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Power-ranking the Arizona Diamondbacks: August

It was the worst month of the year for the D-backs, as they went 13-17. Who do we blame, and who should escape criticism?

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August was an active month on the roster, with 35 players used, four up on the previous month; 20 of those were pitchers, and 15 position players.. Dropping off the list from July were Enrique Burgos (#30). Danny Dorn (#29), Dominic Leone (#31) and Matt Stites (#25). We added Silvino Bracho, Jhoulys Chacin, Phil Gosselin, Keith Hessler, Matt Reynolds and Jamie Romak for the first time this season, while A.J. Schugel and Allen Webster re-entered the charts  As usual, this is based primarily on last month, but with weighting based on any trend from a previous month: breakout months will tend to be rewarded better than slumps, if both result in the same statistic.

  1. A.J. Pollock (last month: #4). .377/.412/.575. I think we can say A.J. had a good month, batting .377 over the whole of August, and by fWAR is now just 0.6 wins back of Goldie's value for the whole year. Also stole ten bases without being caught, and is only the third D-back with double-digits steals and zero CS in any month (Eric Byrnes in August 2007; Tony Womack in June 1999).
  2. David Peralta (#2). .375/.410/.583. Actually had a fractionally higher OPS than Pollock (.993 vs. 988), but other aspects tipped the balance for A.J.. Still, Peralta stepped up his offensive game, leading the team with 23 RBI. Half of his extra-base hits left the park, and Peralta was called "the majors' most underrated player" by Dave Cameron.
  3. Welington Castillo (#1). .262/.301/.524. Still continues to impress and amaze. What stood out this month was that his line is achieved despite BABIP, rather than because of it, Welly having a below-average figure for August of .286. His six home-runs were most by a D-back, though a K:BB ratio of 25:5 was a little bit concerning.
  4. Ender Inciarte (#12). .310/.370/.398. Inciarte is becoming a much better lead-off hitter, with massively improved plate discipline of late, and an OBP that increased for the third straight month. After bottoming out at .290 in May, it was .370 last month with a K:BB ratio of 13:12. He had 10 walks over his first 375 PA; but has now taken 13 in his last 94.
  5. Paul Goldschmidt (#5). .243/.354/.430. We are so used to greatness that a .784 OPS seems positively feeble, and it is his lowest for any month since August 2012. In particular, he had a lot of strikeouts - 36, for a K-rate of 28.3%. Though at least the power outage ended, with four home-runs included a pair of Tsar Bomba, among the longest in the majors this year.
  6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (#23). .264/.328/.453. What do you want from a backup catcher? I think it's safe to say that a .780 OPS is pretty impressive, considering NL catchers as a whole have an OPS of only .694. He has been particularly good off the bench, hitting .316 this year as a PH. I'm growing warmer to the idea of him being around in 2016.
  7. Andrew Chafin (#13). 1.32 ERA, 1.024 WHIP. The scoreless streak may have ended, but Chafin continues to be close to the most reliable of all bullpen arms. and has the lowest ERA of anyone this year with more than 25 innings pitched. Quite why he was sent down to Reno is hard to fathom.
  8. Addison Reed (#21). 1.35 ERA, 1.200 WHIP. The end of Reed's time with the Diamondbacks came with a solid run of performances, allowing two runs over 13.1 innings of work. However, with us overall, his ERA+ was 92; the same as Trevor Cahill and slightly worse than Jon Rauch. Not someone we will miss.
  9. Zack Godley (#10). 1.54 ERA, 1.029 WHIP. Impressed very much in his audition, while Chase Anderson was out of action, but the innings issue proved problematic in his first season converting from a reliever. He will be lightly-worked the rest of the year, and likely return to the bullpen after tomorrow's start at Wrigley.
