With last night’s victory over the rain-sodden Marlins, the D’backs completed a 4-2 trip through the South. Pundits D’Back supporters are already calling this the long-awaited turnaround for the 2009 season. I don’t know if I would go that far. But, if this is the supposed renaissance weekend maybe a look back is in order. Here are the lessons we learned from the first six games of this road trip.
Chris Young is in serious trouble. Not Eric Byrnes trouble, but serious trouble. Wednesday’s double-header had Young at 0-5 with five K’s including one while failing to lay down a key sacrifice bunt in the early game loss. For the six game D’back renaissance, he was a combined 0-13 with 7 K’s. On the season, he is 22 for 132 with 2 HRs, 8 RBI’s and 40 K’s. Unfortunately, Chris isn’t worried and neither are the D’backs. Not sure if denial is the best solution guys.
Chad Tracy is in serious trouble. Not Eric Byrnes trouble, but more than Chris Young trouble. At the conclusion of the six-game D’back renaissance he was 2 for May. Josh Byrnes…er…A.J Hinch, I mean, will keep running him out there hoping he breaks out of his slump so he has some trade value at the deadline. I include him on the list of players that will not be D’backs in 2010 and maybe late 2009. This list also includes Doug Davis.
Mark Reynolds is infuriating. So Mark decided to hit this road trip. In the four game set with Florida, he went 7 for 16 with 4 HRs, 7 RBIs (CY has EIGHT on the YEAR), 3 BBs and 6 SBs. Two observations:
(1) Reynolds is a streaky hitter. We may just have to live with that. He’s like Steve Finely with more power but shittier defensive abilities. Whatever. On this team, he’s a freaking borderline all-star. If he and Upton get hot at the same time this team will score in bunches.
(2) SIX stolen bases in four games for Reynolds. I know this is a tired argument from overreacting fans, but why isn’t this team stealing 6-10 bases a series. Look at the D’Back’s line-up. Reynolds, Upton, Parra, Young (if he ever gets on), Ojeda, Byrnes (see Young). These guys can steal bases like a mother. It’s time to send out the green light. It’s not like this team is built for the three-run bomb. A.J., I promise SoD will not rip you for guys who get caught stealing.
The “Josh Whitesell/Brian Augenstein” project did not work. Look I think both guys have promise but this isn’t a Tuesday split-squad game in March at Hohokam Park. Whitesell looked overmatched against big league pitching (and not even top tier big league pitching) and finished with a .115 batting average before being sent down this week along with Augenstein. The new BA looked slightly more promising than Whitesell but I think we all agree that he needs to marinate in the minors a little more before becoming a contributor on the major league level.
Eric Byrnes… Man, when it goes, it goes quick. I mean even Chuck Knoblauch and David Duvall think Byrnes fell of the face of the Earth. If this guy isn’t popping up weakly to shallow centerfield on outside pitches, he is kicking it around in the outfield. You can also add him to the list of guys who will not be back in 2010 — contract or no contract.
Next up: A three game set with Oakland. Ah, the classic A’s – D’backs interleague rivalry. So much history and folklore. Thanks Bud.