Welcome to my National League West preview series, where I’ll be breaking down the series history and key offseason moves for each division rival of the Colorado Rockies.
Before I begin, I want to clarify that I’ll be looking at each team since the beginning of 2017, when the Colorado Rockies’ current contention window, as well as current core, began. I’ll kick things off with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Of the four other teams in the NL West, Colorado has the most even head-to-head record with the Diamondbacks over the last three seasons. A quick search on Baseball-Reference.com shows that the Rockies sit one game over .500, with a 29-28 record, in that time against the snakes.
Arizona was one of the most active teams on the trade and free-agent market during the offseason. The club signed free agent starter Madison Bumgarner to bolster a rotation that was worth 11 fWAR and posted an ERA of 4.23 in 2019, per FanGraphs. The team also whiffed 8.74 hitters per nine innings, the 12th-highest mark in MLB.
Bumgarner, entering his 12th year in the Major Leagues, is still only 30 years old and remains one of the more effective hurlers in the game. His 3.2 fWAR season last year was his most valuable since 2016 when he posted a mark of 4.3.
He also provides proven playoff experience and success (his incredible one run in 21 innings showing in the 2014 World Series) for a clubhouse desperate for a deep postseason run. In all likelihood, the North Carolina native will slide into the top spot in the Diamondbacks rotation.