3 Biggest Takeaways from the First Month of the Arizona Diamondbacks' Season

Adam YoungContributor IIMay 2, 2015

3 Biggest Takeaways from the First Month of the Arizona Diamondbacks' Season

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    Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

    The first month of the Arizona Diamondbacks' season has shown a little bit of everything. 

    The 2015 D-backs have gotten off to a much better start than the 2014 team, which started the season 5-18 through 23 games. This Arizona team sits at 10-12 entering their 23rd game this season.

    There are areas in which the Snakes have improved from 2014, but there are also some recurring themes that could possibly limit the possibility of a postseason run.

    Here are the three biggest takeaways from the first month of the D-backs' season.

The Core Players Are off to a Good Start

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    Matt York/Associated Press

    Before the season started, the D-backs lineup looked as if it would be their biggest strength. With Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock and Mark Trumbo entering the season healthy, there was reason to believe runs would not be hard to come by.

    Through the first month of the season, the D-backs are 15th in the MLB in runs scored (96). They have been boom or bust for the most part, however. 

    In the Pittsburgh series last week, Arizona scored only two runs the entire series. But they bounced back the following series against the Rockies, combining for 25 runs.

    The top part of the order has carried the team so far. The usual top five in the order have all gotten off to great starts.

    Leadoff hitter, Ender Inciarte, is hitting .313. In the No. 2 hole, Pollock is hitting .316 with eight RBI. Goldschmidt is back to his healthy self, hitting .346 with five home runs and 20 RBI. Trumbo has struggled to hit the long ball with only two in the first month, but his average is at .303. And finally, offseason acquisition Yasmany Tomas has impressed at .321 to start his big league career.

    If the bottom of the order, consisting of Tuffy Gosewisch, Nick Ahmed and Chris Owings, can complement the core five, then the D-backs should be an offensively potent group that can string together a ton of wins.

    That has not happened so far, which is why Arizona is still a middle-of-the-pack offensive team.

The Bullpen Has Not Improved

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Arizona's bullpen has not been ranked in the top half of the MLB since 2012, when the pen carried a 3.28 ERA. 

    It was vital that the bullpen improve this season, especially with four new starting pitchers entering the rotation in 2015.

    So far, it's been worse.

    Entering Saturday, the D-backs bullpen is 23rd in the league, sporting a 4.39 ERA. Closer Addison Reed is 0-1, with a 4.50 ERA and only one save. He has also blown a save and was responsible for the loss April 25 vs. Pittsburgh.

    Long reliever Andrew Chafin, who had impressed early in the season, has struggled of late, surrendering seven runs in his last four outings.

    Setup man Evan Marshall has been hit hard (6.00 ERA) and has also blown a save opportunity.

    With the exception of Brad Ziegler, who has yet to give up an earned run in 9.2 innings pitched, and Randall Delgado (1.69 ERA in 10.2 IP), it can be argued that not one member of the bullpen is having a good season through the first month.

    That needs to change if the D-backs want to get back over .500 in May.

Power Numbers Are Down Again

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    RICK SCUTERI/Associated Press

    The past two seasons, Arizona has ranked 25th in the majors in home runs. That is a disappointing stat considering Chase Field is one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the MLB.

    This season, the long ball has once again been an anomaly. Entering Saturday, the D-backs have only clubbed 14 home runs. 

    Only the Marlins (13), White Sox (12) and Twins (12) have hit fewer home runs. 

    To put this stat in perspective, their NL West rivals, Padres (23) and Dodgers (35), have significantly more big flies despite playing in pitcher-friendly parks. 

    When Goldschmidt is not hitting the ball out of the ballpark, it seems as if no one else can pick up the slack. Trumbo has only hit two home runs; Platoon left fielder David Peralta has hit three.

    No other Diamondback player has more than one. 

    With a new rotation full of young starters, it is imperative that Arizona start hitting for more power in the friendly confines of Chase Field. Otherwise, the D-backs will likely be looking at another below-.500 season.

    All statistics are courtesy of Baseball-Reference, unless otherwise noted.

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