Enright Continues to Struggle

For the third consecutive game Diamondbacks right-handed pitcher Barry Enright struggled. In tonight’s game Enright lasted just over three innings. This is the second consecutive game where Enright lasted less than four innings.

The most recent three innings were enough to derail the rookie. Enright allowed just six hits. Unfortunately of those six, two were home runs. Add to this the four home runs Enright allowed during his previous start and there is plenty to be concerned about.

After a dominating series of starts when he arrived in the major leagues, Enright has seen the tide turn as hitters take advantage of him being around the plate with strikes. It is not so much that Enright is getting hit, it is how hard he is getting hit.

His fastball is getting tagged. As the game progressed you could see Enright begin to be hesitant throwing that pitch over the plate. This nibbling around the plate resulted in three walkis in three innings of work.

Enright seems to be leaving the ball up in the strike zone, a mistake that most major league hitters will make you pay dearly for. Watching these last few games where Enright started, it is difficult to tell what has changed for the rookie.

Part of the hitters success is undoubtedly a result of the hitters having more scouting video available on Enright than they had earlier. They have made adjustments while Enright has not.

The other factor could be one of fatigue. Between minor league and major league appearances, Enright has now thrown 179.2 innings this season. This total eclipses his previous career high of 164 innings that he threw in 2008.

Typically the Arizona Diamondbacks attempt to limit the growth in total innings by no more than 10 percent per year. Enright would be at exactly that amount after tonight’s loss. If you consider he threw only 156 innings last season, Enright is above his mark.

With two perhaps three starts remaining this season it is questionable whether the Diamondbacks front office will push the rookie or if they will shut him down for the last two weeks of the season.

When the season ends, the Diamondbacks will meet with coaches and develop an off-season throwing program for each of their pitchers. Look for Enright’s program to include more leg work to strength his leg muscles more.

From my observation it appears as though Enright’s lower body is not pushing through as it did earlier in the season. Whether this is a conscious change to his mechanics or just a sign of fatigue it bears monitoring.

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