Diamondbacks Ups and Downs: May 4th-May 10th Edition

Another six games are in the books and the D-backs saw plenty of action along the way. Barry Enright was sent to Triple-A, a four hour game was won against Colorado, and the Hudson/Kennedy duo outperformed the now renowned Haren/Weaver duo. Unfortunately, the offense could only muster 3.2 runs per game during the stretch and the team would ultimately limp away with a 2-4 record.

There's a lot to discuss this week so come and join us after the jump for a look at this week's trends...

And here we go:

Rotation Trend Notes
Ian Kennedy http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png I just can't stop saying enough good things about Ian Kennedy. He continues to throw strikes at an above-average rate (65%) and he's suddenly inducing more groundballs and GDP's than he ever has (41% GB). The best part about all of it is the fact that his BABIP is actually slightly higher than it was last year at .260. The guy can pitch. He recently went toe-to-toe with Tim Lincecum and matched his outing with an eight inning gem, allowing 4 hits while walking 3 and striking out eight. He escaped jams, executed crucial strike outs, and got the groundballs whenever he needed them. I just can't stop saying enough good things about him.
Daniel Hudson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Hudson has put away his early season struggles and is now pitching like the boss that he was last year. He's lowered his ERA to 4.47 and dropped his FIP even further to 2.59. His command is back, only walking one in his last three outings, and he matched Kennedy's performance with a 7 inning shutout of his own against the Padres. So how good is the combo of Hudson and Kennedy? Well, together they combine for a 2.7 WAR. In comparison, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain combine for only 2.6 WAR. How about that?
Joe Saunders Saunders is trying his absolute best not to be a Diamondback by the time the season is over. He's yet to make it through seven innings and he pitched another mediocre outing against a really weak San Diego offense. He had a 3:3 BB:K rate while allowing a home run and four runs off of five hits... at PETCO Park. The guy who Jerry DiPoto clamored about, saying Saunders "knows how to win" is now 0-4 with a 5.72 ERA in seven starts. He's tied for 10th in the league with 20 walks allowed and he hasn't shown any signs of letting up.
Barry Enright ***
Despite our love for him we have to bid adieu to Enright for the time being. After another slumpy start in which he allowed four walks, six runs, six hits, and only one strike out after five innings, KT decided to let Barry experience the Reno lifestyle. We wish him all the luck in figuring out whatever mechanical flaw was plaguing him.
Armando Galarraga
Good news everyone, Armando didn't allow a home run for the first time this season! Instead, he allowed six walks in only 4.1 innings against, you guessed it, the San Diego Padres. Despite allowing only three hits, the walks crippled any chance he had at a victory. With Micah Owings pitching relatively well in Reno, one has to start wondering if we'd be better off releasing Galarraga and bringing up the similarly productive (and better offensive) pitcher in Owings.
Zach Duke
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Almost unhurt: 15-Day DL retroactive to March 22 due to a broken left hand. Duke is expected to throw 45 pitches in another extended spring training outing. Beyond that, he will play in a few minor league games and should then return to the show before the end of May.



Bullpen

J.J. Putz
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png A bit of a shame that we haven't been able to see Putz in more save chances this season. The D-backs are tied for the 2nd fewest save opportunities in the league with only 10 to date. In the meantime, Putz pitched a perfect frame in the tenth inning of an overtime game against Colorado.
David Hernandez
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Hernandez hit a bit of a road bump in his last few appearances. Suddenly, he's walking batters at an unappealing rate (5 walks in his last 3.1 innings) but managed to escape jams with some clutchy strike outs. This wasn't the case in his most recent outing against the Giants when he walked the go-ahead run and gave up the game winning walk-off single in a 2-2 game in the 9th inning.
Juan Gutierrez
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png The San Diego offense may have been just what the doctor prescribed for Gutierrez. In two outings against the weak Padres, he pitched two innings of clean baseball with two strike outs.
Sam Demel
Demel pitched in his third consecutive game earlier in the week in an extra-inning duel against the Padres. Despite throwing only 12 pitches and pitching well in the two games prior, Demel struggled against the Padres and walked in the game winning run in the 11th inning. He's still been solid on the year with a 3.27 ERA and only one home run allowed in 11 innings, but he couldn't hit the strikezone when he needed it most at the end of a long ball game.
Aaron Heilman
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Heilman returned to action this past week and took Enright's spot on the roster. He's already pitched two scoreless frames and most surprisingly, hit the strike zone consistently. In his most recent outing against the Padres, 9 of the 11 pitches thrown were strikes. For now, though, I'll reserve a green arrow until we see more of him.
Kameron Mickolio ***
Starting to fall off of the face of the earth. He rebounded some of his lackluster performances from the last trending article with a pair of solid outings last week. He then fell apart after taking the mound with a 5-3 lead in the 7th inning. He faced five batters and couldn't record an out, allowing four hits, three runs, and a walk.
Joe Paterson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Paterson continues his scoreless streak as he pitched 2.2 innings of hitless baseball. His BB:K rate improved to 3:8 and he hasn't allowed a hit in his last eight outings dating back to April 13th.
Esmerling Vasquez
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png More of the same from Vasquez albeit a little more wild. He walked a pair of batters and hit one against the Padres but kept the San Diego offense quiet beyond that. His ERA drops to 2.19 and he's become another nice tool in this much improved bullpen.
Josh Collmenter
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Collmenter continues to dazzle and is expected to make his first career start on Saturday. He pitched 3.2 scoreless innings in his last two outings and will most likely be spared from here on until Saturday.


