Diamondbacks Begin Addressing Pitching

The Arizona Diamondbacks took their first step towards bolstering their beleaguered bullpen when they claimed right-handed reliever Brian Sweeney off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. Sweeney who is 36 signed a minor league contract with the Mariners last spring and began the season pitching for Triple-A Tacoma.

Sweeney pitched well in the minor leagues especially against left-handed batters who hit just .125 against him in 13.1 innings. Overall he had a 2.51 ERA in 28 innings of work before being called up to Seattle.

After his promotion Sweeney appeared in 24 games throwing 37 innings accumulating a 3.16 ERA. At the major league level Sweeney had more success against right-handers keeping them to a 2.28 ERA.

Sweeney has spent parts of four seasons in the major leagues. Besides the Mariners he also spent time with the San Diego Padres leading you to wonder whether General Manager Kevin Towers is leaning towards bringing in known commodities. Given the success of the Padres bullpen that might not be a bad thing.

When Towers first took the job of General Manager he suggest that his desire in building a bullpen is to start at the back and work forward. I’m hoping that does not mean Sweeney will be the new Diamondbacks closer. Although that may be a step up from what the Diamondbacks had last season.

In other pitching related news, the team provided a press release surrounding Brandon Webb. General Partner Ken Kendrick is quoted as is CEO/President Derrick Hall and Towers. All of them thanked Webb for his contributions both on and off the field.

Given the message it does not look as if the Diamondbacks are interested in making an offer to their former ace during the five-day exclusive period that began the day after the World Series ended. The team seems content with allowing the market to determine Webb’s value.

If that value fits into the Diamondbacks budget the team will offer a contract to keep Webb in Sedona Red. With the depth of pitching being relatively shallow this off-season it will be surprising if Webb returns to Arizona.


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