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Diamondbacks Update - May 9, 2011 | May

Here is a recap of Diamondbacks' notes from the past week.

5th Starter
The Diamondbacks sent SP Barry Enright back down to AAA Reno last Friday. Enright had made six starts this year, and had allowed four runs or more in five of them. In his last start, he allowed 6 ER in 5 IP, and walked four while only striking out one. Enright is still walking too many batters (15 in 34.2 IP), and has also allowed 7 HR in his six starts. Last year, Enright had been promoted directly from AA Mobile, so he has never pitched at the AAA level. He will make his first AAA start on Tuesday.

The Diamondbacks will need a #5 starter on Saturday the 14th.  The likely choice will be Josh Collmenter, who has pitched very well in long relief so far - 14 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 11K, 1.29 ERA. Before he was called up, he had made one start in AAA, and had been effective there too - 6 IP, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7K.

It is expected that Zach Duke will be joining the rotation within a few weeks. He threw batting practice last week, and threw a 30 pitch outing in extended spring training today. The plan is for Duke to throw 45 pitches on Saturday the 14th, and then make at least three minor league starts.   

If the Diamondbacks decide to call up a minor leaguer for the #5 spot, the top starter at AAA has been Micah Owings, who is 3-1, with a 4.03 ERA and 22 K/6 BB in 29 IP.  At the AA level, Wes Roemer has pitched very well, with a 3-0 record, a 2.54 ERA, and an excellent 36 K/3 BB strikeout-to-walk ratio. However, neither Owings or Roemer is on the 40-Man roster, so calling up either one would require dropping someone from both the Major League and the 40-Man rosters (although Geoff Blum could be put on the 60-Day DL, opening up a spot).  

Armando Galarraga has also been struggling (5.29 ERA, 32.1 IP, 17 BB, 23K, 11 HR), and is also in danger of losing his spot in the rotation when Duke returns.

Stephen Drew
Stephen Drew left Saturday's game in the 4th inning with a right groin injury, and then missed the game on Sunday. He had already been scratched from a game last week with the same ailment. On Monday, when asked if it was any better, Drew said "Not really, no. It's good that we gave it a day and then we have another day (today). I think that hopefully by Tuesday it will have calmed down enough that I can get back to playing. I'm just trying to get it calm down." Josh Wilson replaced Drew on Sunday, but Willie Bloomquist is expected to be activated in time for Tuesday's game in San Francisco.

Edit: On Tuesday (5/10), it was announced that Bloomquist is still a couple of days from being activated.

Kelly Johnson
Kelly Johnson continues to struggle, going 4 for his last 31, and was not in the starting lineup for the last two games against the Padres. For the year, he is batting .175 (.572 OPS) with 38 Ks in 120 AB. He is hitting only .138 against LHP, and has seen Ryan Roberts getting some starts at 2B against some LHP.

First Base
Juan Miranda has started getting more playing time at 1B, at the expense of Russell Branyan. Miranda has started 5 of the last 7 games, with Xavier Nady getting the other two starts. Miranda had pulled his OPS up to .833 after Friday's game, although it has since fallen back down to .766. Meanwhile, Branyan is at .733 while Nady is only at .597. However, Nady does have 7 RBI compared to 5 for Miranda and only 2 for Branyan, which has probably kept Nady in Kirk Gibson's lineup more often.

Third Base
Ryan Roberts was probably the team's best player in April, and earned the bulk of the playing time at 3B. He has slowed down a little in May (1.007 OPS in April, .681 in May), but should be in the lineup somewhere against all LHP, and occasionally against RHP. Melvin Mora has a nice .288 AVG, but only a .643 OPS, since he has only 2 walks and 3 extra-base hits (all doubles). But Gibson seems to like Mora's batting average and defense, as Mora has started 4 of the last 6 games at 3B.

The bullpen has continued their outstanding work, with a combined ERA of 3.26 over 102 IP. Only 9 of 45 Inherited Runners have scored (20%), and the group has 7 Saves and 10 Holds, with only 3 Blown opportunites. J.J. Putz is the closer, with David Hernandez pitching the 8th and Esmerling Vasquez becoming the main 7th Inning pitcher. Joe Paterson still has not been charged with a run after 7.1 IP over 14 Games.