The Arizona Diamondbacks are once again in a spring swoon. While Tyler Roberts told you don’t be concerned earlier in the spring, the teams overall effort then was very discouraging. However unlike the poor performances the D-Backs saw to start this spring, I’m telling you now that their current slump REALLY isn’t something to be concerned with.
The D-Backs started this spring 3-9 before winning 4 in a row. Since that winning streak they’ve lost 5 of 6 contests. However, there’s a big difference between their performance to start the season and the efforts their putting in now. Arizona was outscored by a total of 45 runs (5 per game) in their 9 losses to start the season. Other than an 11-2 loss to start the current slide, the D-Backs have lost the other 4 games by 6 runs combined.
Miguel Montero and Paul Goldschmidt have rebounded nicely from slow starts to the spring. After languishing below the Mendoza line for the first few weeks of the season, Montero and Goldschmidt have seen their averages jump up to .267 and .262 respectively. Goldschmidt’s turnaround is especially encouraging given his limited experience in the majors. Goldschmidt will be counted on heavily from the start of the season and if he’s unable to perform the effects could be devastating to the D-Backs offense. A hot streak heading into the regular season could do wonders for his confidence.
Other than Daniel Hudson, the entire D-Backs’ rotation had terrible starts to the season, however for the most part the other four starters–Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill, Joe Sauders and Josh Collmenter–have been better in their more recent starts. Most encouraging, Collmenter had his first good start of the spring Sunday–allowing 2 runs in 5 innings–and Cahill struck out 6 batters in just 4.2 innings on Saturday.
The D-Backs aren’t getting blown out everyday like they were the beginning of the month. Kirk Gibson and company have got them playing better baseball, even though the won-loss record isn’t really showing it. He’s getting better effort from key contributors for the team and they’re playing harder, just losing in tight contests. If Gibby’s strategy holds true, they should be winning the close one right about the time the season starts.
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