Fansided
Diamondbacks News

Arizona Diamondbacks: Time for Torey Lovullo to make lineup changes

josephjacquez
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks argues a call during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on September 19, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks argues a call during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on September 19, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit

What can the first-year Arizona Diamondbacks’ skipper do to help recharge the offense’s batteries?

The Arizona Diamondbacks offense is clearly in a funk.

With one game remaining against the Padres tonight on this California road trip, the D-backs are hitting .182 as a team with a .246 on-base percentage and a .312 slugging percentage.

Arizona is just 3-for-26 with runners in scoring position in their last five games and have only hit four home runs. They have struck out 35 times in 154 at-bats (22.7 percent) with only 11 walks. When somebody does get on base, they have usually been erased by one of seven double play balls.

In addition, the running game has been absent (1 SB/1 CS), and the Diamondbacks are not capitalizing with a runner on third and one out, having not recorded a sacrifice fly.

None of those numbers are encouraging. But the biggest concern for me is that one guy is doing all the damage.

Remember when the Snakes were going through their last offensive slump? J.D. Martinez was doing all the damage, but it was not enough to score many runs.

Over his last eight games, A.J. Pollock is hitting .429 with 12 RBI. Nobody else is picking him up. Even Martinez has struggled in recent games.

Baseball is a team sport for a reason. When the Diamondbacks were scoring four or five runs a game consistently, different guys were coming up with clutch hits and driving in runs.

Several hitters need to figure something out, because the last thing this team needs is to go into the wild card game with the big bats slumping.

Maybe the problem is where the D-backs have played. After all, AT&T Park and Petco Park are not exactly the easiest places to hit.

That logic would fly if the offense was clicking before this trip started.

More from Venom Strikes

Extended dry spell

Several key players haven’t exactly torn the cover off the baseball in September.

In fact, the numbers are scary ugly.

Paul Goldschmidt: .154 AVG, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 2B

Jake Lamb: .175 AVG, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 2 2B

Adam Rosales: .192 AVG, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 2B

Ketel Marte: .259, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Brandon Drury: .244 AVG, 2 HR, 5 RBI

Obviously, the biggest concern is Goldschmidt. After he hit a home run last Saturday in San Francisco, I thought he might have found his swing again.

But, Goldschmidt is 0-for-8 in the current series against San Diego and just 3-for-20 on the trip (.150).

Entering Wednesday’s game, Goldschmidt has played in 13 games this month with a fairly large sample size of 54 at-bats. But, he has struck out 13 times. Martinez has allowed him to see more pitches (only three walks) but he is missing a lot of fastballs.

Despite his prolonged struggles, Goldschmidt continues to hit third. It is hard to say, but Goldschmidt needs to move down in the order. The D-backs need more production from the No. 3 hole, because it has affected the whole lineup.

With 10 games remaining this season, including Wednesday’s contest, here are the team’s hitting stats this month:

AVG: .247 (18th in MLB)

OBP: .320 (17th in MLB)

R: 87 (4.8 per game)

RBI: 82 (12th in MLB)

K: 152 (15th in MLB)

BB: 61 (13th in MLB)

XBH: 59 (T-11th in MLB)

HR: 24 (T-7th in MLB)

Ok, so maybe the overall numbers make the D-backs offense look better.

But the last seven days are concerning. Goldschmidt and Lamb are fixtures in the middle of the lineup and they are not producing.

Martinez is near the top of baseball in RBI (23) this month but he has been one of the few consistent performers.

One of the biggest concerns is the team’s inability to play small ball and manufacture runs. Home runs are great, but maybe the D-backs have relied on them too much. Since the All-Star Break, the D-backs have hit 87 long balls, the second most in the National League behind the Chicago Cubs (93).

Making some changes

So what does Lovullo need to do? He needs to stop assuming guys like Goldschmidt and Lamb will snap out of their funk.

With a postseason spot and home field advantage on the line, now is not the time to mess around. It does not matter what has worked all season.

With that in mind, here is what I would do in different situations:

Against RHP 

  1. David Peralta – LF
  2. Daniel Descalso – SS
  3. A.J. Pollock – CF
  4. J.D. Martinez – RF
  5. Chris Iannetta – C
  6. Paul Goldschmidt – 1B
  7. Jake Lamb – 3B
  8. Brandon Drury – 2B

Note: When Chris Herrmann is behind the plate, I would place him in the No. 8 hole and have Drury hit fifth and Goldschmidt sixth with Lamb still hitting seventh.

Against LHP 

  1. David Peralta – LF
  2. Adam Rosales – 3B
  3. A.J. Pollock – CF
  4. J.D. Martinez – RF
  5. Chris Iannetta – C
  6. Paul Goldschmidt – 1B
  7. Brandon Drury – 2B
  8. Daniel Descalso – SS

Note: When Chris Herrmann is behind the plate, I would place him in the eighth spot, Descalso would hit seventh and Drury sixth and so on.

As you probably noticed, Ketel is nowhere to be found and I do not have Lamb batting against lefties. Lamb is not hitting anybody right now and is batting .146 against southpaws this season.

Marte is a great option against righties, but he has not seen the ball well against anybody in the last seven-plus days.

Drury deserves more playing time. His overall season numbers are not bad and a majority of his hits lately have gone for extra bases.

Bottom Line: I do not want Goldschmidt batting as low as I have placed him, but he is not doing anything right now.

Maybe what Lovullo did with Pollock could work for Goldy. Pollock, Martinez, Iannetta and Descalso are driving in runs. They need to be up more often.

"No juiced ball for the Arizona Diamondbacks and unbroken franchise HR record"

Want your voice heard? Join the Venom Strikes team!

Write for us!

facebooktwitterreddit