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The Diamondbacks split their first two games with Padres, winning 6-3 on Monday behind a strong start from Dan Haren, and losing 6-3 on Tuesday as SP Chris Young of the Padres quieted the D'backs' bats. It's way too early to draw many conclusions about the team, but here are a couple of points to keep an eye on: Edwin Jackson - One knock on Jackson has been that is primarily a two pitch-pitcher. The last two seasons, Jackson has thrown over 90% Fastballs and Sliders, with only a few curve balls and changeups mixed in.
Fastball Slider Curve Changeup
Edwin Jackson-2008 69.3% 21.8% 1.8% 7.1%
Edwin Jackson-2009 65.2% 27.4% 2.3% 5.1%
Although Jackson was not very efficient on Tuesday night, requiring 94 pitches  to complete 5 innings, he did throw 10 changeups (10.6%) as well as 3 Curveballs (3.2%).  And he had some success with the changeup, getting a few fouls and called strikes. The two big blows allowed by Jackson, the double to Everth Cabrera and the HR to Will Venable, came on a fastball and slider, respectively. If Jackson can effectively throw the changeup or curve a little more frequently, they will really enhance the value of his fastball, which was consistently in the 94 mph range on Tuesday, and as high as 97 mph. Adam LaRoche - LaRoche has started the season going 0 for 8 in the first two games, and many are questioning why he is batting in the #4 slot. A common argument is that LaRoche is a slow starter, as evidenced by his 1st Half and 2nd Half splits over the last few years.
AVG OBP SLG OPS
2008 - 1st Half .251 .330 .434 .764
2009 - 1st Half .250 .336 .447 .784
2008 - 2nd Half .304 .361 .613 .975
2009 - 2nd Half .311 .377 .538 .915
Although the numbers make it look like LaRoche is a poor first half hitter, a closer look shows that maybe he is more of a streaky hitter. Here is the month-by-month breakdown for LaRoche in 2009.
AVG OBP SLG OPS
March/April 2009 .269 .352 .564 .916
May 2009 .200 .303 .347 .650
June 2009 .344 .423 .559 .983
July 2009 .169 .190 .312 .502
August 2009 .365 .446 .646 1.092
Sept/Oct 2009 .293 .362 .483 .844
Yes, LaRoche was very good in August and September, but he actually hit quite well in April and June too. May was a disaster for him, as was July. But take a look at the 2008 numbers:
AVG OBP SLG OPS
March/April 2008 .174 .260 .244 .505
May 2008 .257 .328 .476 .804
June 2008 .253 .323 .386 .708
July 2008 .390 .472 .805 1.277
August 2008 .228 .279 .404 .682
Sept/Oct 2008 .321 .375 .690 1.065
In 2008,  May and July were actually pretty good months, while April and August were his worst. So I think it is an oversimplification to say that LaRoche is only a second half hitter.  He's more of a streak hitter, and as 2009 showed, he can have success in the month of April. I think the team should give him a little more time in the #4 slot, since there is value in having a LHB in between Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds.