Diamondbacks Ups and Downs: May 18th-May 24th Edition

The Diamondbacks cruised to the tune of a 6-1 record over the past week. Although the bullpen imploded, the offense woke up and started to produce. The D-backs averaged 5.1 runs per game during the stretch but only outscored their opponents by two runs: 36-34. 

For a complete breakdown and shakedown, 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 Ian had his worst outing since April 13th when he was torched by the St. Louis Cardinals. Unfortunately, it was merely a product of being squeezed by the home plate umpire. It looks as if the bottom of the zone was flat-out not going to concede any called strikes. In any case, Ian worked around it and still finished with a respectable line of six hits and four earned runs allowed through 7.2 innings. Two of those runs were allowed by Aaron Heilman in relief, however. In the end, Kennedy picked up his fifth win and is still throwing strikes like a beast. Against Minnesota, 76% of his fastballs were thrown for a strike. That. Is. Awesome.
Daniel Hudson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Hudson is no longer a "losing" pitcher as he picked up his fifth win of the year to bring his record to 5-5. Like I noted last week, Hudson has this unusual trend of picking up a decision in every start. Currently, he is the only pitcher in the league to do so (minimum of 7 starts). His most recent win came via an eight hit, two-run outing in 8 innings of work against the Twins. He had six strikeouts and zero walks, and for the first time this season his GB/FB ratio was leaning toward groundballs - 13/12.
Joe Saunders http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Joe started the week for us on a good note and ended the week on an even better note. Two very impressive outings from Saunders against the Braves and Rockies surely has some of us grinning. Here's his lines:

Against the Braves: 6 IP/ 7 H/ 1 ER/ 2 BB/ 1 SO

Against the Rockies: 8 IP/ 6 H/ 2 ER/ 1BB/ 4 SO

That's good stuff. Most importantly, he gave the team a much-much-much needed lengthy outing in the second game of the doubleheader against Colorado. We'd all like to see a bigger improvement in that BB:K rate, but it appears as if he's slowly coming around. Here's to hoping we see more of the same from Joey.
Barry Enright ***
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Enright had his best outing down in Reno this past week. He went seven innings, allowing only five hits and two earned runs. He continues to walk no more than one batter per outing, but he was tabbed for another home run. As long as he keeps up the low walk rate, the home runs aren't going to be a big issue.
Armando Galarraga #
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png The rest of the league saw Armando on the waivers list and said, "no way" so he was subsequently ourtrighted to Triple-A and should resume pitching again soon. It's kind of funny, though, a guy who was leading the MLB in home runs allowed now gets to pitch in the PCL.
Josh Collmenter
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png People are starting to buzz about Collmenter. FangraphsBaseball Nation, and even John Sickels of Minor League Ball all mentioned the tomahawking pitcher this past week. Meanwhile, Collmenter cut through the Braves lineup without any struggles, allowing only two hits and no runs after six innings in his second start of the year. Then he hit a road block in Colorado and was slammed for five hits and five runs. To his credit, Gibson pulled him after 4.1 innings and Kam Mickolio let all three inherited runners cross the plate. I would have liked to see Josh wiggle out of his own jam, but at 87 pitches, easily a career high, Gibby decided to change it up.
Micah Owings
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Owings had a relatively decent start in his return to Arizona. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits but was tagged for a pair of home runs.
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. Rehab has begun.



Bullpen

J.J. Putz
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Putz hasn't allowed a hit in his last three outings and he picked up four more saves over the week to bring his season total to a flawless 13/13.
David Hernandez
After throwing two perfect frames in a close 5-4 win against the Braves, Hernandez followed up his performance by... completely collapsing two days later against the Minnesota Twins. Hernandez faced four batters, never recording an out, while allowing an inherited run to score. He walked three of the four batters he faced and the one hit he allowed, that was a double. Let's just forget about that.
Juan Gutierrez
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Gutierrez appeared in only two outings and was considerably miserable in each of them. However, facing the Rockies, he left the game with what has been reported as "shoulder stiffness." If Gutierrez were to go on the DL, I'd imagine Owings would slide to the bullpen with Duke taking his spot in the rotation.
Sam Demel
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png 15-Day DL retroactive to May 22 due to shoulder tendinitis. Demel was on a roll before being injured. He hadn't allowed a hit or a run in his past 4.2 innings of work and his ERA had dropped to 1.72. Even with a lot of his outings coming in low-pressure situations, Demel was getting outs. He was replaced by Kam Mickolio.
Aaron Heilman
I wish I could put up two red arrows for Heilman. Including inherited runners, Heilman has allowed runs in all four of his last outings for a total of nine runs. That's nine runs in 3 innings of relief, everyone.
Kameron Mickolio
He tossed scoreless innings in each of his last four games at Triple-A so he was called upon to replace Demel. Kam then promptly allowed all three inherited runners to score in his first appearance.
Joe Paterson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png The streak is over for Paterson. He allowed only one hit in an outing against the Twins on May 21st and Aaron Heilman allowed the runner to score. Paterson has been a little more wild lately, walking a pair of batters in his most recent outing and allowing a pair of inherited runners to score himself. His 5:10 BB:K rate isn't as flattering as it was in the past.
Esmerling Vasquez
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Vasquez blew the lead in the 7th inning in a game against the Braves but countered the next day with a huge one-out relief appearance. With the D-backs leading 2-0 in the 8th inning, the Braves had runners on 2nd and 3rd base with 2 outs. Vasquez was called upon to record the final out, a day after blowing the lead against the same team. He induced a weak groundball to end the threat and the D-backs eventually won the game. Esmerling continues to prove himself as a reliable tool for the late innings.


