Saturday, April 18, 2009

Diamondbacks in Big Trouble

The Arizona Diamondbacks are now 3-7 and seem to be in a heap of trouble. With a couple of exceptions, the team isn't hitting at all and except for Dan Haren, they aren't pitching well either. Baseball Prospectus projected the Diamondbacks to win 88 games. If they are going to do that, they better get straightened out quite quickly.

The Pitching

Dan Haren is pitching his heart out. So far, he's pitched 19 innings in three starts, giving up only twelve hits and three walks while striking out 17. He's given up only four earned runs and has an ERA of 1.89. Yet, he is 0-3. Doug Davis has been decent as well, with an ERA after two starts of 4.15. His walks are a bit high, but he is giving up 7.6 hits per nine innings. He is 0-2. So the pitchers have a combined VORP thus far of 10 and are 0-5.

Elsewhere, the starters have been abysmal. Branden Webb had one terrible start and then went on the disabled list with shoulder bursitis. Jon Garland has an 8.44 ERA and Yusmeiro Petit is sitting at 7.71. Other than Tony Pena and Doug Slaten, the relief pitching has been terrible as well.

Despite Haren's heroics and a few exceptions noted above, the Diamondbacks are currently 24th in the league in pitching VORP. That's not good at all.

The Batting

Felipe Lopez has been around since 2001. He had a career year for the Reds in 2005 when he hit 23 homers and batted .289 with a .352 OBP. Other than that, he's been rather ordinary and has no other year over 10 homers. He had a small contribution with the Cardinals last year but did very well for them, batting .385 in 156 At Bats. He's carried that over into this year and sits at .381 after 42 At Bats in ten games. Chad Tracy has had a good start as well and is batting .321 with only one strikeout in eight games. But he only has one walk and has shown little power.

Other than those two, there isn't a batter above .258 (Mark Reynolds) on the rest of the team. Chris Young is sitting at .237/.293. Stephen Drew is at .222/.293. Connor Jackson so far is .222/.263. Tony Clark is at .200/.200 and it gets really bad from there. Justin Upton, who had an absolutely terrible Spring Training, has carried that over into the new season. After ten games, he is batting .130 with a .231 OBP. Eric Byrnes, who may have crashed into one wall too many is at .125/.241 and the team's regular catcher, Chris Snyder is batting .100, though he does have a .333 OBP.

Add that all up and you have a team batting .227 with a team OBP of .293, which is reminiscent of the 1966 New York Yankees.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers have won six straight and the distance between the two teams is growing wider apart. The Padres have looked better than the Diamondbacks thus far and we never saw that coming. Fortunately for the Diamondbacks, the season is young. But the trends don't look pretty and unless things start rolling, they could be in for a long, long season.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

They'll pick it up, eventually. Drew and Jackson are good hitters. Young and Upton still have off-the-charts potential. Byrnes might be done. Time to bring up Whitesell! Garland will get the job done for them. Webb will be back soon and pick up where he left off the last 6 seasons.

But they'd better scrape together some wins now, before the Dodgers get too big a lead.