(The season is still young, but there are a few teams who have underperformed and played below expectations. Is it time to worry? Or is this just a bad stretch? That's up for debate.)
Record: (13-22) Last place in the NL West
-team batting average is horribly low
-hitters can't get on base
-no Brandon Webb
-Last in NL in team batting average (.232)
-Last in NL in team OBP (.307)
-15th in NL in runs (129)
-Chris Young: (.185, 2 HR, 8 RBI)
-Conor Jackson: (.182, 1 HR, 14 RBI)
-Eric Byrnes: (.200, 4 HR, 12 RBI)
-Bottom Line: Three words for ya. Team. Wide. Slump. Outside of Felipe Lopez and Justin Upton, the D-Backs have been about as bad as it gets. Some of the young players (Young, Jackson, Drew, Snyder) that were supposed to be the foundation for years to come have instead started off terribly this season. However, this should not be too much of surprise considering that the Diamondbacks offense finished 15 in the NL in hits last season, 15th in the NL in strikeouts, and 14th in the NL in batting average. Obviously, the young players have not improved at the rate that Diamondbacks management hoped they would.
-11th in NL in ERA (4.60)
-14th in NL in runs allowed (160)
-3rd in home runs allowed (39)
-Jon Garland: (3-2, 5.18 ERA)
-Jon Rauch: (7.07 ERA in 17 games)
-Brandon Webb: Only 1 start
Bottom Line: Pitching is not the issue here. Even though some guys have struggled, the pitching has actually been alright this season. But the pitching would have to be miraculous/amazing/spectacular/out of this world in order to off set the offensive struggles. Also, the loss of Brandon Webb has deprived the Diamondbacks of their ace and the team has struggled to fill his void in the rotation.
Time to Panic?
For the Diamondbacks, the results so far this season are especially concerning. The players that management believed would form the core of the franchise for the next decade are struggling badly. The Diamondbacks' struggles are not just about 2009, they have future implications attached to them.
Is Chris Young the center fielder of the future?
Can Conor Jackson hit for enough power?
What to do with Eric Byrnes?
Is Stephen Drew regressing? Or was he just hurt?
I don't doubt that the Diamondbacks can turn it around, but there are a number of things that need to turn around in a hurry. If I'm a Diamondbacks fan, I'd be more concerned about the 2010 and beyond instead of 2009.