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Diamondbacks Ups and Downs: May Edition

Kennedy looks to destroy another weakling in the batter's box
Kennedy looks to destroy another weakling in the batter's box

We're going to change things up this time and examine the team from a month's perspective. It was a fun month to watch as the Diamondbacks posted a .655 winning percentage, the best month they've had since April 2008. The D-backs went 19-10 and outscored their opponents 133-102.

So join us after the jump to find out who got us there and who tried to hold us back...

And here we go:

Rotation Trend Notes
Ian Kennedy With an insanely strong month of May, Kennedy rose his fWAR to 1.7, nearly matching the 2.4 he put up for the entire 2010 season. At that rate, he is on pace for 6.8 WAR. Ian continued his "ace like" campaign as he posted a 2.43 ERA in six starts while keeping his opponents to a .221 BA and a .646 OPS. He allowed more walks than he did in April - 13 (which averages out to 2.2 per game) but he continued to strikeout batters at a cool 6.94 K/9 rate. He's still throwing strikes above the league average, 65% during May, and despite a minor blip in his last start he looks nearly unstoppable.
Daniel Hudson Hudson has followed in Kennedy's footsteps with some equally impressive numbers. He had a 3.02 ERA in six starts and posted a 32:7 K:BB rate. As we've mentioned over and over, his FIP is still at a mouth watering 2.66 and Hudson has already racked up 2.2 fWAR. He's allowed only one home run in his last 48 innings and he's doing all of this while competing with a .336 BABIP. Keep truckin', Dan Hudson.
Joe Saunders This may be hard for a lot of us to believe but Saunders had a 3.96 ERA in six starts for the month of May. That's the Joe Saunders that we expect to have. He's still doing his same routine, walking more than he should and getting hurt by home runs, but he's been able to bottle some of those issues and Rodrigo Lopez his way out of them. His 19:15 K:BB rate is still a concern, but if he can work around it than it'll do.
Barry Enright *** Enright only had one start in May which ultimately lead to him being optioned to Triple-A. He's pitched very well since then, posting a 4.12 ERA in four starts. He's fixed some of his control issues as well, only walking 3 in 24 innings. The five home runs he's allowed is a bit of a concern, but when a pitcher has a WHIP of 0.83 those home runs tend to not sting as much.
Armando Galarraga #
After doing every possible bad PR move a player could think of, Galarraga ended up finding himself in the Reno dugout. In only three starts, Armando had a 6.75 ERA in 14.2 IP while walking 11, striking out 7, and allowing two home runs. To put it another way, opponents had a .934 OPS against him. In his one start at Triple-A, he walked 5, but he probably thinks that's a good thing.
Josh Collmenter Including a pair of relief outings to begin the month, Collmenter absolutely destroyed his opponents in May. With a 1.38 ERA and .462 OPS against, Collmenter carved up the competition. He isn't striking out many, only a 4.07 K/9 as a starter, but he's throwing strikes (67%) and he's getting an insane amount of popups. He's stumbled some recently, but it was only a minor blemish on a great debut for the rookie.
Micah Owings Micah has been a very serviceable spot-starter since rejoining the Diamondbacks. He had two starts where he posted a 3.48 ERA with a 6:2 K:BB rate in just over 10 innings pitched. Since joining the bullpen, he's thrown two shutout innings to being his season ERA to 2.92.
Zach Duke Zach Duke pitched in his first game for the Diamondbacks and did everything right. He threw 7 shutout innings against the Astros, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out four. On the other side of the plate, he smashed his first career home run with a 3-run shot. We're now expecting this to be the norm'.


