Back in 2014, however, Blackmon was baseball's early-season darling.
Blackmon had seen action in the previous three seasons, but he didn't become a starter until 2014. Blackmon went 6-for-6 against the D-backs in the home opener and finished the first month at .374. He became human again, meaning he had spurts and slumps like everyone else.
"I knew that .400, or whatever I was hitting that month, is not sustainable," Blackmon said. "Generally speaking, you're not going to hit .400 every month. I guess it's possible, but it's not something where I would go out there and say, 'I've got to keep this going.' I just do the best I can every day."
In a sense, keeping it in perspective without looking over the shoulder for the big slump might be the biggest challenge.
"Sometimes it's harder to manage what your thoughts are when you're going really good," Blackmon said. "You're not used to, 'Wow, I've got three hits in my last three at-bats.' You're not used to being in that position. You're used to, 'All right, I'm 1-for-3. Let me try to squeeze out another hit today.' This changes the way you think. It's just another obstacle, something you've got to deal with."
Blackmon entered Friday 1-for-10 with a strikeout and a walk, but none of that measured the quality of his at-bats. He saw 35 pitches in Monday night's opener, and went into Friday having seen nearly six pitches per plate appearance.
"My goal is to be really competitive every at-bat, to force the pitcher to make multiple good pitches to get me out," Blackmon said. "I'm not saying I'll be able to see 30-some pitches every night. I'll be real tired. But I do want to make the pitcher work hard."
• Right-handed pitcher Jon Gray, on the 15-day disabled list with an abdominal strain, will make an injury rehab start for Class A Modesto against Stockton on Saturday night. He will be limited to 65 pitches or five innings.
• Righty reliever Jason Motte (right shoulder strain) is on a strengthening program, but he has not been cleared to throw. Lefty starter Tyler Anderson (right oblique strain) has played long toss and thrown on flat ground, but he has yet to be cleared to throw off the mound. Lefty Tyler Matzek (anxiety) has thrown bullpen sessions, but he has not yet appeared in extended spring camp games. And infielder Daniel Descalso (left hand fracture) participated in home opener ceremonies Friday, but he will then will return to Arizona to visit with doctors and learn the next step in his rehab.