Enright Entrenched in the D-backs Rotation

Enright Entrenched in the D-backs Rotation

Not only are the recent performances of newcomers Joe Saunders and Daniel Hudson encouraging signs for the future of the Arizona Diamondbacks starting rotation, but Barry Enright, the second-best pitching prospect in the Diamondbacks organization heading into the season, has been extremely impressive in his first seven big league starts.

Rookie right-hander Barry Enright joined elite company with his fourth consecutive quality start Thursday, when he gave up two runs in six innings of an 8-4 victory over Washington.

Enright has given up three runs or fewer in his first seven major league starts, joining Jered Weaver of the Angels, San Francisco's Matt Cain, and Seattle's Felix Hernandez as the only active major leaguers to have done that. Weaver ran his streak to nine.

And it has come to this: after seven starts, Enright has been so impressive that his name has come to be included, without qualification, when the talk turns to the members of the 2011 rotation, which also would include Joe Saunders, Ian Kennedy, and Daniel Hudson.

Enright, 3-2 with a 2.81 ERA, gave up two bases-empty home runs and had only one 1-2-3 inning Thursday, but he also got two double-play grounders and was able to dial it up when necessary. He has given up 1, 3, 2, 1, 2, 2, and 2 runs in his seven starts, and his four-pitch command has helped him record eight double-play grounders in 41 2/3 innings.

"What I like about Barry is that it's not just tonight, it's every night," said second baseman Kelly Johnson, who had a hand in both of Enright's double plays. "He repeats his delivery, he's got confidence, he's poised, and he knows how to pitch. He throws strikes. He's one of those guys who knows how to be hard on himself and make an adjustment.

"He's not lighting up the radar gun or freezing people with hooks and things like that. He's just making great pitches and continuing to put it where he needs to put it. That's the name of the game, being relentless with his spots. You can book it that you're going to see that type of pitcher."

Enright also singled in a run Thursday on the pitch after missing a bunt on a suicide squeeze attempt. He has a four-game hitting streak, tied for the longest in franchise history by a pitcher.

DIAMONDBACKS 2, PADRES 1: RHP Daniel Hudson gave up one run on three hits in 7 2/3 innings Friday to win his home debut in his second start since being obtained from the Chicago White Sox for RHP Edwin Jackson. 1B Adam LaRoche hit a bases-empty home run, his fourth homer in the last seven games, and RF Justin Upton singled in the go-ahead run in the third inning. RHP Aaron Heilman, the de facto closer, picked up his fifth save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

SNAKE BYTES

--RHP Daniel Hudson threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 29 batters he faced Friday while winning his D-backs home debut, his second victory after being obtained with minor-leaguer LHP David Holmberg from the Chicago White Sox for RHP Edwin Jackson. In two starts, Hudson has given up two runs and six hits in 15 2/3 innings. "I felt good out there, pretty good fastball command," Hudson said.

--1B Adam LaRoche hit his fourth home run in seven games and has hit safely in seven of his last nine, during which he is 16-for-40 while adding two doubles and 10 RBI. LaRoche, who has been hitting cleanup the last two weeks, has 10 hits in his last four games, all multi-hit games.

--3B Mark Reynolds took a full batting practice session -- he hit one ball an estimated 450 feet into the picnic area above the left-center field fence in Chase Field -- but was held out of the lineup for the second straight game after being hit in the batting helmet by a 95 mph fastball Tuesday. Reynolds took a cognitive test for a second straight day Friday, and said he is scheduled to take another Saturday. Those results are compared to a baseline test conducted in spring training to judge his preparedness to return.

--LHP Tyler Skaggs is expected to join the organization Saturday to finalize the five-player deal that sent RHP Dan Haren to the Los Angeles Angels on July 25. Skaggs, the player to be named, could not be traded until August 7, the first anniversary of the date he signed his $1 million contract with the Angels after being the 40th pick in the 2009 draft.

--RHP Barret Loux, the D-backs' first-round pick and 6th selection overall in the June draft, has joined the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod League, and it appears the sides have gone their separate ways since Loux was found to have shoulder and elbow issues in a post-draft physical. If the D-backs do not sign Loux by the August 16 deadline, they will get the seventh pick in the 2011 draft as compensation in addition to their own, which today would be the fourth overall pick.

--RHP Jarrod Parker threw 20 pitches in a simulated game Friday, a first since undergoing Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on Aug. 27, 2009. Parker threw all three of his pitches -- fastball, slider, changeup -- and reported that he felt good afterwards. The D-backs still hope to place him in the Arizona Fall League, which begins in October.


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