Well it's been over 30 games so far this season and the Arizona Diamondbacks are below .500 in the standings at 14-18. At this point, the D-Backs' record isn't a cause for much concern. The season is very long and there is definitely opportunity for the team to turn it around. If memory serves me right, the D-Backs were in the similar situation last season at this point in the season.
But, there are some concerns that should be talked about. First, the bullpen is not as untouchable as it was last season so far. J.J. Putz hasn't had the best start to the season. Yesterday, May 9th, he gave up 4 earned runs in 2/3 of an inning to the St. Louis Cardinals when his team was already down in the 9th inning and it put the game out of reach. David Hernandez has also not been as solid as he was last year. It will be interesting to see if the bullpen can improve, especially when Takashi Saito comes off of the DL.
Secondly, there have been injuries to some key players on the D-Backs roster. Chris Young, who was carrying the team offensively, was put on the DL with a shoulder injury. Whoever thought that Chris Young would have such a great start to the year? (I know I didn't) He made some adjustments to his swing and it made all of the difference; the biggest thing that I noticed was that he wasn't popping the ball up all that much. Last year, it seemed that every out that he made was either a pop out or a strike out. Getting Young back will definitely be a boost for the offense and provide some protection for Justin Upton and Miguel Montero. Another injury was to starter Daniel Hudson, who was sidelined with a shoulder injury. Getting Hudson back would definitely help the rotation; he has really pitched well since he arrived in Arizona. What will be interesting when Hudson returns is who will stay in the rotation, Wade Miley or Patrick Corbin. Also, don't forget about Stephen Drew whose injury last year is still affecting the team this year. It's hard to expect Drew to come back and immediately make a drastic impact in the lineup, but I would be more comfortable with Drew in it than Willie Bloomquist and John McDonald.
Last but not least, the entire D-Backs offense needs to step it up. They seem to be striking out frequently and when runners get on, they're not doing much to advance the runners; not many sacrifice bunts or productive outs. There are certain players that have affected the lack of offense. Justin Upton, who some said might win the MVP this year, has had a terrible start to the season. He is batting .235 with 3 HR's and 9 RBI. He didn't even hit his first home run until the series against the Miami Marlins, I believe. Yes, there is still plenty of time left in the season, but this team can't afford to fall too far behind the rest of the pack. Miguel Montero also needs to get back to a productive level. Montero's biggest problem this year is that he seems to be trying to hard to drive in runs. When runners are on base, it looks like he is trying to hit a home run every time. What he needs to realize, is that a simple base hit can drive in a run. Sure, if he hit a home run that would be great, but over-swinging will not lead to him hitting a home run. Paul Goldschmidt is struggling at the plate. The powerful, young first baseman only has 1 HR on the year, which came on opening day against the Giants. There have also been some rumors going around involving the D-Backs third base issues. Ryan Roberts has been struggling all around this year so the coaching staff has turned to Cody Ransom, who has played very well. The rumor is that Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis may be on the trading block, and are the D-Backs interested in trading for him.
So I leave you all with this question: Should the D-Backs trade for Kevin Youkilis, stick with Roberts and Ransom, or should they look to upgrade another positon? Vote on the poll below and write a comment about any other thoughts you have about the D-Backs this year. Thanks everyone!