Losers of eight out of their last ten games, the Arizona Diamondbacks appear to be suffering a bit of a hangover from a season that saw them, more or less, run away with the NL West title. They have had some bad injury luck, as key players from last year's squad such as Daniel Hudson, Geoff Blum, and Chris Young are all currently on the disabled list. However, they also have also faced a myriad of regression issues. Justin Upton, Paul Goldschmidt, Gerardo Parra, and Ryan Roberts are all performing significantly below their levels from last season, and only one of their regulars - Jason Kubel (130 OPS+) is above average. Simply put, the D-Backs' offense is not getting it done in 2012 after tearing the National League a new one in 2011.
#26 / Catcher / Arizona Diamondbacks
Jul 09, 1983
|2012 - Miguel Montero||.267||.358||.350|
With the same consistency as the sun rising from the east, Miguel Montero destroys the Colorado Rockies. In the three-game series at Coors Field in April, Montero homered twice, walked twice, singled, and drove in five runs. He owns a .931 career OPS in 190 plate appearances against the Rox, and has hit 13 bombs. His highest total against any other club is five. One reason for his success against the Rockies is that their hurlers, as we all know, generally employ a pitch-to-contact, down-in-the-zone strategy that makes them very susceptible to getting scorched by notoriously good low-ball hitters such as Montero. Unfortunately for Colorado, a lot of Arizona hitters are good low-ball hitters, so it has resulted in some ugly games over the years. It will be interesting to see if they pitch Montero - who has shown a pretty keen eye at the plate this season, if nothing else - differently this time around.
The D-Backs have continued to be successful on the mound, particularly in their starting rotation. Other than Josh Collmenter, who has since been relegated to the bullpen/spot-starter duty, the current mix of guys have all been good. Patrick Corbin is a talented young pitcher who is still trying to get his feet on the ground, while Joe Saunders, Ian Kennedy, Wade Miley, and Trevor Cahill have been consistently solid. This doesn't include some guys coming through the pipeline (Trevor Bauer, Tyler Skaggs, etc.) that are going to give the D-Backs a much-needed boost when the time comes. The bullpen, meanwhile, has been good with the exception of closer JJ Putz, who is scuffling to the tune of a 49 ERA+. While he is still striking batters out (12 in 11 innings), he has allowed four homers and sports an 8.18 ERA. Ouch. Arizona has used David Shaw to close a couple of games along the way, so there's some flexibility there. One guy who has absolutely infuriated me due to his success is Joe Paterson, but he lost his job in April after allowing 11 runs in 2.2 innings spanning six appearances. So, that's a plus. Their best reliever to this point has undoubtedly been David Hernandez, who has struck out 24 batters in 17.1 innings and has allowed only four walks. Naturally, with that kind of stuff and command, his ERA+ sits at 190.
Projected starters and more after the jump...
Game 1 - tonight at 6:40 PM MT (ROOT Sports):
Patrick Corbin (2-1, 4.50 ERA ) vs. Jamie Moyer (1-3, 4.66 ERA)
Game 2 - tomorrow at 1:10 PM MT (ROOT Sports):
Trevor Cahill (2-4, 3.65) vs. Juan Nicasio (2-1, 4.65)
Arizona Diamondbacks Roster