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NL West Report: Rockies, D-backs lead the way.

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It's early yet but is the NL West shaping up to be a pretty good division?

Thearon W. Henderson

You could write the words "small sample size" at the beginning or end of any paragraph in this article. The MLB season is still an infant who hasn't quite got it's legs underneath yet, so it's best we not make grand assumptions based on it's first few steps. Those are the only steps we have however, and the season begins with the NL West looking strong. 4 teams with winning records. 2 teams atop the division not named the Dodgers or Giants. And plenty of big time players playing like big time players. The Colorado Rockies sit atop the division (tied with AZ) at 5-2. Here is a quick first glance at the first week in the books for the teams in the National League West.

Arizona Diamondbacks (5-2, L 1, T-1st)

You Should Know: Trevor Cahill is currently the Diamondbacks pitcher of record for their only losses. Both Cahill and his manager have noted his lack of command. Cahill has started over 30 games and pitched over 195 innings every year since 2010, so despite their strong start, they will likely need him to find his ability to locate. obviously small sample size. but you don't want quotes like this from you manager about any of your pitchers.

Quotable: "He didn’t throw the ball well. He didn’t throw the ball where he wanted to at all. He didn’t hit his location." -Kirk Gibson

Last Week: 5-2, 3 road wins. The Diamondbacks started the season with a series win against the Cardinals at home then went on the road to sweep the Brewers. They returned home last night and lost their first in a three game set to the Pirates.

This Week: 2 more vs PIT, 3 vs. LAD all at home.

News: There have been some questions about whether or not the D-backs should consider starting Eric Hinske due to his early season production with the bat including hitting a decisive 2-run home run in the 11th inning against the Brewers. Manager Kirk Gibson made it official before today's game that he prefers to use Hinske as an impact bat off the bench late in games. Ah, national league baseball.


Date Transaction
04/02/13 Arizona Diamondbacks signed free agent C Humberto Cota.
04/03/13 LF Cody Ross assigned to Visalia Rawhide from Arizona Diamondbacks.
04/04/13 CF Ender Inciarte returned to Arizona Diamondbacks from Philadelphia Phillies.
04/06/13 Arizona Diamondbacks claimed Will Harris off waivers from Oakland Athletics.
Arizona Diamondbacks optioned Will Harris to Reno Aces.


Arizona Diamondbacks Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Adam Eaton elbow 03/22/2013
Didi Gregorius elbow 03/30/2013
Willie Bloomquist oblique 03/27/2013
Cody Ross calf 03/22/2013

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Daniel Hudson elbow 02/18/2013

Los Angeles Dodgers (4-2, W 3, 0.5 GB, 3rd)

You Should Know: The Dodgers are getting major offensive contributions from Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, who attributes he success so far this season to valuing the much-maligned state known as RBI. Sometimes you watch Gonzalez and wonder if the Dodgers overpaid for power that may not longer be there. It surprised me to learn that he was 2nd in the NL last year in batting average with runners in scoring position at .392. He procured 4 RBIs on 3 singles against the Pirates in a 6-2 win.

Quotable: I always tell people, 'A home run's an RBI. That's all it is." -Adrian Gonzalez

"Adrian kind of hits to the situation. He's really smart... he knows what pitchers are always trying to do to him." -Don Mattingly

Last Week: 4-2, 0 road wins. Began with a win, but dropped the next two against San Francisco. Then they swept the Pirates in LA. They go out on the road for the first time this season today.

This Week: 3 game set @ SD, 3 game set @ AZ, and a return home for the beginning of another series with the Padres.

News: Clayton Kershaw has been named the NL's Player of the Week. He has pitched 16 innings of shutout baseball (20 going back to last season) and his opponents are posting a slash line of .118/.135/.118 with 16 strikeouts. So yes, the ace lefty has actually still created more offense than he has allowed after his decisive home run in the 8th inning of the season opener. I'm guessin' he gonna get paid.

2013 - Clayton Kershaw 2-0 0.00 0.44 16 1

Transactions: If you haven't checked it out already here is a recap of the Harang, Hernandez trade.

