The D-backs are off to a shaky start in 2014. At 7-18, Arizona has MLB's worst record and lost Mark Trumbo to a stress fracture in his left foot Wednesday. The D-backs took a big step in the right direction by splitting the series against the Cubs this week, but their struggles at home are particularly alarming.
Arizona's 1-11 home record is MLB's worst -- though two of those losses came in the season-opening games in Australia, but that still means the D-backs have won just once in 10 tries at Chase Field. They went 0-6 in their most recent homestand and were outscored 43-16 by the Dodgers and Mets.
In Kirk Gibson's first three full seasons as manager, the D-backs went 137-106 (.564) at home despite 81-81 records the past two seasons. Gibson can only hope his club's play in the desert improves when it hosts the Philadelphia Phillies for a three-game set starting Friday.
"Well you're supposed to play good at home," Gibson said. "I mean, it's your home field, you have your fans there, you can sleep in your own bed. Your schedule, it's always good to be with your family.
"We haven't played well there this year. Played some good teams and the Phillies are playing good so it'll be another challenge for us."
The Phillies will send right-hander Roberto Hernandez to the mound against Josh Collmenter. Hernandez saw his ERA jump from 3.86 to 5.75 after allowing six earned runs in four innings in his last, a no-decision against the Rockies on Sunday. Collmenter is looking to tally his first win of the season. The right-hander allowed four runs over six innings in his last start.
Other than Hernandez's rocky outing and struggles by Jonathan Pettibone, who was filling in for the now-healthy Cole Hamels, the Phillies' starting pitching has been solid. The issue is Philadelphia's bullpen, which has a National-League worst 5.64 ERA. Three relievers have been optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley because of ineffectiveness -- Brad Lincoln, Justin De Fratus and B.J. Rosenberg.
"On the flip side, some other guys have stepped up and have done a nice job," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "... We're keeping an eye on everybody, and it's a long season. But we have some other guys that are doing well."
D-backs: Kieschnick called up to take place of Trumbo
Day one of life without Mark Trumbo officially began Thursday. The slugging outfielder was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a stress fracture in his left foot and outfielder Roger Kieschnick was recalled from Triple-A to take his spot. The move is retroactive to Tuesday, as Trumbo first felt discomfort following the D-backs' loss to the Cubs in the series opener on Monday.
Trumbo, who was tied for the NL lead with seven home runs and second with 19 RBIs at the time of the transaction, sat out the following two games before an MRI taken Wednesday revealed the stress fracture.
"He's a big part of our team, our offense and it's a big blow, yet you prepare and you give others an opportunity to fill in for him," Gibson said. "You just try to resolve that as quick as you can, but it happens all around the big leagues."
Kieschnick, 27, was hitting .281 with five doubles, three home runs and 8 RBIs in 18 games for Reno this season. Gibson said his newest player will play regularly, but within a rotation of Arizona's surplus of outfielders.
"I just thought that a left-handed, above-average outfielder that's got some pop, we'll be losing some of the pop from Trumbo being gone," Gibson said of Kieschnick. "[We] considered some other guys and this is the guy I think, as an organization, that we thought would fit us best."
Phillies: Asche losing time to Galvis at third base
Cody Asche, the Phillies' Opening Day third baseman, has started just five of the past 11 games after starting in eight of the season's first 10. He has sat out the last three games while Freddy Galvis mans the hot corner.
Galvis has just one hit in 18 at-bats for a .056 batting average in seven games, while Asche is hitting .196 (9-for-46) with two doubles, one home run and three RBIs in 17 games.
Sandberg said Galvis has been in the lineup because he's played well defensively, a current focus for the team. Asche was viewed as an everyday player, but is trending away from that.
Asked if he might need to talk to Asche about his current situation, Sandberg said, "I don't need to because I already have. I just told him to be ready to go in any capacity. The biggest change in the last three games is quality pitching and good defense. Freddy has been a part of that combination for the last three games."
• D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock hasn't started since Sunday at the Dodgers, when he was removed from the game with tightness on the left side of his neck. He appeared in the ninth inning of Wednesday's win over the Cubs as a pinch- runner. Gibson said Pollock is close to returning after being given one more day off Thursday and doesn't expect the injury to linger.
"I don't. It seems like it's a stiff neck," Gibson said. "Guys get those from time to time ... I'm not aware that we're concerned about it being something that's serious, but the more time that goes on, maybe you start looking on a different level."
• D-backs righty reliever Brad Ziegler has made nine consecutive scoreless appearances and hasn't allowed a run in 12 of 13 games on his way to a for a 1.54 ERA.
Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.