PHOENIX (AP) — The season had not even started when the Arizona Diamondbacks took a loss.
A day before boarding the plane for their season opener in Australia, the Diamondbacks learned scheduled opening-day starter Patrick Corbin had a partially torn ligament in his pitching elbow and might need season-ending surgery.
Arizona went 21-8 in the young left-hander's starts last season, more than a quarter of the victories for a team that went 81-81 for the second year in a row. The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated their NL West title by splashing around in Arizona's Chase Field swimming pool.
Arizona retooled during the offseason by adding power (Mark Trumbo), a veteran starter (Bronson Arroyo) and a young closer (Addison Reed). Even with the loss of Corbin, the Diamondbacks feel they have the components to contend for at least a wild-card berth.
"They really want it," catcher Miguel Montero said. "They're hungry for something, and that's a good feeling. I think last year we were a little bit more laid back. This year the guys are hungry, and that's a good thing."
Trumbo noticed a positive attitude right from the start of spring training.
"That's the personality of the guys here and that plays really well for the course of a long season," he said. "You've got to have guys that play the game right way, but play it with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder and bring it every day."
Here are five things to know about the Diamondbacks as the season begins:
GOLDSCHMIDT'S NEXT ACT: The first baseman will have a hard time matching the numbers of his phenomenal 2013 season — 36 home runs, tied for the NL high, a league-leading 125 RBIs and a Gold Glove.
The breakout performance came in just his second full season; Trumbo was acquired to provide Goldschmidt some protection in the lineup.
Manager Kirk Gibson is confident Goldschmidt can be successful for years to come.
"He forces himself to remain humble," Gibson said, "the way he goes about his business and the way that he shows that humbleness to his teammates, through some of the things he does. He'll always be that way,"
STAY HEALTHY: Many of Arizona's struggles can be traced to injuries.