Date Transaction
04/03/13 Los Angeles Dodgers released RHP Kevin Gregg.
04/04/13 Los Angeles Dodgers sent RHP Chad Billingsley on a rehab assignment to Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
04/05/13 LHP Ted Lilly assigned to Rancho Cucamonga Quakes from Los Angeles Dodgers.
04/06/13 Los Angeles Dodgers traded Aaron Harang to Colorado Rockies for C Ramon Hernandez.


Los Angeles Dodgers Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Scott Elbert elbow 03/22/2013
Hanley Ramirez thumb 03/22/2013
Chad Billingsley fingers 03/22/2013
Ted Lilly other-excused 03/28/2013

San Diego Padres (1-5, L3, 3.5 GB, Last)

You Should Know: There were actually some high hopes coming into this season from many Padres fans after going 12 games over .500 at 48-36 for the last 82 games of last season. It's obviously still well early, but they have been getting smacked around posting a team 6.43 ERA. The worst culprits so far have been perhaps the best known pitchers on the roster with Edinson Volquez posting 10.00 and Clayton Richard posting a 14.54 in the ERA column. A trip through Coors certainly didn't help, but they got hit hard by the Mets as well, giving up 11 and then 8 runs in the first two games of a three game set The Padres often count on their pitching especially considering their home park, which they have yet ti play in this season. They look to get back on track in the more pitcher friendly Petco Park today against the Dodgers.

Quotable: Reusing last week's quotable quote because I find it perfectly ironic.

"It's how our starting pitching is going to line up. The guys we have are throwing well," Padres GM Josh Byrnes

Last Week: Salvaged 1 game in 3 @ the Mets then swept in 3 by the Rockies @ Coors.

This Week: 3 vs. LAD, 3 vs. COL, then back on the road to start a series in LA against the Dodgers.

News: The big leagues look a little disappointing right now, but the Padres are very excited about their minor league affiliates. Randy Smith, vice president of player development and international scouting says, "the overall depth we have is better than it's been in a long time. There are a lot of good, young arms in the system." So is help on the way? Well maybe not immediately, considering many of the top prospects (including Max Fried, Zach Eflin, and Walker Weickel) are still in the lower levels of A-ball. Still the future looks brighter than it has in a while for the farm system of the San Diego Padres.

Transactions: No transactions found.


San Diego Padres Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Chase Headley thumb 03/22/2013
Logan Forsythe foot 03/27/2013
James Darnell oblique 03/22/2013

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Cory Luebke elbow 03/22/2013
Joe Wieland elbow 02/28/2013
Casey Kelly elbow 03/31/2013

San Francisco Giants (4-3, W1, 1 GB, 4th)

In case you missed it:

Final - 4.8.2013 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Colorado Rockies 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 6 0
San Francisco Giants 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 X 4 8 1
WP: Madison Bumgarner (2 - 0)
SV: Sergio Romo (4)
LP: Jorge De La Rosa (0 - 1)

Complete Coverage >

You Should Know: Marco Scutaro is hitting .083. I don't know if that makes Rockies fans feel any better or not. Just thought I should point it out.

Last Week: 4-3, 2 road wins. Won 2 of 3 @ the Dodgers then lost 2 of 3 at home vs. the Cardinals.

This Week: Two more home games against the Rockies, then @ the Cubs for a 4 game series.

News: Tim Lincecum's struggles have perhaps continued into the 2013 season. I still don't believe he is a pitcher to be taken lightly, but he did match a career high by walking 7 in his only outing yet this year. He still got the win, and the Giants say they want him in the rotation unless he totally implodes.

Quotable: "His velocities are down just a little bit, and when the velocity's down a little bit, you're not in as big a hurry. When the velocities go down a little bit, then you're a lot more comfortable up there that he can't throw the ball by you. At that point you're not going to chase as much." -Don Mattingly on Tim Lincecum


Date Transaction
04/02/13 San Francisco Giants claimed RHP Hunter Strickland off waivers from Pittsburgh Pirates.
San Francisco Giants optioned RHP Hunter Strickland to San Jose Giants.
04/04/13 San Francisco Giants sent 1B Brett Pill on a rehab assignment to Fresno Grizzlies.

San Francisco Giants released LHP Matt Yourkin.


San Francisco Giants Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Eric Surkamp elbow 03/22/2013
Brett Pill knee 03/22/2013
Tony Abreu quadriceps 03/22/2013