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Hazen on D-backs’ offense: ‘We have to give these guys time’

Arizona Diamondbacks' Steven Souza Jr., right, argues with umpire Doug Eddings. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

In the Arizona Diamondbacks’ last 17 games, the offense has scored more than four runs a grand total of once.

“I do think playing the first five to six weeks of the season, the majority without (Steven) Souza, almost the entire part of it without (Jake) Lamb, has had some subtle impact,” D-backs GM Mike Hazen said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf.

News on the injury front has not gotten better over the last week either.

A.J. Pollock, the D-backs’ leader in hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, batting average, OPS, slugging percentage and total bases was just recently placed on the DL for a broken thumb.

“I don’t think injuries, I mean, that’s not an excuse. We need to go out and do better. We are better than how we are performing offensively right now,” Hazen said.

The D-backs rank in the bottom third the the MLB this season in batting average, hits, total bases and runs scored. So how does a struggling offense turn it around?

“At this stage of the season, given Steven Souza has around 40 at-bats and Lamb’s going to come back, coming off of a rehab assignment, we have to give these guys time,” Hazen said.

It has not been all doom and gloom for the D-backs offensively.

Utility infielder Daniel Descalso is enjoying a career season and is on pace to set career highs in RBI, home runs, on-base percentage and OPS. Descalso also leads the MLB in sacrifice flies.

Leadoff hitter David Peralta is on pace to set career highs in RBI and home runs.

But one of the biggest disappointments has been first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. The five-time all-star is batting .082 points below his career batting average.

Some of his problems, Hazen believes, can be explained by Lamb’s injury.

“Not having a lefty on either side, I think it’s had a little bit of an impact. It allows opposing teams’ bullpens to keep firing right-handed relievers at him,” Hazen said.

Lately, Goldschmidt has been starting to turn it around. He has a modest two-game hit streak and has gotten on base in three of his last eight plate appearances.

Hazen had high praise for his first baseman.

“He is going to the Hall of Fame. He’s had a hall of fame career and he’s been one of the best hitters in baseball for as long as you can remember. He is going to be again,” Hazen said.