30 May 2010
After winning 4 out of 5 on their last homestand, the Diamondbacks' bats have disappeared on the current road trip, as the team has lost all five games so far. Playing three games in Colorado and now two in San Francisco, the Diamondbacks have scored a grand total of 8 runs in 5 games. The last two games have been the worst of all, as the D'Backs managed only one hit in the game started by Matt Cain
and only two hits in the Jonathan Sanchez
The overall batting numbers for the road trip are: 24 for 156 (.154 AVG), with 13BB and 44 K. The triple slash line for the team is a dismal .154/.219/.224, for an OPS of only .443. Power, which is usually a constant with the Diamondbacks, has also vanished, as the team only managed 2 HR in the 5 games.
Over the last week, Justin Upton
has gone 1-18 with 11 strikeouts, Conor Jackson
2-21, Adam LaRoche
2-17, Chris Snyder
1-13, Chris Young
4-22, and Kelly Johnson
4-18 - basically an entire team slumping at once. Only Stephen Drew
(6-21) and Mark Reynolds
(5-21) have hit close to their expected levels.
So what options are there for the Diamondbacks? Manager A.J. Hinch has tried to shake things up a little, giving spot starts to Rusty Ryal
and Gerardo Parra
. Ryan Roberts
may get a chance to start a game soon, and catcher Miguel Montero
is hopefully only a week or two from returning. As for the batting order, Conor Jackson
was dropped to 7th in the batting order on Saturday, as his OBP for the season has slipped to .315. There has been some talk of moving Justin Upton
out of the #3 or #4 slot until he picks up his hitting.
Despite the slump of the last week, the team is still among the Top 3 in the league in runs, home runs, slugging, and OPS. However, these stats are boosted by the team's home park - the team is hitting .274/.354/.486 (.841 OPS) at home, and only .237/.312/.388 (.700 OPS) on the road. Ranked by OPS+ (which normalizes OPS by park), the Diamondbacks' offense is at 97, which is basically league average. There is little help available at the AAA level, so the team must rely on the current group to play better. That is likely in the case of Upton and Jackson, but Johnson and Young may slip down at the same time. Since the pitching staff (except for Ian Kennedy
, Edwin Jackson
, and Aaron Heilman
) is also struggling right now, the offense needs to carry the team if they hope to get back in the NL West race.