams

Five reasons why FSU is going to win the CFB Playoff

Boxer admits to dive in Rourke bout

FCC heard about Brady's swearing?

Embracing the hate of the Eagles-Cowboys Rivalry

DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.