DENVER, CO - APRIL 15: J.J. Putz of the Arizona Diamondbacks and catcher Henry Blanco shake hands after defeating the Colorado Rockies 5-2 at Coors Field on April 15, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. Both teams wore the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
The Diamondbacks will welcome in two of the oldest franchises in baseball this week.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have gotten off to a great start in 2012 with a record of 6-3. After a cold, rainy weekend in Colorado, the club now returns home to the comforts of Chase Field to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves. Pittsburgh has struggled up to this point in the season, while Atlanta has won five-straight entering Monday.
The Pirates are 3-6 and rank among the worst in baseball in terms of offensive output. Andrew McCutchen is the player to watch for them; gifted with a great glove in center field, he's batted .333 through the first week of the season with an OPS of nearly .800. Pittsburgh will send lefty Erik Bedard to the mound on Monday and Jeff Karstens will make the start on Tuesday. John McDonald will go on Wednesday afternoon.
The Braves lost their first four games of the season, but they've recently caught fire, winning their last five games against the Astros and Brewers. Brian McCann is an all-star catcher for Atlanta and has gotten off to a great start, as has young right fielder Jason Heyward. Chipper Jones has only played four games thus far due to various injuries, but the 40-year-old third baseman already has two homers and an OPS upwards of 1.200.
Atlanta will be in town for four games, and they will likely send Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy, Tommy Hanson and rookie Randall Delgado to the mound in Phoenix. Expect a great series between these two clubs.
For more on the D-backs, check out AZ Snake Pit.