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Diamondbacks Ups and Downs: April 27th-May 3rd Edition

Pleased to meet you, J.J. My name is Henry and I've actually been with the team since the season started.
Pleased to meet you, J.J. My name is Henry and I've actually been with the team since the season started.

The D-backs split the last six games with some impressive play. On the other hand, some disappointing pitching and a collective team batting avg. of .226 prevented any chance at posting a more appealing record. The offense outscored their opponents 28-25, but the Cubs proved to be to big a thorn to simply dispose of.

So come and join us after the jump for a look at this week's trends...

And here we go:

Rotation Trend Notes
Ian Kennedy Ian followed up his first career shutout with a quality start in a 5-3 loss to the Cubs. He finished with a line of 7.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, and 6 K's. Ian induced a season high 12 ground balls and raised his SO/BB rate to 3.56. He's surely not the typical "ace" of a rotation, but that's what he's doing right now for this team.
Daniel Hudson Hudson picked up his second win of the year despite giving up 4 doubles to the Cubs. He allowed three runs on eight hits while striking out five and only walking one in the contest. Most importantly, he escaped the first inning without allowing any runs. Recently, blue bulldog examined Hudson's pitch f/x and reassured everyone that we need not worry. His FIP continues to emphasize that thought as it's a sparkling 2.80.
Joe Saunders Joe gave us all sorts of mixed signals in his last two outings. Last Wednesday, he walked a season low one and struck out a season high eight Phillies in 5.2 innings. Unfortunately, he also allowed three doubles, ten hits, six runs, and two home runs. When he wasn't striking out batters he was getting clocked. Then comes the most recent outing against a potent Rockies team. Although he walked three (17 walks in six outings, yuck) and only struck out two, he kept the game in check and left with the game tied at 3-3 after six innings.
Barry Enright Zavada's Moustache recently suggested in his Series Preview that we shouldn't "read too much into his 6.2 inning, 2 run start last time out against the Cubs." With the huge cushion he had it's understandable to be skeptical but for now we have to give kudos to Enright for throwing his best game of the year. 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO. A 4:4 SO/BB isn't very flattering but he got the job done.
Armando Galarraga
Armando continues to allow home runs at a blistering pace. He allowed three more in a 2-4 loss to the Cubs and raised his total on the year to 11. That puts Galarraga solely in first place in the entire league for home runs allowed. Second place is Luke Hochevar at ten, who has two more starts on Armando.
Zach Duke Still hurt: 15-Day DL retroactive to March 22 due to a broken left hand. His timetable is being called a "late May" return and Kirk Gibson recently said he would like to see him reach a pitch count of 100 in a rehab start before rejoining the team.


J.J. Putz Somewhat of a stumble for Putz recently as he allowed runs in back-to-back appearances against the Phillies and Cubs. He was pegged for the loss after allowing the go-ahead runs to score in the top of the ninth inning against Chicago and he gave up his first home run of the year to Ryan Howard in a low leverage outing against Philadelphia. Meanwhile, he picked up two more saves and is still a perfect 7/7.
David Hernandez Hernandez appeared in four of the six games for the D-backs picking up his third hold and first win along the way. In just over three innings of work he struck out four and allowed two hits. A couple of walks in his most recent outing helped put him in a bases-loaded jam but he escaped without any damage. His ERA now sits at 1.88.
Juan Gutierrez
We haven't seen Guti since last Wednesday when he gave up a run and walked two in an inning of work against the Phillies.
Sam Demel Like Guti, we haven't seen Demel since last Wednesday. He threw five pitches to record one out and stranded two inherited runners.
Aaron Heilman 15-Day DL stint retroactive to April 14th due to right shoulder tendinitis. The Diamondbacks Team Report on Yahoo! informed us that he threw 35 pitches in a simulated game May 1 and appears to be close to returning from the disabled list. The D-backs will decide whether to have him throw to hitters one more time, either in a simulated game or an extended spring training game, before activating him.
Kameron Mickolio***
Three innings pitched, three earned runs allowed. All of a sudden Kam hasn't struck out any batters in his last five innings. It looks like that's a good reason why he's getting his bell rung.
Joe Paterson Did not appear in any games. The over/under on how many innings he'll pitch by the end of the season is currently at 10.
Esmerling Vasquez Again, I have to admit that I have been increasingly impressed with Vasquez this season. He had a hiccup in an outing against the Cubs where he hit a batter and allowed a run on two hits but he was exceptional in his last outing against the Rockies. He kept his composure in a tie game and added two more strike outs to his stats. His curveball has been filthy and it looks like he's struttin' some confidence.
Josh Collmenter Threw a career high 42 pitches in some mop-up duty in the 11-2 Cubs mauling. He's pitched a scoreless and hitless 3.1 innings with 4 strike outs and one walk since last Wednsday.


