The Diamondbacks returned home after a miserable road trip losing two out of three in Atlanta and then Milwaukee. They had hoped to return to form as they had in prior home stands going six and one in each of the prior home trips.
As it stands right now the Diamondbacks have lost the first two games against the San Diego Padres and it seems to be getting uglier.
Diamondbacks Ups and Downs
The stock market baseball I spoke of consists of peaks and valleys, ups and downs and an overall gloomy picture for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Fortunately for the Diamondbacks, the Giants and the Dodgers aren’t playing much better.
Manager Kirk Gibson continues to shuffle the lineup and insert new blood in the starting positions hoping to catch lightning in a bottle like he did last season.
So far it’s been more miss than hit trying to bottle that lightning. The Diamondbacks are still getting excellent play from some of the regulars; players like Aaron Hill, Paul Goldschmidt, Willie Bloomquist and Gerardo Parra are the guys getting the job done on a day-to-day basis.
Sadly for the Diamondbacks, the players with the biggest contracts seem to be struggling the most. Gibson cannot be happy with what he sees from some of his players, case in point Justin Upton.
Against the Padres, Upton came to the plate with bases loaded and a chance to get the Diamondbacks back into the game.
Upton’s performance at the plate resulted in a strikeout and was met with a chorus of boos from the fans. But it was only a few moments that the boo’s turned into cheers as Jason Kubel parked one in the seats for a grand slam.
The new Diamondback added to the roster this season had come through again and got the Diamondbacks closer.
Unfortunately that’s all they were able to generate and the Diamondbacks dropped the second game of the series as they did the first.
Ken Kendricks, the managing general partner of the Diamondbacks, recently called out Upton over his performance up to that point. That seemed to light a fire under Upton and his numbers began to increase.
What was disturbing about the Upton strikeout with bases loaded was as he was walking back to the dugout, listening to the boo’s from the fans, Upton smiled.
My guess is that response will not endear him to Kirk Gibson or the ownership of the Diamondbacks.
Upton is a well-liked player on the Dbacks and has a promising future and is a very talented player, but none of that is a guarantee that he can remain with the club and not be traded.
Diamondbacks Trade Deadline Options
The trade deadline is approaching and nobody’s job is safe on a team that is struggling and under-achieving.
So the talk around Phoenix once again, returns to what the Diamondbacks can do after the All-Star break.
As stated before, last year the Diamondbacks went on a tear winning their division going away after the 2011 All-Star game. Where the Diamondbacks have improved on paper over last season, improvement has yet to be seen on the field except for the two recent, six and one home stands.
So much like the stock market, the Phoenix fans wait to see what transpires on a day-to-day basis. Many fans are starting to feel the pressure of the situation and are calling for trades before the deadline to keep the Diamondbacks in the hunt for the NL West title.
But once again, like the stock market, there are no guarantees or a sure thing.