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Arizona Diamondbacks

It's not just pitching; the D-backs need a bat, too

Unfortunately for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Miguel Montero and Paul Goldschmidt are the only ones on the roster hitting the ball during a very crucial stretch of the schedule. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

One general feeling surrounding the Arizona Diamondbacks these days is that the they're in desperate need of pitching -- both in the starting rotation and in the bullpen.

Only Patrick Corbin, who represented the franchise in last Tuesday's All-Star Game, has been a reliable starter this season. The bullpen? That's been a disaster as well, with the team piling up a baseball-leading 19 blown saves this season.

I'm not denying that the D-backs' need for pitching isn't legitimate. I'm just saying that general manager Kevin Towers should also be looking for a bat to add to the lineup if he wishes to hold on to the D-backs' current lead in the National League West.

That need was intensified Friday night when the punchless Diamondbacks managed just five hits against San Francisco right-hander Chad Gaudin, who has made more headlines for his busy hands in Vegas hospitals this year than he has on the mound. Gaudin and the Giants shut out the D-backs 2-0 to open a crucial three-game series.

The offensive numbers in Arizona's last eight games, have been, well, offensive.

The troubles started when the Los Angeles Dodgers came to town for a three-game series July 8. The Diamondbacks got swept, scored just seven runs in the series with only two of the runs coming in the first two games.

Since then, it's been an adventure for any D-back with a bat in his hands. In those eight games, Arizona is averaging 2.5 runs per game, is hitting just .178 as a team and .174 with runners in scoring position. They've posted a 3-5 record in that span and scored two or less runs five times.

Of the regulars, only catcher Miguel Montero (.273 average with two home runs) and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (.321) are hitting better than .250 in the eight games, although Goldschmidt's power numbers are down. The All-Star is slugging just .393 since July 8.

Many of the available big name starting pitchers have been linked the D-backs over the last few weeks, but Cubs' right-hander Matt Garza, Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo and White Sox veteran Jake Peavy appear to be too rich for Arizona's blood for a number of reasons. That leaves the possibility of looking within the organization (possibly calling up Double-A prospect Archie Bradley) a very real one.

Kevin Towers may face some of the same obstacles in trying to acquire a hitter as well. Rumors are flying hot and heavy about White Sox outfielder Alex Rios, but he's owed $25 million over the next two seasons, so that'll likely leave Arizona off the list of potential suitors.

But hey, there are two guys on the farm named Davidson and Owings who are producing quite nicely. Maybe either (or both) of them could be the cost-effective remedy to the D-backs' sagging offense.

But something's got to change, and in a hurry. The Diamondbacks won't be in first place by August 1 if something doesn't spark the bats.

About the Author


School: Arizona State University

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: October 2011

Favorite sports memory: Watching Cardinals win NFC Championship over Philly in January 2009 with my Dad...ASU wins 1987 Rose Bowl...Suns defeat Lakers in 1990 NBA Playoffs...2001 World Series

Favorite all-time athletes: Don Mattingly, Jeff Hornacek, Walter Davis, Anquan Boldin

Favorite sports movies: Friday Night Lights, The Natural, Hoosiers

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