  10. Josh Collmenter (#17). 1.69 ERA, 0.844 WHIP. Collmenter has rebounded completely since moving back to the bullpen, posting a 1.63 ERA over almost three months as a reliever. That's startling, considering his ERA as a starter was more than 3x that, at 5.24. I'm fine with having him as a long option in the 2016 bullpen.
  11. Jhoulys Chacin (NEW). 2.70 ERA, 1.050 WHIP. Not a name I expected to see in our rotation this year, but he has performed well enough that there's interest in the team offering him a minior-league deal for next season. Would need to see a lot more to proclaim him as "back" to his 2010-13 form (ERA+ of 127), but so far, no harm done.
  12. Jake Lamb (#16). .257/.306/.376. Only 12 points of OPS cover our infield trio of Lamb, Owings and Hill, but Jake wins out on the basis of playing time and, from what I recall, better defense. Only Inciarte appeared in more games this month than Lamb, though still managed only 12 PAs vs. LHP in August. He went 2-for-12 with five strikeouts, should you be interested.
  13. Rubby De La Rosa (#19). 3.90 ERA, 1.400 WHIP.  August was the first month this year De La Rosa had an ERA below four. The main reason was only three home-runs allowed over 30 innings of work; That's a big improvement over eight in 29.2 innings for July, even though his K:BB ratio was a mediocre 19:13 last month.
  14. Chase Anderson (#27). 3.68 ERA, 1.364 WHIP. Five starts this month, but only one involved more than zero or less than five earned runs - may be should be spinning the Wheel O' Anderson? Bad enough to get demoted to Reno, yet somehow good enough to be reprieved as the first port of (re)call after Hellickson hit the DL, and has been okay since.
  15. Chris Owings (#24). .260/.290/.385. Just behind Lamb is CO, whose problem remains the same as it has been all season, with a K:BB ratio of 24:3. That's disappointing after walking a season-high six times in July (in 14 fewer trips to the plate). However, his .675 OPS did represent his best of the year, so we'll see if he can finish the year on a strong note.
  16. Aaron Hill (#22). .267/.310/.360. For all the talk of Hill "earning more playing time", there wasn't much sign of that in August, outside a five-game hitting streak where he was 8-for-14. Overall the month increased his season OPS by just 15 points to .630, and various niggling injuries mean has started just one game in the past week.
  17. Randall Delgado (#9). 3.72 ERA, 1.448 ERA. Delgado's return to the rotation did not go well, as he allowed four runs in 2.1 innings. However, those were the only runs he allowed in August, tossing 7.1 scoreless relief innings. Think it may be a while before he gets another start.
  18. Oliver Perez (#7). 0.00 ERA, 0.000 WHIP. Seven batters faced, seven retired. Sorry to see him go. On the other hand, 7.94 ERA since he went to the Astros. Still, wouldn't mind him re-signing with us as a free-agent for 2016.
  19. Matt Reynolds (NEW). 1.69 ERA, 1.313 WHIP. The last of the 2013-14 Class of Tommy John made his way back to the major leagues, and has been good, with six strikeouts in 5.1 innings. There have been three walks, but two were intentional, and in both cases, he did get the next batter.
  20. Patrick Corbin (#14). 4.50 ERA, 1.591 WHIP. It continues to be, as expected, a work in progress. Two of his five starts in August didn't involve an out into the third inning, but the other three were all quality starts. Pitch-count is still an issue, with a high thus far of 91 for Corbin, and I don't expect that to change the rest of the way; consistency is more what I'd like to see.
  21. Allen Webster (RE). 2.57 ERA, 1.429 WHIP. Two separate stints for Webster here, and all told, given how bad he was in his June spell, and his unimpressive AAA numbers (even by Reno standards), he has been better than expected. Is is sustainable? I'd need a lot more than seven innings to be convinced of that.
  22. Jeremy Hellickson (#3). 4.64 ERA. 1.359 WHIP. Had one of his best starts of the season on August 11, allowing only an unearned run. Which tells you a lot about his other starts, that left his overall season ERA basically unchanged, at 4.60. Not clear at this point whether he will play any further part in the rotation this season.
