The first month of the Arizona Diamondbacks season is over and it's provided enough talking points to fill a whole season. Here are my top five.
1. The bullpen
The D-backs have blown 10 saves. The Major League average through the first month of the season is three. The problem is that it's not just one guy; just about everybody (Putz, Bell, Hernandez, Sipp) is fighting it right now. So there aren't a ton of decisions to be made. No one to promote or demote, and in that regard it's somewhat liberating. You don't have a choice; the guys in the pen just need to do better unless you plan on making Matt Reynolds your closer -- which you most certainly will not do. One note of irony; the D-backs won six of the 10 games in which they blew a save. Go figure.
2. Ian Kennedy is not an ace
A return to his 2011 form was part of the blueprint for the 2013 D-backs but it just hasn't happened yet. In fact, Kennedy continues to look more like last year's model. Ace of this staff? The guy I would want starting in game one of a playoff series? A good guy? Good teammate? Good competitor? Yes on all counts. A Major League "ace"? I fear Ian has been miscast in that role.
3. The Upton thing
Here is a tweet from the PR arm of Major League Baseball:
That is all.
Aaron Hill. Adam Eaton. Jason Kubel. Didi Gregorius. Willie Bloomquist. At some point they'll get these key cogs back, and when they do they'll be a different looking team. But until then, you must...
5. Continue to survive
Which they have done a fine job of up until this point. Between the injuries, blown saves, the Upton thing, the slow starts of Miguel Montero and Martin Prado and the inconsistent starting pitching, the D-backs have been able to stay close. More than that, they were in first place before the nightmare series against the Giants. Paul Goldschmidt, Gerardo Parra, Patrick Corbin and Wade Miley all have had a lot to do with that.