May 1, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson (23) in the dugout prior to the game with the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE
The Diamondbacks end the first month of the 2012 season in a decent, if not spectacular, position. Normal 'small sample size' disclaimers aside, the Diamondbacks might not be in first in the West, but they're within striking distance. They've endured a few injuries that test the depth of the roster, but nothing season-ending. The pitching overall hasn't been great, but then it started getting better. The offense has been up and down, but that's with some severe under-performers.
People seem impatient, though, even though only one month has been played. Any particular month shouldn't be discarded, as the Red Sox showed last year, but with only one month in the books, there's still a lot more room for the Diamondbacks to change things. Of course, last year's success has spoiled us for expectations, but Arizona fans have been spoiled in April over our brief existence.
The recent years haven't been so kind, and because memory is a fleeting thing, I expected to see mainly losing Aprils. Everyone remembers the glorious April of 2008, but the years following were all under .500.
In reality, the Diamondbacks have a pretty good history of April starts. Of the 15 seasons Aprils the Diamondbacks have had a winning record now in 8 of them. It hasn't been all consistent, though. The first 6 seasons saw 4 of the .500 Aprils, followed by a run of poor starts, followed by a couple years of 2007 and 2008 with winning baseball.
It'll be difficult to beat the April of 2008, when the team roared off to a .704 winning percentage, but the 2000 season was pretty close. The D-backs had a .640 April, though it should also be noted that both seasons didn't end up meaning much.
The good news is that of the 5 playoff years, the Diamondbacks have had a winning April in 4 of them. Of course, that just means that the other 4 years didn't result in a postseason berth.
As last year made clear, it's hard to judge a team by the opening month simply because the roster isn't likely to be the same for the entirety of the year. We're already seeing how the D-backs could be different and we're barely into the second month. If Wade Miley and Pat Corbin continue to bolster the back-end of the rotation, then we might see more winning months. Now if we could just get more consistent hitting...