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NL West Report: Sickly Bats Proliferate in Western US

The last weeks saw an explosion of offense for various NL West teams.  The Rockies put 15 runs on the boards Saturday.  The Dodgers scored 7+ runs in three consecutive wins for the first time in two years.  The Giants scored 29 runs in a series in St. Louis.  The Padres scored five runs twice in three days.  Arizona won five straight in thanks to scoring 40 runs.

That kind of offensive production in the NL West is truly a strange sight.  As much hand-wringing there has been about the Rockies' offense, they have scored th

Team wRC+ MLB Rank League Rank
Padres 82 28th 16th
Giants 85 27th 15th
Dodgers 86 24th 12th
Rockies 88 22nd 11th
Diamondbacks 97 14th 5th
Mariners 81 29th 13th
Athletics 87 23rd 12th
Angels 99 11th 8th
Rangers 109 6th 5th
e second most runs in the division, and even park adjustments put the Rockies' weak bats ahead of San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  

Six MLB teams have scored less than 207 runs in 2011 (~3.70 runs/game).  Three of them are in the NL West.  Two others are in the AL West.  Minnesota represents the lone outlier.  Other than Arizona, whose offense has been mediocre to slightly above average, there has been a complete absence of offense in the division.



Take the jump for news on all the teams.  

NL West Report

Arizona (31-26, 2nd, L1, 0.5 GB)

Last Week: 5-2. 3-0 @ Astros. 2-1 vs. Marlins. 0-1 vs. Nationals.

You Should Know:  

Divisional Change: Gained 1.0 games on first place San Francisco.  They actually were in first place from Sunday through Thursday.

This Week: 3 game road series @ Astros.  3 game home series vs. Marlins.  Game 1 of a four game home series vs. Nationals.

News:  Zach Duke was activated from the disabled list and promptly threw seven shutout innings.  Oh, and he also hit an opposite field 3-run home run.

Armando Gallaraga threw that "perfect game" a year ago yesterday.  This year, Gallaraga is begrudgingly in AAA Reno.  He accepted a minor league assignment after passing through waivers, apparently just for money.

Huston Street was NL's relief pitcher of the month in April.  That award went to JJ Putz in May.  He went 11-for-11 in save situations and allowed 0 ER in 13 IP in May.  So of course he blew his first save of the season on June 1 on a John Buck home run.

J.J. Putz

#40 / Pitcher / Arizona Diamondbacks





Feb 22, 1977

2011 - J.J. Putz 1-1 23 0 0 0 16 1 24.0 14 6 5 2 6 21 1.88 .8

Fans at AZ Snakepit aren't worried about the Rockies at all.

SS Francisco Lindor held a private workout for the Diamondbacks yesterday.  Lindor is a likely top ten pick in Monday's draft.

Apparently the Diamondbacks tried to acquire Michael Young, but the asking price was Tyler Skaggs.

Tim Dierkes wrote about what might happen if the Diamondbacks become buyers.

Tracy Ringolsby wrote a very congratulatory piece on Arizona and Kevin Towers.  It's a little early, in my opinion, to laud the new process based on a couple strong weeks.

Transactions:  Optioned RHP Kam Mickolio to AAA Reno.  Acquired C Lucas May from Kansas City (6/1).  Signed RHP Yhency Brazoban.

Injuries:  Activated Zach Duke from the 15-day DL.  An MRI on Juan Gutierrez found no tears.

Arizona Diamondbacks Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Geoff Blum knee 03/22/2011
Juan Gutierrez trapezius 05/25/2011

Los Angeles (26-31, 4th, L1, 5.5 GB)

Last Week: 4-2.  2-1 vs. Marlins.  2-1 vs. Rockies.

You Should Know:  The Dodgers' offense woke up and scored 7+ runs in three consecutive wins for the first time since getting Clint Hurdle fired.

Divisional Change:  Gained one half game on first place San Francisco.

This Week:  3 game road series @ Reds.  3 game road series @ Phillies.  Game 1 of 4 game series @ Rockies.

News:   Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are due to become free agents after 2012.  Jon Heyman wrote that the Dodgers have had "unofficial conversations" into locking up Ethier and Kemp long term.  

Jerry Sands struggled at first, but Sands has started to become a fan favorite with a recent surge.

Jerry Sands

#47 / Left Field / Los Angeles Dodgers





Sep 28, 1987

2011 - Jerry Sands 36 109 11 24 10 0 2 16 16 29 3 2 .220 .317 .367

Vicente Padilla is due to return today, so you can guardedly pick him up in fantasy if you needs saves.

The Dodgers are reportedly targeting power high school pitchers in the first round of Monday's draft.  That shouldn't be a shock, considering that is what they have chosen in six of their last nine years.  Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw and Scott Elbert have worked out to varying degrees and are on the major league roster.  Their top prospect - Zach Lee - was also a top prep arm in last year's draft.

Don Mattingly feels like he has learned a lot in his first year as an MLB manager.

The Dodgers met payroll last week, but it required Frank McCourt securing loans.  The next payroll round will involve a $6million payment to retired Manny Ramirez.

Transactions:  Optioned UT Russ Mitchell to AAA Albuquerque (5/27).  Called up RHP Josh Lindblom and DFA'd Travis Schlichting (5/29).Released RHP Lance Cormier (5/31).  

Injuries:   Activated 3B Casey Blake from 15-day DL (5/27).  Placed RHP Kenley Jansen on the 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation (5/29).

