Diamondbacks Ups and Downs: May 11th-May 17th Edition

Juan Miranda. Good at using the force, not good at playing baseball.

The Diamondbacks crawled to a 3-4 record during the past week and in doing so managed to stay out of last place for another day. Meanwhile, one guy was DFA'd, another keeps hitting home runs, and some dude named Ian keeps pitching like a boss.

More of the same for the D-backs; a solid bullpen and an uninspiring offense. Let's take a look at the trends...

And here we go:

Rotation Trend Notes
Ian Kennedy http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Kennedy picked up his fourth win of the year with a quality start against the Dodgers. He threw six innings, allowing one run off of four hits while striking out eight and only walking one. His ERA dropped to 3.05 (2.76 FIP) and he now has a sterling 53:16 K:BB rate. He's tied for 20th best among the league with 53 strikeouts.
Daniel Hudson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Hudson continues his odd streak of picking up a decision in every start to begin the season. For comparison, the guy he faced on Tuesday, Tim Stauffer, only has two decisions in his nine starts. Hudson's ERA continues to drop, now at 4.03 (and his 2.55 FIP is also dropping), as he steadily pushed through games. His HR/FB% is at an unsustainable 2.9% and as a result he's only allowed two home runs this year. Hopefully he can ride it out for as long as possible.
Joe Saunders Saunders lost his fifth game of the year against the Dodgers, spoiling DiPoto's logic even more. He pitched a decent enough game, allowing only six hits and four runs through 6.2 innings. The killer, though, his four walks in the game. Saunders is coming eerily close to having a negative K:BB rate as it now sits at 25:24. His 24 walks has helped prop him among the ten worst in the league for free passes - tied for 10th.
Barry Enright ***
Not a very impressive couple of outings from Enright down in Reno. Despite improving his walk rate - only two walks in 11 innings - he's already allowed three home runs and eight runs off of ten hits. IHSB was reporting earlier in the week that Enright appeared to have been leaving a lot of his pitches up in the zone.
Armando Galarraga #
Galarraga had another miserable outing against the Padres on Monday; a game I was at unfortunately. He allowed eight hits and eight runs after only five innings. Another home run killed him, and after the game he wanted to kill a reporter. As a result of his actions, surely both on and off the field, Galarraga was DFA'd. With the recent mini meltdown in the locker room accompanying a horrid stat line, I'm fairly sure he'll be outrighted to Reno.
Josh Collmenter
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Our newly appointed fifth starter was lights out in his first major league start against the Dodgers. He threw six innings, allowing only two hits and no runs while striking out three. The best part about it - 54 of his 71 pitches were strikes, a 76% strike percentage.
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. Nothing new to report but he is still expected to return before the end of May.



Bullpen

J.J. Putz
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Putz got back-to-back save opportunities against the Dodgers and successfully nailed each one. He allowed a hit and walk in each of his outings, but squeezed by without allowing any runs. He is now a perfect 9/9 in save opportunities.
David Hernandez
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Hernandez recorded back-to-back holds in the same two games that Putz pitched in. His ERA is now at 1.93 and batters are only hitting .214 against him. He continues to be nearly flawless.
Juan Gutierrez
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Here's a fun and interesting note that a lot of you probably weren't aware of - Gutierrez hasn't allowed a run in his last 6.2 innings dating all the way back to April 27th. Sure, a good portion of it has been in "garbage time" but whatever it takes for him to regain his confidence. He recently threw two innings against the Padres in the 8-4 loss, striking out three while allowing only one hit. 
Sam Demel
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Much like Gutierrez, Demel isn't seeing a lot of high-leverage crunch time situations but he's been making the best of his appearances. The last time Demel allowed an earned run - April 11th - 9.1 innings ago. He hasn't allowed a hit in his last 2.2 innings pitched.
Aaron Heilman
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Heilman has been nearly perfect since returning from the DL. He has a 7:1 K:BB rate since then and hasn't allowed any runs in his last five innings. He also had a crucial hold in the 7th inning with the D-backs leading 1-0 against the Dodgers on Saturday.
Kameron Mickolio ***
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Kam went three perfect innings since we last spoke of him, allowing only one hit while striking out four. Unfortunately, with the way our bullpen is looking he's going to need to pitch a lot better and hope for some luck to rejoin the Diamondbacks.
Joe Paterson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png The streak continues for Paterson as three more outings go by without an earned run crossing the plate. He did, however, allow an inherited run to score against the Dodgers, facing only one batter (3 pitches) before being yanked. To date, he's now allowed three inherited runs.
Esmerling Vasquez
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Vasquez continues to shine, dropping his ERA to 1.84 and stranding an inherited runner in his past few outings. He now sports a 12:4 K:BB rate.


Starters


Miguel Montero
Montero's bat continues to be a bit shy and Gibson has shown some wariness by starting Blanco in two of the last six games. Miggy might be on the verge of heating up, though, sporting a .804 OPS during that span and picking up 4 RBIs along the way. Oddly enough, he was also hit by a pitch three times in his last 17 plate appearances. Meanwhile, another throwing error and he's now at 8 total for the year, tops by a landslide among the league for catchers.
Juan Miranda
Miranda is just not getting it done. After it appeared Gibson was ready to give Miranda some consistent playing time, Miranda played poorly and only received one start since then. He continues to struggle, going 1-7 during that span with 5 strike outs.
Kelly Johnson
It's time to really start worrying about Kelly Johnson. He has a 52 OPS+ for the year and is still showing very little signs of recovering. He went 6-29 in his last seven games and had an OPS of .483. He also struck out 14 times bringing his season total to a league leading 52.
Stephen Drew
More struggles from Drew as he could only muster 6 hits in his last seven games. A pair of stolen bases helps ease the pain a bit, but he's just not squaring up the ball well right now.
Ryan Roberts
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Thanks to a steady .421 OBP, Roberts came out on top with a team best .850 OPS in the last seven games. He's not hitting the ball extremely well, only 3 hits in his last 14 at-bats, but he's drawing walks and making quality sacrifices.
Gerardo Parra
Like the rest of the team, Parra was just completely mediocre the past week. A .516 OPS isn't going to win anyone's heart.
Chris Young http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Young had the best overall line of the week  - .320/.357/.440/ for a .797 OPS. Sadly, he only scored two runs despite being on base at such a steady clip.
Justin Upton
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Upton still looks like he's overswinging at pitches and overthinking his at-bats just a tad. He's crawling out his funk though, most noticeably in the last couple of games against the Padres where we watched him go 2-4 on back-to-back nights with a home run and only one strike out. His line of .259/.310/.407 along with a .718 OPS might be a sign of greater things to come.



Bench


Willie Bloomquist
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Activated today but was recently quoted as saying that he was only "90% healthy." We probably won't see him in a game for a few more days.
Melvin Mora
His OPS dropped to .587. That is all.
Russell Branyan
Russel hasn't had a hit in May and is now batting just .197. Brandon Allen was quoted that other day as saying that his "grandmother could do better."
Xavier Nady
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Nady is the clear first baseman of choice right now and is doing a decent enough job to warrant it. He hit his first home run of the year and recorded a .850 OPS in his last five games.
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/217733/up.png Blanco has four home runs in his last 13 at-bats and has an OPS of 1.923 for the month of May. Fans are responding by crazily asking that Montero be traded.
Josh Wilson
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Who?

 

***Optioned to Triple-A

# Designated for Assignment

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