On Monday the Daimondbacks will begin the 2013 season with only five of last year’s nine opening day starters back in the lineup. Gone from the team are Justin Upton, Chris Young and Ryan Roberts. Willie Bloomquist is still on the roster but injured. Expert’s projections for the D’backs range from first to fourth place in the National League West division.
We may not get to see General Manager Kevin Towers’ vision of club’s new-look until sometime in May. Adam Eaton who is replacing Chris Young in centerfield, and new right fielder Cody Ross both start the season on the disabled list. Super-sub Willie Bloomquist, who was the opening day shortstop each of the last two seasons, also will not play due to injury. That likely means that Gerardo Parra will start in centerfield, perennial prospect A.J. Pollock will play right and newly acquired Chad Pennington will be at shortstop. Arizona’s biggest off-season acquisition, Martin Prado, will become the Diamondbacks tenth opening day third baseman in 16 seasons. He will hit in the lead off spot and become the ninth different opening day lead-off hitter for Arizona. Only Tony Womack (4) had more that two appearances in the top spot in D’backs openers. Returnees from 2012’s opener will be a battery of Miguel Montero behind the plate and Ian Kennedy on the mound; Paul Goldschmidt at first base, Aaron Hill at second and Jason Kubel in left.
Monday’s lid-lifter is set for a 7:10 first pitch at Chase Filed with Adam Wainright taking the mound for the Cardinals and Ian Kennedy going for the Diamondbacks. The three-game series continues with 6:40 starts on Tuesday and Wednesday. Arizona then goes on the road for a three game series in Milwaukee before returning home for a six game home stand against the Pirates (April 8-10) and Dodgers (April 12-14).
Opening Day FAQs:
- All-time opening day: 9-6.
- Home, 5-4; Road, 4-2.
- Streaks: wins- 6, 2007-2002; Losses, 4, 2003-2006.
- Last year: defeated San Francisco, 5-4.
- Most Starts by position: (P) Randy Johnson, 6; (C) Damien Miller, Chris Snyder, Miguel Montero, 3; (1B) Connor Jackson, 3; (2B) Jay Bell, Orlando Hudson, 3; (3B) Matt Williams, 4; (SS) Tony Womack, Stephen Drew, 4; (LF) Luis Gonzalez, 8; (CF) Steve Finley, Chris Young, 6; (RF) Danny Bauista, Justin Upton, 4.