  23. Jamie Romak (NEW). .300/.300/.400. Briefly rolled on to the roster after the trade of Pennington, and didn't disgrace himself, going 3-for-10 with a double. Back in Reno now, and leads the Aces with 26 home-runs this year.
  24. Robbie Ray (#15). 6.00 ERA, 1.767 WHIP. Became the sixth pitcher in team history to go 0-5 for a calendar month - hey, Randy Johnson did it once! [June 2008] His 29 strikeouts was most by a Diamondback for the month, but Ray also walked far more hitters; his 18 BB was at least double everyone else, bar De La Rosa. That needs to stop if he's to have success.
  25. Yasmany Tomas (#20). .231/.254/.338. I think the Cuban is running out of gas, though his strikeouts might provide an alternative energy source at Chase Field. He has 20 K's in 67 PA, with just two walks, and a .302 BABIP can't be blamed for that .592 OPS. I'd not be averse to him quietly being "rested" this month, especially given how well the other OF are playing.
  26. David Hernandez (#6). 6.17 ERA, 1.543 WHIP. For someone who's a free agent at the end of the season, Hernandez doesn't seem to be having much of a contract surge. His ERA and FIP are almost in line for the year (4.62 vs. 4.71), and outside of a good month at the end of 2013, the hard fact is, we're almost three years removed from reliable excellence.
  27. Daniel Hudson (#11). 6.35 ERA, 1.676 WHIP. An equally rough month for Huddy, with three HR responsible for five of eight ER allowed over 11.1 innings. However, he is still striking out better than one per inning this season, and after double TJ, some fatigue is understandable. Getting through the year whole (touch wood!) will be an achievement worth celebrating.
  28. Cliff Pennington (#18). .231/.333/.308. The end of the Penny era in Arizona wasn't exactly marked with a bang, but over his three seasons here, he was quietly competent and didn't cost a great deal of money. I'll kinda miss him for that, though doubt he'll be hard to replace.
  29. Nick Ahmed (#26). .186/.205/.267. Sadly, it's looking increasingly like the Ahmed who can hit was the illusion. After reaching a season-high of .680 on July 8, his OPS has dropped 89 points, and since the All-Star break, Nick has hit just .167 in 41 games with a .461 OPS. Hard questions about his future in a major-league line-up need to be asked this winter.
  30. Silviino Bracho (NEW). 0.00 ERA, 2.000 WHIP. Was this the debut of our potential future closer? We'll see. Not exactly a debut that will forever be etched in the minds of those who saw it, with a K on a third-strike bunt and an intentional walk, but it was a zero!
  31. A.J. Schugel (RE). 0.00 ERA, 3.000 WHIP. Two batters faced. One hit. One strikeout.
  32. Brad Ziegler (#8).  7.30 ERA, 1.622 WHIP. He had allowed nine earned runs over his first 56 appearances. He has allowed seven over his last two. He came into August 30 with an ERA for the month of 2.70, likely looking at a spot in the top dozen here. But ten hits over Z's final 2.1 innings of work didn't exactly help, though Chip Hale has to shoulder some of the blame.
  33. Oscar Hernandez (#28). .000/.000/.000. TIL that Hernandez is still, not only alive, but actually remains on the Diamondbacks roster. You'd be forgiven for forgetting, since he has started precisely one game since July 28.
  34. Phil Gosselin (NEW). .000/.000/.000. Will forever be tarred as "the player we traded for Touki Toussaint," so, probably unfairly, will have an uphill climb to achieve fan acceptance. Expect him to audition as a Pennington replacement the rest of the way.
  35. Keith Hessler (NEW). 15.19 ERA, 2.438 WHIP. Anyone think we'd see worse numbers than Dominic Leone's this year? No? Here's Hessler to prove you wrong!