Arizona Diamondbacks April Review: Starters Rocked, Ryan Roberts Rolled

Chris GreenCorrespondent IIIMay 5, 2011

Ryan Roberts
Ryan RobertsChristian Petersen/Getty Images

With the first month of the MLB season complete, the Diamondbacks find themselves…not in last place in the division!  With a team that is quasi rebuilding, you have to take the small victories where you can find them.  Baby steps, baby steps.

As is usual for the infant stage of the season there were players with some impressive numbers that undoubtedly eventually fell back to Earth, and there are players that are still searching for their groove.

Miguel Montero was among league leaders in batting average in the first few weeks, and he is still batting a very respectable .281.  He’s been so successful in fact, that it’s been hard for backup Henry Blanco to get playing time.

Ryan Roberts is also off to a fantastic start.  He finished spring training as the best batter in MLB, and he’s kept that fire going into May.  No disrespect to Willie Bloomquist, but Roberts is a player who could remain as an offensive leader on the team throughout the season. 

In 2009, when he received regular playing time for the first time in his career, he finished with a .279 batting average.  A .300 average at the season’s end is certainly within the realm of possibility. 

Conversely, Kelly Johnson, who was among the better hitting second baseman in 2010, is sitting below the Mendoza line.  He will break out of this prolonged slump eventually, and when he does he will be a boon a Diamondbacks offense which currently has the seventh most runs in MLB, even despite Johnson’s struggles.

The biggest detriment to the Diamondbacks so far has been the starting rotation.  They have struggled mightily—most nights giving up five or more runs—and the team has had to rely on the offense to win games.  Ian Kennedy is the only starter with an ERA under 5.00.  If the rest of the staff can’t improve the Diamondbacks should probably start trading for next year right now.

All things considered, this team has at least been fun to watch and going to the ballpark should again be enjoyable for Diamondback fans.