Los Angeles Dodgers Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Jonathan Broxton elbow 05/04/2011
Hong-Chih Kuo other-excused 05/10/2011
Blake Hawksworth groin 05/11/2011
Kenley Jansen shoulder 05/29/2011


San Diego (24-33, 5th, L2, 7.5 GB)

Last Week: 4-3.  2-1 @ Nationals.  2-1 @ Braves.  0-1 vs. Astros.

You Should Know:  So much for being built to succeed at PetCo Park.  The Padres are a shocking 9-21 at home, 15-12 on the road.  No other MLB team has lost more than 19 home contests.

Divisional Change:  No change

This Week:  Games 2-4 of a 4 game home series vs. Astros.  3 game home series vs. Rockies.  Game 1 of 4 game home series vs. Nationals.

News:   Absent a closer, the Cardinals have inquired about Heath Bell.  San Diego has also been called about Mike Adams and Luke Gergerson claims Ken Rosenthal, but as Jayson Stark wrote, the Padres are not motivated to move Mike Adams or any player under contract for next season.  Ryan Ludwick and Chad Qualls figure to be trade bait though.

Ryan Ludwick

#47 / Left Field / San Diego Padres





Jul 13, 1978

2011 - Ryan Ludwick 53 206 21 52 7 0 8 36 17 43 1 1 .252 .313 .403
STL Today writer Jeff Gordon blamed last night's 12-7 loss on shortstop Ryan Theriot's misplay of a potential double play ball.  He believes improving infield defense would have St. Louis 15-20 games over .500 instead of eight, and Theriot - who has the 2nd worst UZR among MLB shortstops and MLB-most 10 errors is the problem.  His solution is for the Cards to acquire Jason Bartlett, who tied Theriot with his tenth error last night.  They are essentially equivalent defensively over their careers.  
Anthony Rizzo is ready to burst on the scene in the majors.  Did you know  Rizzo is a cancer survivor?
Keith Law says the Padres are most interested in pitchers Matt Barnes and Sonny Gray in Monday's draft.

Transactions:   RHP Samuel Deduno cleared waivers and was assigned to AAA Tucson.  Recalled UT Logan Forsythe from AAA Tucson (5/27).  

Injuries: Placed 2B Orlando Hudson on 15-day DL with left groin strain (5/27).  Placed CF Cameron Maybin on 15-day DL with right patellar tendinitis (5/31).  C Nick Hundley will start a rehab assignment tomorrow.

San Diego Padres Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Cameron Maybin knee 05/28/2011
Nick Hundley oblique 05/05/2011

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Joe Thatcher shoulder 03/22/2011
Mike Baxter thumb 03/22/2011


San Francisco (31-25, 1st, W2)

Last Week: 4-3.  1-2  @ Brewers.  3-1 @ Cardinals.

You Should Know:   The Giants scored 7 runs or more in three of their four games in St. Louis.  They had scored 7+ runs in just five games coming into that series.

Divisional Change:  Lost one game off their lead in the division.

This Week:  3 game home series vs. Rockies.  3 game home series vs. Nationals.  Game 1 of a 4 game home serires vs. Reds.

News: General Manager Brian Sabean raised eyebrows this week with his comments about Florida outfielder Scott Cousins, days after the collision that put Buster Posey out for the season:

"If I never hear from Cousins again or he never plays another game in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy. ... He chose to be a hero in my mind, and if that's his flash of fame, that's as good as it's going to get, pal. We'll have a long memory. Believe me, we've talked to (former catcher Mike) Matheny about how this game works. You can't be that out-and-out overly aggressive. I'll put it as politically as I can state it: There's no love lost and there shouldn't be."

Even if you disagree with his position, you can at least understand his passion for his position.  There's nothing wrong with that, unless he was startling inconsistent.  As Baseball Prospectus' Larry Granillo pointed out, Sabean and the Giants have been very vocal in their support of home plate collisions in the past.  There were no complaints when Pablo Sandoval bowled over Ryan Doumit, or when Nate Schierholtz ran into China's Yang Yang, when J.T. Snow collided with Ivan Rodriguez, or even when Prince Fielder blew up then-Giants catcher Todd Greene.  I suppose the inconsistency shouldn't be shocking, but the level of vitriol from Sabean was surprising.  Ken Rosenthal opined that Sabean crossed the line.

Eli Whiteside

#22 / Catcher / San Francisco Giants





Oct 22, 1979

2011 - Eli Whiteside 21 48 4 9 2 0 1 2 6 16 0 0 .188 .286 .292

For now, the Giants are not pursuing another catcher, instead content to give veteran Eli Whiteside a shot at the full-time gig.

Transactions:   Optioned LHP Dan Runzler to AAA Fresno (5/29).  Lost IF Ryan Rohlinger on waivers to Colorado (6/2).

Injuries:   Activated RHP Santiago Casilla from the 15-day DL. 1B Brandon Belt is day-to-day with a bruised wrist.  C Buster Posey underwent ankle surgery 5/29.  3B Pablo Sandoval is scheduled to begin his rehab assignment tonight.  LHP Barry Zito threw 75 pitches in a game in extended Wednesday.  UT Mark DeRosa began a rehab assignment Wednesday instead of pursuing surgery.

San Francisco Giants Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Brandon Belt wrist 06/02/2011


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Barry Zito foot 04/17/2011
Mike Fontenot groin 05/26/2011
Pablo Sandoval hand 04/30/2011
Darren Ford ankle 05/23/2011
Buster Posey ankle 05/26/2011