As we are now solidly into the last third of the season, time to look back at numbers since the break, and see which of the Arizona Diamondbacks are heating up and which are cooling down in the second half.
Justin Upton: .363/.425/.549 = .974 OPS
Upton has been hot for more than the past month — over the previous 50 games, he has a .914 OPS — but of late has been close to spontaneous combustion. He had a 17-game hitting streak, tied for eighth longest in franchise history, and hit .403 over that time. His plate discipline has also improved a lot. During May, Upton struck out 36 times and walked only seven, but since the All-Star break, that ratio has dropped to a much more acceptable 24:16.
Barry Enright: 31 IP, 9 ER, 2.61 ERA
Enright was an emergency call-up from Double-A after the failed Dontrelle Willis experiment, but his performances have been beyond what we expected: allowing three runs or less in all seven games. That’s partly because he has been very good at stranding runners — 87 percent of men on base have been left there, which probably won’t continue. Even if that regresses, it’s still been an impressive rookie season. Oh, and Sunday might see him face Stephen Strasburg in Washington. Have fun with that, Barry!
Adam LaRoche: .318/.365/.568 = .933 OPS
While many tipped him to be traded, he’s still here. LaRoche came to Arizona with a reputation as a second-half player, with his post-All-Star-Game numbers significantly better than before it. That seems to be the case as we head down the stretch. He already has four home runs in August, and his 18 RBIs since the break lead the team — LaRoche seems poised to set a career mark there, breaking the 90 he had in 2006.
Ian Kennedy: 27 IP, 16 ER, 5.33 ERA
Ian definitely seems to be flagging down the stretch, in his first full major-league season — we should realize that, due to injury, he hardly threw more than 20 innings last season. That’s supported by a strikeout rate about a third down from what it was in the first half. The other peripheral numbers haven’t changed much, with opponents OBP and SLG almost unchanged from earlier in the season.
Rodrigo Lopez: 30 IP, 19 ER, 5.70 ERA
Again, I wonder if fatigue is playing a part — when he takes the mound on Thursday for his 24th start, it’ll be the most for Lopez in a season since 2006. If you’d asked me at the All-Star break, when his ERA was 4.40, I’d have been happy for the team to re-sign Lopez in 2011, as insurance against Jarrod Parker not being able to crack the starting ro50tation. Now: Not so much. He struggles the third time through an order: Opponents hit .321 this year there, with 13 homers in 162 ABs.
Gerardo Parra: .125/.169/.161 = .330 OPS
With the departure of Conor Jackson, Parra had a chance to claim left field as his own, but the results have been incredibly disappointing. I know he is still only 23, but his season OPS is almost 100 points worse than it was last season. We still don’t know if he can hit left-handed pitching, as he has just 16 at-bats against it all season, and that suggests the team is not apparently looking to lean heavily on Parra full-time for the future.