Miguel Montero As Miggy continues to struggle to find his offense again, Henry Blanco has seen a small spike in playing time. Montero only hit .235 in his last five games but drilled a home run and hit a pair of doubles to help sport an acceptable .807 OPS.
Juan Miranda Calling Miranda a starter is quickly becoming more difficult each day. Miranda still hasn't found consistent playing time but hasn't done much to earn it either. He hit his second career triple in a pinch hit against the Phillies but hasn't got a hit since (0-4). Only seeing 8 at-bats dating all the way back to April 23rd, one has to wonder whether or not Juan will stick around for the entire season.
Kelly Johnson
KJ still hasn't found his touch despite drawing more walks. 1-15 in his last six games.
Stephen Drew
Drew's grand slam against the Cubs was historic but, unfortunately, also marked the only extra base hit that Drew would have. Take out the home run and Stephen hit a nary 3-20 with a 4:3 BB:K rate.
Ryan Roberts Regression? Ryan Roberts don't need no steenkin' regression. His OPS of .938 was third best on the team for the week with ten or more at-bats and he walked a handsomely 4:1 BB:K. He's already sporting a 1.2 WAR in only 23 games.
Gerardo Parra
Fairly quiet week for Parra as he hit just 2-15. He walked five times which is nice to see even if two of them were intentional. Meanwhile, his defense is still the best we have for LF.
Chris Young Thanks to a couple of good days against Chicago and Philadelphia, Young sported the best slash line of the team - .304/.407/.696 for a 1.103 OPS. He hit a pair of home runs and notched his first stolen base of the year.  Also, something we'll be keeping a close eye on, he dropped his IFFB% a couple of points to 18.5%.
Justin Upton Upton made some nice defensive plays along with a nice slash line of .286/.400/.667 with a 1.067 OPS. The walk rates continue to go the other way though 2:8 BB:K.


Willie Bloomquist 15-Day DL retroactive to April 22nd due to a strained right hamstring. He hit in a simulated game May 1 and likely will do that again before going on a rehab assignment.
Melvin Mora
Mora's getting some playing time but isn't doing much with it. He hit for a 5-20 clip but was caught stealing, had a 1:6 BB:K rate, and performed poorly in high leverage at-bats.
Russell Branyan Gibson is just waiting for someone to take grasps of the 1B job and it seems like he's been giving Branyan the biggest bulk of opportunities to do so. Branyan has been decent this year but has faded some recently getting on base at a mediocre .308 clip.
Xavier Nady Nady's bases loaded heroics against the Rockies probably won him some more playing time but he's still looking to find his groove. Xavier posted one of the more aesthetic slash lines I've seen in a while with a .300/.300/.300 for a .600 OPS in his last four games.
Geoff Blum 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 Blanco lit up the hearts of many old folks with his awesome performance against the Rockies. He got his first hit, double, and home run as a D-back in route to his second win as a starter. Curiously, Joe Saunders started that game as well.
Josh Wilson 0-1


***Optioned to Triple-A