Diamondbacks: Who Are These Guys?


Can you correctly name the batting lineup on any given day for the Arizona Diamondbacks?

Who took over left field for Gonzo?

Who are the guys comprising the bullpen?

Can you even name half of the players on the 40-man roster?

Shamefully, neither can I.

More than two weeks into the 2007-2008 season, the Diamondbacks lead the Majors in wins with a 9-4 record and are second behind only the Atlanta Braves, 8-3, in winning percentage.

Maybe these guys deserve some attention after all.

With so many different faces in the clubhouse and on the field, perhaps a fresh look was fitting.

Although the D-Backs' new look is widely unpopular among fans, changing team colors this season from purple and turquoise to Sedona red and sand might prove to be a good move, if current trends continue.

If nothing else, the D-Backs' new skin aptly displays a team filled with new players. And I don't just mean new to the D-Backs.

Seven players on the team's active roster who are getting substantial time -- Brian Barden, Alberto Callaspo, Stephen Drew, Miguel Montero, Tony Pena, Doug Slaten and Chris Young -- have less than one year of experience in the Bigs.

Twenty-seven of the players on the 40-man roster were born in the 1980s.

Talk about a huge gamble.

It might be a little premature to make statements about how good the young players are proving to be with more than 92 percent of the season remaining, and I might really be kicking myself in a couple weeks if I jinx their success with this column.

Somehow, I don't think that will happen. I think this team has enough talent and enough positive chemistry to leave a lot of carnage in its wake.

It's not just the young guys who are making an impact so far. The veterans are holding up their end of the bargain, as well.

Orlando Hudson leads the National League in three of the biggest offensive categories. He's batting .412, is tied for the lead with 13 runs and has 21 hits, also tops. His .588 slugging percentage is good enough for 11th among all national league hitters.

Eric Byrnes is tied for third with 11 RBIs and Chad Tracy's five doubles cracks the top five in the National League.

Livan Hernandez posts a 1.80 ERA and has 20 solid innings in his first three starts this season. Brandon Lyon has already captured two wins in his seven innings of relief work, in as many games.

Tony Clark proved he still yields a big bat on Jackie Robinson Day on Sunday, when his two jacks helped the D-Backs edge the Colorado Rockies, 6-4, to take the series.

The pitching staff is getting it done, the defense has been stellar, the bats have been hot enough and the fundamentals sound enough to result in the D-Backs being the only team (as of press time) with nine wins in the Majors.

Who says inexperience is a hindrance to success? These red-and-tan-clad D-Backs are out to prove that theory wrong.

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