Reflections on the Arizona Diamondbacks: Season Review as of June 13th

The 2012 Major League Baseball season is roughly a third of its way through the season and so far, this season has been a huge surprise for many teams across the league. There have been surprises for teams like the Baltimore Orioles, who at the end of May had a better record than the Yankees and the Red Sox. But there have also been many disappointments. Who would’ve guessed that the Red Sox would be below .500 this late into the season? There are some people, including me, who think the same about the Arizona Diamondbacks. Arizona finished May with a 23-28 record and currently they sit 3rd in the NL West with a 30-32 record, not the record most people want to see after a great season last year.

 

Although the Diamondbacks are off to a slow start, they have had a few bright spots this season. During the offseason Arizona signed former Twin, Jason Kubel. Kubel has been one of Arizona’s most consistent hitters all year. His stats at the end of May were the following: .297/.385/.461 along with 4 HR and 23 RBI then he went on a tear the first 7 games in June, batting .310/.344/.621 with 2 HR and 13 RBI. Another one of Arizona’s bright spots is rookie Wade Miley. Prior to this season, Miley had only pitched 40 big league innings, but this year he has made 10 starts and pitched 75.1 innings. In the 10 starts he has made, he has won 7 while losing only 3 and maintaining a team-leading 2.39 ERA. He has also struck out 49, walked 17 and given up only 3 homeruns. So far this season he has proven to be Arizona’s best starting pitcher. One player who I’m surprised with is Willie Bloomquist. He has 189 at-bats this season and is batting .296 and is 3rd on the Diamondbacks in runs scored. He has also played solid defense, committing only 3 errors in 383 innings of work in LF and at SS.

 

Chris Young

Chris Young (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Early in the season Chris Young was off to a very hot start as he was among the league leaders in homeruns, batting average and on base percentage. His hot start gave many people the impression that he was about to have a career year until part of his season was put on hold when he was placed on the 15-day DL in early May. Ever since he was taken off the DL in mid-May, his average has dropped to .264 but has a .366 OBP. I expect that he will get hot again later on in the season and raise his average and production overall.

 

Fans shouldn’t worry about the slow start the Diamondbacks are on; as of June 13th they are 7-4. They also seem to be playing more solid than they were early on in the season. More than a third of their losses have come in one-run ballgames. For the rest of June they seem to have an easier schedule than in May. June 15-17 they are in Los Angeles to play the hot Angels, but then they go back to Arizona to play Seattle from June 18 to the 20th they then face the Cubs June 22nd to the 24th. They play the Braves in Atlanta in a 3 game series starting the 26th to the 28th then finish off June in Milwaukee in a 3 game series. Other than the Angels and Braves, the rest of June seems fairly easy for Arizona.

 

Last but not least, there is one player I’d like to talk about and that is Arizona’s top prospect Trevor Bauer. Trevor Bauer is absolutely mowing down minor league hitters. He started off the year in AA and started 8 games. He won 7 of those starts, while having an ERA of 1.68 and striking out 60 batters in 48.1 innings of work. He then got promoted to AAA where he hasn’t slowed down at all. He has started 6 games and is 4-0 and has an ERA of 2.68 in 37 innings. The only issue I see is that Bauer allows hitters to reach base fairly often along with some control issues. He has a 3.9 BB/9 in AAA this season along with 5 wild pitches. That shouldn’t be much too really worry about as he still gets hitters out. If he keeps up the pace that he’s at, it is very possible that he could be pitching for the Diamondbacks sometime soon, possibly in August.

 

Here are the team leaders for Arizona as of June 13th (Min 100 AB’s)

            Batting Leaders:

BA: Willie Bloomquist (.296)

Runs: Justin Upton (37)

H: Aaron Hill (59)

XBH: Paul Goldschmidt (24)

RBI: Jason Kubel (36)

OBP: Chris Young and Jason Kubel (.366)

SLG: Paul Goldschmidt (.503)

OPS: Paul Goldschmidt (.857)

 

            Pitching Leaders:

W: Wade Miley (7)

ERA: Wade Miley (2.39)

GP: Brad Ziegler and David Hernandez (29)

IP: Ian Kennedy (81.1)

SO: Ian Kennedy (75)

SV: J.J. Putz (13)

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