Starters


Miguel Montero
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Miggy was solid posting a slash line of .300/.333/.350. His OPS of .683 wasn't all that special, but Miggy was decent enough on defense and hitting to get by this week without any harm being done.
Juan Miranda
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Juan Miranda finally backed up Kevin Towers' assumptions as he torched the ball for a line of .571/.647/1.143 for a crazy 1.790 OPS in just under 20 at-bats. He hit a home run, a triple (nearly a home run), and three doubles. He also sported a comfortable 2:2 BB:K rate and tacked on five RBIs. He's had to sit the last few games due to a sore wrist but it isn't believed to be serious.
Kelly Johnson
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png I said last week that we should start worrying about KJ but I was wrong. Hard hittin' Kelly Johnson is back and he's producing at a steady clip - .280/.333/.640 for a .973 OPS in 25 at-bats. His batting average has bumped up to .198, the highest it has been since April 11th. Johnson picked up 9 RBIs during this past stretch, most notably from his go-ahead grand slam against the Twins. Even the strike outs are down - only three more were added.
Stephen Drew
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Drew is striking out more often but he homered for the first time since April 28th and, like much of the offense, is hitting at a much more appealing clip - 6 hits in 21 at-bats for a .890 OPS.
Ryan Roberts
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Roberts stole his 6th and 7th bases of the year, proving that he's more than just an asset at the plate. He continues to hit for average - .280 this past week - and he's still getting on base more than anyone else on the team - .395 OBP on the season. His 25:23 BB:K rate is a pleasure to look at. He's been making some fine gems at 3B as well. You can't ask much more from him.
Gerardo Parra
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Parra continues to shine and improve as he took a 3:2 BB:K rate from the week. Granted, two of those walks were intentional, it's still nice to see. He's still hitting well, 6 hits in 18 at-bats, but his biggest key for the team is his defense. Parra has been amazing in the outfield this year, as Fangraphs has him at a collective 7.1 UZR in the OF this season.
Chris Young With the rest of the offense reeling, Young struggled to get on base. Despite the one home run, Young only managed an unimpressive line of .200/.286./.400. He was also caught stealing for the fourth time this season, dropping his success percentage to 43%.
Justin Upton
Upton fell back into his slump after playing well a week ago. He had only 4 hits in 24 at-bats but drew more walks than strike outs (3:2) for the first time since the third week of the season. He was part of a successful double steal, however, and two more stolen bases has brought his season total up to 7 which is nice to see.



Bench


Willie Bloomquist
Willie is finally back but is almost a forgotten soul with the solid play from Parra and Roberts being a daily thing. Willie has yet to find that opening week touch as he only mustered 3 hits in 14 at-bats and was caught stealing twice.
Melvin Mora
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Mora went on the bereavement list for a few days and despite a few bad jokes from some of the fans he returned to the tune of his first multiple-hit game since May 8th and his first multiple-RBI game of the season. His OPS still sits at .617, however.
Sean Burroughs
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Russel Branyan out - Sean "LOL" Burroughs in. Burroughs made his first major league start and his first major league appearance this past week in more than four years. He's gone 0-7 in five games with the D-backs.
Xavier Nady
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png With Juan Miranda's injury and Branyan's departure, Nady is the 1B right now and he's responded by putting up a decent .728 OPS. He's had a few clutch RBIs and hasn't struck out in his last 17 plate appearances.
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 No home runs this time for Blanco - in two games he had just 2 hits in 7 at-bats.

 

***Optioned to Triple-A

# Designated for Assignment and subsequently outrighted to Triple-A

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