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San Francisco Giants: Who’s New to the Rivalry, Part 1

Mar 4, 2016; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) throws in the first inning during a spring training game against the Oakland Athletics at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2016; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) throws in the first inning during a spring training game against the Oakland Athletics at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
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Fans of the San Francisco Giants certainly know Clayton Kershaw as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ answer to Madison Bumgarner, and that Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt terrorizes Giants pitchers. But beyond the faces of these rival franchises, there are plenty of other players in the National League West who cause problems for the Giants.

And of course, every year these teams re-tool through free agency, trades and their farm systems, adding new faces to the divisional rivalry. Here’s a look at the key offseason additions, emerging stars and prospects for each of San Francisco’s divisional foes. First up: Arizona Diamondbacks.

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Zack Greinke is hardly a new face. Rather, last year’s ERA leader just moved from being the Dodgers’ No. 2 starter to being the Arizona’s No. 1.

Coming over from Atlanta via trade, Shelby Miller combines with Greinke and a recuperated Patrick Corbin to make for a significantly improved top of the rotation.

After a breakout 2013, Jean Segura was subpar in his last two seasons with Milwaukee. But the speedy middle infielder is looking rejuvinated this spring.

Tyler Clippard spent much of 2015 as Oakland closer, then was traded to New York in late July, joining the Mets’ bullpen for a World Series run. He brings a career 2.88 ERA to the D-back’s setup role.

Third base is currently Jake Lamb’s to lose. He’s not an entirely new face, having racked up 350 at-bats for Arizona in 2015. But he has the skills to emerge as a potent middle-of-the-order guy. But if he doesn’t…

…Prospect Brandon Drury, also a third baseman, certainly could. In each of his past three minor league seasons, the 23-year-old has batted at least .299 with 40 or more doubles, while hitting as many as 23 home runs. Through Wednesday, his spring OPS is 1.024.

The D-backs outfield appears set, so Peter O’Brien, a former catcher, awaits his chance to offer his immense power to the big league club. He’s hit 60 home runs over the past two seasons while in the minors. And earlier this week he hit a home run that left his bat at 119 mph—the highest exit velocity on a home run recorded since Statcast start keeping track a year ago.

Next: Should the Giants be worried about pitching?

As already mentioned, the first three spots in Arizona’s starting rotation are locked. But the other two spots are less secure and could eventually be taken by touted prospects Archie Bradley and Braden Shipley.

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