After the 2006 season the Arizona Diamondbacks decided they needed to make some changes to their roster and in particular they needed to upgrade their starting pitching staff. Although the 2006 team had the National League Cy Young Award winner as its ace, there was not a lot of consistency after Brandon Webb. The bottom of the rotation was especially troublesome with the number 4 and number 5 starters both being extremely inconsistent. Juan Cruz and Claudio Vargas both gave a lot of effort but you never knew whether you were going to get 7 innings or 1 inning of work out of them. No, if the Diamondbacks were going to compete they were going to need to get a lot better results from their starting pitchers. The plan began to materialize in August when the Diamondbacks traded for workhorse Livan Hernandez. He was an innings killer which is exactly what Arizona needed. If they could get more innings out of their starting pitchers that should equate to less wear and tear on their bullpen which in turn should mean more consistency late in the game. Front line starting pitching does not grow on trees (at least I have never seen a starting pitching tree and no one at the nursery that I called had ever heard of one) so the Diamondbacks were going to need to wheel and deal in order to find someone who could fill this desperate need.


read more