ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

ESPN: D-backs’ lineup ranks among bottom half of MLB

May 21, 2018, 6:30 AM | Updated: 8:28 am
Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt stands at third base after connecting for a run-scoring trip...
Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt stands at third base after connecting for a run-scoring triple against the San Diego Padres during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Diamondbacks started their 2018 campaign in a strong way, tying the franchise’s second-best record in a 39-game stretch at 24-15.

Since then, however, the D-backs are just 1-5 in their last six games. They’ve lost 10 of 11 and three straight series.

Arizona has managed to limit the damage on defense, boasting a National League-best 3.31 ERA, which is also the second-best in the majors behind the Houston Astros.

But the D-backs have struggled on offense with just a .219 batting average, the worst in MLB.

Injuries have played a major role in Arizona’s offensive struggles, affecting some of its top sluggers. Those who are healthy can’t seem to find a rhythm at the plate.

ESPN’s Jeff Sullivan recently ranked each lineup in the big leagues based on the overall depth of each team. While the D-backs’ roster is loaded with talent, they still fall in the bottom half of the league at No. 21.

Let me say this for the Diamondbacks’ position players: As a team, they rank second in baseball in defensive runs saved, and first in baseball in ultimate zone rating. This is a roster stocked with ball-catchers. It’s just not stocked with many hitters.

I’m still not very concerned about Paul Goldschmidt’s slump, and I have plenty of trust in A.J. Pollock. I’m just not sold on the rest of the support, and Pollock will be sidelined for at least the next month. By top-end talent, the Diamondbacks are dangerous, but there’s little depth.

Goldschmidt managed to hit his first home run in 30 games Saturday against the Mets but had just five hits prior to that in the month of May and a single RBI.

Pollock leads the D-backs in just about every category this season, boasting a .293 batting average along with 44 hits and 11 home runs. But the outfielder was recently placed on the disabled list with a broken thumb and is expected to miss four to eight weeks.

With Pollock sidelined, the D-backs will continue to lean on utility infielder Daniel Descalso at the plate.

The 31-year-old has hit .258 with 10 doubles, five home runs and 22 RBI this season, setting him up to for career highs in each category.

Meanwhile, Steven Souza Jr. on Friday reinjured a pectoral muscle, an issue that kept him out of the lineup for the first month of the season.

The D-backs may have more help on the way, however, as infielder Jake Lamb was reinstated from the disabled list Friday and has shaken eight at-bats worth of rust off.

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ESPN: D-backs’ lineup ranks among bottom half of MLB