Starters


Miguel Montero
Much like in the last trending article, Miggy is scattering hits here and there and is still getting by with a single every now and then. Unlike last week, however, is that he only had one extra base hit, dropping his OPS on the season fifity points from .859 to .806. Meanwhile, Beyond the Box Score ranked Miggy as one of the worst defensive catchers ahead of only Miguel Olivo and Josh Thole.
Juan Miranda
Gibson has started to give Miranda consistent playing time as Juan has started five of the last six games. Miranda answered the calling by posting a slash line of .222/.364/.444 for a .808 OPS. That's not horrible, heck it's even decent enough to get regular playing time, but Miranda has made numerous mistakes on the basepaths and has still shown very little power at the plate. The D-backs are probably going to be plenty patient with him, but with big power guys like Branyan, Allen, and Goldschmidt all candidates to get the job, Miranda is going to have to step it up.
Kelly Johnson
A bit of a rest for KJ seems to have helped him, even if it is only the slightest of improvements. He went 4-19 in his last five games with a home run and improved slightly on his plate discipline with only five strike outs. He's had nearly 130 at-bats now so hopefully he's approaching the light at the end of the tunnel sooner rather than later.
Stephen Drew
More offensive struggles for Drew could be linked to another lingering injury (groin tightness, yuck) that kept him out of action for a pair of games. He hit a measly 3-14 with all three hits being one basers. The defense is still solid and the walk rates are still good so hopefully the slump is only a mirage.
Ryan Roberts
Roberts has slowed down in the past week and Gibby has stepped in by giving Melvin Mora a little more playing time in his place. Roberts batted a meager 3-18, and much like Drew, could not get past first base.
Gerardo Parra
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Parra breaks the string of terrible offense with a solid week. He posted a line of .250/.400/.450 going 5-20 with a double and a home run. Even more impressive is that, hold on to your hats, he walked five times. He has half as many walks as he did last year and we're only 29 games in.
Chris Young Thankfully, his IFFB% continues to plummet (down to 15.6%) but unfortunately so does his offense. Young batted 4-28 and struck out at a rate of 3:6 BB:K. He picked up his second stolen base but was also caught stealing for the second time as well.
Justin Upton
With the D-backs begging for some offense Upton declined to accept the role. Upton went 4-25 and, most frustratingly, continues to swing at strike three too often. It's simply not the strike outs that are annoying, it's the timing of them (when there's an opportunity to advance a runner) and the location of the pitches he's swinging at. He's just another D-back player in the middle of a slump.



Bench


Willie Bloomquist
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png 15-Day DL retroactive to April 22nd due to a strained right hamstring. Still awaiting a rehab assignment.
Melvin Mora
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Mora's hitting the ball better than most D-backs right now but continues to struggle in high-leverage at-bats. His slash line for the season is a boring .286/.307/.329.
Russell Branyan
Five games, five pinch-hit appearances, zero hits. Some of that spring training and opening season charm is fading away.
Xavier Nady
Four games, six at-bats, zero hits.
Geoff Blum
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Hurt: 15-Day DL stint retroactive to March 22 due to right knee surgery. Best case scenario sees Blum back on the field in early June.
Henry Blanco
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Nada baseball for Blanco.
Josh Wilson
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Saw some playing time in place of Drew and was actually the most productive player off of the bench this past week. He went 2-8 with an RBI and a run.

 

***Optioned to Triple-A

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