Despite the loss of Justin Upton and Chris Young over the offseason and injuries to key contributors (Aaron Hill, Adam Eaton, Eric Chavez) early in 2013, the Diamondbacks offense has been surprisingly consistent.
The team is ranked fourth in the National League in both runs scored and batting average and fifth in average with runners in scoring position. While the Diamondbacks are not a team that can produce heavily with the long ball (12th in home runs), they've shown the ability to plate runs without tremendous power output.
The Diamondbacks looked to improve upon last season's lackluster performance by the starting rotation—ranked 12th in the National League with a 4.26 ERA—but the changes made during the offseason haven't resulted in a positive uptick thus far.
Arizona's starters have posted a 4.15 ERA in the first half, virtually the same as last year's full-season mark. Brandon McCarthy has struggled with a 5.00 ERA in 11 starts in his first year in the desert, and ace Ian Kennedy has been largely inconsistent with a 5.21 ERA in 14 starts.
Patrick Corbin has been one the league's great surprises, however, posting a 9-0 record and 2.19 ERA thus far.
With McCarthy still on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, Daniel Hudson undergoing a second Tommy John surgery and the struggles of others, general manager Kevin Towers could be compelled to acquire starting pitching as the trade deadline approaches.
While the bullpen has had issues with an injury to closer J.J. Putz and the struggles of Heath Bell in his absence, the unit as a whole has been pretty darn good in the first half.
Arizona has the third-best bullpen ERA (2.97) in the National League, but it also has the second-most blown saves (14) and has given up 26 home runs in relief.
The closer situation has certainly been an issue recently for the D-backs, but according to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, Putz is expected back on Friday.
The Arizona bench has been terrific. Outfield depth has certainly helped, as manager Kirk Gibson has been able to use Cody Ross, Jason Kubel, Gerardo Parra and A.J. Pollock in various combinations. He'll soon have Adam Eaton back as well.
Wil Nieves has been nothing short of terrific as Miguel Montero's backup behind the plate. He's contributed a lofty .412 average in limited action.
Arizona is also second in the NL with 14 pinch-hits.
Final Overall Grade: B
While the rotation has had its issues, the Diamondbacks have been able to overcome injury setbacks to lead the NL West. With healthy bodies and slight tweaks to the roster in the coming weeks, they'll be well-positioned to try and hold on to that advantage in the division.