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Diamondbacks Ups and Downs: April 13-19th

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I'm pinch-hitting for Sprankton this week, as we examine the movers and shakers on the Diamondbacks roster over the past seven days. With off-days on Thursday and Monday, we only have five games to look at, but that's enough for a trip around the rotation and a couple of roster moves in the bullpen - one forced, one by choice. Arizona lost the first three games, but bounced back to take the series finale against the Giants, and then scratched out another one-run victory over the Reds last night. So who are climbing the ladders and who are going down the chutes?

All stats are for April 13-19th.

Rotation Trend Notes
Ian Kennedy Ouch. That's the best way to describe Kennedy's start. "A better question would be, 'What was working?'" - that was Ian's answer when asked after the game what wasn't working. "I was off on pretty much everything, starting with my command," he said. "The curveball was getting over, but nothing else was. I really was just battling against myself. It was pretty bad." Let's move on. We shall not speak of this again.
Daniel Hudson "He's due a win soon." wrote Sprankton in last week's report, and I could just copy and paste that here. The lack of run support has been startling: in his 19 innings on the mound, AZ  have scored just one run for him. He really only made one bad pitch against the Giants, but Panda the Buffet Slayer deposited it in the bleachers, and that was all SF needed.
Joe Saunders Saunders continues to get pounded like an [inappropriate term] in a [inappropriate term] film. In 15.2 innings, he has allowed 23 hits as well as ten walks, with only six K's. He's pretty lucky his ERA is in single digits, and any hopes of some kind of mid-season trade seem to be fading fast.
Barry Enright Through his first five frames, Enright was almost untouchable, but he fell apart in the sixth, and it ended up being his shortest outing of the year. His old nemesis, the home-run, was the problem here, but he did strikeout a season-high five batters.
Armando Galarraga Through three inning last night, it looked like another wobbly outing by Galarraga, but the 4th-6th innings were as impressive as any of our starters have worked this year, and - unlike his first two starts - he fully deserved his third win. Now, about that base-running and bunting, Armando...
Zach Duke Still hurt: 15-Day DL retroactive to March 12 due to a broken left hand. Steve Gilbert reported on the 17th that Duke "is continuing to play long toss to rebuild arm strength...  The left-hander is up to playing catch from 120 feet. After another week or so of that, he could be ready to start throwing bullpen sessions."


J.J. Putz Despite a wobble last night, J.J. became the first Diamondbacks closer in franchise history to successfully close out his first four save chances. You can't ask for better than that.
David Hernandez I was really impressed with the way he carved up the heart of a potent Reds line-up - albeit after one run had scored and the tying run was on first. Still needs to cut back on the walks.
Juan Gutierrez Last week, it was "Juan has abruptly plummeted down to the "we despise Guti" status that we once cherished a year ago." This week, he was near-immaculate: in four innings, he allowed two hits, no walks and struck out seven. Go figure.
Sam Demel Only worked one inning last week, albeit a scoreless one.
Aaron Heilman Hit the DL for the first time in his career, with shoulder tendinitis, after getting mauled by St. Louis for six runs in 1.2 innings. Was it possibly a result of the increased workload? He said he "first felt discomfort when he tried to overthrow a pitch in his last start of Spring Training."
Kameron Mickolio
Optioned down to Triple-A after his last outing, and on early showing, won't be back anytime soon - in 3.2 innings for Reno, he has already allowed three home-runs.
Joe Paterson Got his first extended outing throwing mop-up at the end of the 15-5 Cardinals blowout, posting a scoreless inning, but with 1.1 frames of work in this period, can't assign him a grade. We are 1-6 when Joe appears, but it'd be churlish to blame him for that.
Esmerling Vasquez It might be a while till we forget 'that' game in Los Angeles, but he's performed very well since coming up from Triple-A to replace Mickolio. One run in five innings, on three hits, with no walks and five strikeouts.
Josh Collmenter Welcome to the big leagues, Mr. Collmenter. Your first appearance will be in extra innings of a tied game, against the reigning World Series champion. You have fun with that. And he did, getting the W for two perfect frames. Don't go thinking it'll always be that easy, Josh.


Miguel Montero
Cooled off after an insanely-hot start: 4-for-17 since last time, with a .669 OPS. As Sprankton noted, Montero seems to have a case of the yips. Miggy committed his fifth error last night, the most by any player anywhere on the diamond in the NL.
Juan Miranda Only managed six at-bats in the past week, but got a couple of hits. He's still struggling to get playing time, with Branyan and Nady vacuuming up the bulk of starts against RHP and LHP respectively. Free Juan Miranda!
Kelly Johnson
Did home against the Reds, but had another miserable couple of series, going 3-for-20 with one walk and six strikeouts. Got a day off Saturday, Kirk Gibson saying: "We need to get him back to where he's confident and comfortable up there again, so we hope this will help."
Stephen Drew
Drew has also cooled off, like fellow left-hander Montero. He was 5-for-21 with a .654 OPS, but delivered in the clutchiest of clutch situations, giving us a walk-off win on Sunday with an RBI single against the Giants.
Melvin Mora Another health problem - this time his foot - kept Mora out of the line-up for the first game on the road-trip. No truth to the rumor Ryan Roberts stomped on it. But Melvin went 4-for-11 on the week, with his first extra-base knock.
Gerardo Parra
Parra has returned to what we thought he was, i.e. fourth outfielder material. He went 1-for-9 with no walks or extra-base hits post the last report.
Chris Young "He's turned it around and completely earned the right for me to finally buy one of his jerseys." Er, Sprankton: think that might have been a bit premature. Young is 4-for-21 with a team leading seven strikeouts since those words were written. Did you keep the receipt?
Justin Upton .300/.391/.600. Suck it, AZCentral.


Willie Bloomquist
Last week, we speculated here that Bloomquist might be a robot: if so, I'm hoping we still have the manual to hand for some diagnostic checks. With his line of .214/.200/.214, it looks like the much-predicted regression could be in effect.
Ryan Roberts But as one hero falls, another rises, and here comes the tattooed one, seizing his opportunity with both (well-decorated) hands. He went 7-for-15 with two home-runs, and is ideally placed to pick up all the at-bats Willie will no longer be getting.
Russell Branyan Did get to start his 1,000th career game, as Sprankton hoped. Only had two hits in ten at-bats, but did what he was brought in to do against the Cardinals, going deep for his first homer with Arizona. Shame we were 0-12 down at the time.
Xavier Nady One single in seven at-bats, but did walk more times than he struck out (3:2), giving him an OBP of .400 and SLG of .143. I love small sample sizes. And, as far as Nady is concerned, most fans would like to keep his sample sizes small, thank you very much.
Geoff Blum Still hurt: 15-Day DL stint retroactive to March 22 due to knee swelling. "If all goes well, Blum could start out on a rehab assignment at the end of this week, according to D-backs manager Kirk Gibson," says Steve Gilbert. Roster crunch to follow. 
Henry Blanco Joe Saunders had more at-bats last week.