J.J. Putz Putz was busy in May, appearing in 13 games and picking up 11 consecutive saves. He allowed only 5 hits in 13 innings and only one unearned run. His ERA now sits at 1.57.
David Hernandez Our exclusive setup guy had himself a great month as well. Hernandez posted a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings allowing only two earned runs off of 9 hits. With a 14:11 K:BB rate, however, there is a fairly large concern that regression is only a step around the corner. For now, Hernandez has thrived in the role and has escaped jams.
Juan Gutierrez Before being sidelined with "shoulder stiffness" Gutierrez was struggling. He had a 5.14 ERA and was mostly seeing action in low-leverage situations. A lot of us are under the impression that his days might be limited as a D-back if he can't improve soon.
Sam Demel 15-Day DL retroactive to May 22 due to shoulder tendinitis. Sam Demel was turning into the quintessential 6th inning guy. Before the injury, he had thrown 7 shutout innings while stranding 6 inherited runners. In fact, you'd have to go back to April 11th to find the last time that Demel allowed a run and April 21st for the last time that one of his inherited runners scored.
Aaron Heilman
Heilman returned from his injury on May 6th and, for the most part, hasn't pitched very well since. He logged 11 innings, allowing 15 hits and 8 runs. He was a strike out machine, punching out 12, but he allowed a total of 11 runs (including inherited) to score in only 11 innings. That's bad.
Kameron Mickolio
Kam has not succeeded with the Diamondbacks this season. It's not to say that he can't, but he struggled again in May with two disappointing outings. He allowed all three inherited runners to score in his first relief appearance, and luckily escaped from his second appearance despite allowing three consecutive line drives to LF (all caught by Parra).
Joe Paterson Joe-Pah continued to shine in May doing what he does best - getting left-handed batters out. He allowed only five hits and one run in 8 innings pitched. The one run he allowed was inherited by Heilman, by the way. Paterson has struggled a bit in that department as well, however, allowing three of the six runners he inherited to score. For now, you can't knock down a 0.71 ERA.
Esmerling Vasquez Vasquez has had his ups and downs but still appears to be the 7th inning pitcher of choice for Gibson. He had a 2.92 ERA in 12.1 inning pitched but he hit two batters and walked eight. As of late, his outings have been especially gut-wrenching.


Miguel Montero Miggy started slow to begin the month but ended up recovering with a solid slash line - .280/.372/.415 for a .787 OPS. He had 16 RBIs and two home runs to go along with some much improved defense behind the plate.
Juan Miranda Juan Miranda turned into a monster and had a .915 OPS in 65 at-bats with four home runs and 12 RBIs. He was riding a five game hit streak before injuring his hand and seems to be recovering a bit slowly.
Kelly Johnson Simply put, Johnson started the month with a .175 BA and 3 home runs and he ended it with a .224 BA and 10 home runs. Johnson hammered the ball for a .865 OPS and is currently riding a season high 7 game hit streak. His line of .267/.313/.552 is definitely a good sign of things to come. Kelly also swiped 4 bases without being caught.
Stephen Drew
Stephen Drew struggled in May, posting a meager .680 OPS with only one home run and a 13:22 BB:K rate. After showing flashes of being an All-Star in April, Drew is suddenly having a hard time reaching base. Additionally, it was his first month since May 2009 where he did not record a triple.
Ryan Roberts Roberts regressed some in his second month but still managed a .729 OPS to go along with 5 stolen bases and a team leading .385 OPB. With his 16:17 BB:K rate, Roberts has become one of the most reliable base runners the team has had in years.
Gerardo Parra Parra had a rough month offensively, posting a line of .239/.333/.352 for an unimpressive .686 OPS. His value comes in the outfield, where Fangraphs has him at a 10.4 UZR rating in the OF.
Chris Young It's hard to believe but Young only had two home runs in May. He ended the month with a line of .236/.315/378. Like Parra, though, much of his value comes on defense. Young also improved on the basepaths as stole six bases while being caught three times.
Justin Upton Upton was knee high in a long slump until the end of May. Recently, he's shown some life, going 5-5 in a game against Florida and hitting two of the furthest home runs in Chase Field this year. He ended the month with a .818 OPS and six stolen bases.


Willie Bloomquist
Willie was out of action for the majority of the month and hasn't produced much since his return. He's 6-31 since then with only one double and a .219 OBP. The once SB master has also lost a bit of his touch as he went 0-2 on attempted steals.
Melvin Mora
Melvin Mora do what Melvin Mora do and that's hit for a .538 OPS. He had 8 RBIs for the month, but his 1:13 BB:K rate is almost as uninspiring as his OPS.
Sean Burroughs Burroughs went 3-14 since his callup but will likely need to do more if he wants to stay on the bench.
Xavier Nady Nady saw a good chunk of playing time thanks to the departure of Branyan and the brief injury to Miranda. He's been decent, a .697 OPS, and he's proven to be a serviceable backup.
Geoff Blum Hurt: 15-Day DL stint retroactive to March 22 due to right knee surgery. I still can't believe we signed him for two years.
Henry Blanco Henry Blanco had a great month of May for a backup catcher. He posted a line of .391/440/957 for a 1.397 OPS in 23 at-bats.

***Optioned to Triple-A

# Designated for Assignment and subsequently outrighted to Triple-A