And, no, seven of them do not consist of naming the current menbers of the bullpen, credible and statistically correct though that may be. But as a counter to Zephon's well-argued list of reasons why we should step down off the Ledge of Doom, here are my justifications for why we should be running, lemming-like, towards the precipice.
Won't you please join me, after the literal and metaphorical jump...
- A bullpen fundamentally incapable of getting outs. Their collective line this year is .289/.377/.514, an OPS of .891 Basically, when our relievers arrive, they turn opposing hitters into Adrian Gonzalez (career numbers: .281/.364/.505).
- An offense which, as documented last night, can only hit fastballs, and have now been discovered as such. Until they show they can either hit or lay off breaking balls and change-ups, things won't get any better. Team OPS+ is down to 100. With our pitching (ERA+ 81), that won't get it done.
- A left-field with a collective tOPS+ of just 59: Conor Jackson has one home-run since July 2008, and has hit .235 over 357 at-bats since then. What happened to Dominican CoJack?
- Justin Upton hitting .229 - in other words, while Chris Young has almost turned into Justin Upton (OPS+ going from 80 to 120), J-Up has turned into sub-Chris Young (OPS+ 126 to 79). Except Young never led the league in strikeouts.
- Speaking of Young, a BABIP of .359 is not sustainable, given his career average is .282. The same goes for Stephen Drew, whose .372 BABIP is far in excess of his overall number of .307. They will regress to the norm.
- About 15% of our salary bill is going to an outfielder who is only capable of playing softball in a beer league. Another 10% is going to a pitcher who hasn't thrown a meaningful pitch in 13 months, and whose return and effectiveness are both severely uncertain.
- Edwin Jackson. Walks and HRs up, strikeouts down, and allowing hits at a career-high rate.
- Dan Haren has already allowed 26 earned runs. Last year, his 26th earned run came on June 24th. And over his career, his ERA has been a run higher in the second half.
- No help from the farm system. There's hardly anyone there who can be expected to be ready for the majors before 2012.
- No trade chips. Chris Snyder is about the only player on the block who might draw some interest, but the contract extension seriously limits the teams who might be interested.
- Finally, Baseball Prospectus says the Playoff Odds for the Diamondbacks are already only 1.7%, ahead of just the Pirates and Astros.