The old baseball adage that you can never have enough pitching is more than a tired cliché, every team in Major League Baseball at one time or another wishes they could find pitching help that would make a difference to their team.
During his monthly chat with the fans, Arizona Diamondbacks CEO/President Derrick Hall was asked what the team is doing to support manager Kirk Gibson to field a competitive team. Hall stated that Kevin Towers was actively looking for players who he felt could make a difference and allow the Diamondbacks to continue to battle for the NL West lead.
At the top of that shopping list is pitching and in particular relief pitching. Last season the Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen was last in earned run average and the focus of Towers this past off-season. This year’s staff is dramatically improved but has at times been inconsistent.
Towers is interested in finding another veteran arm that would be a late-inning reliever bridging the gap from starter to closer J.J. Putz. David Hernandez has been tremendous as the set-up man after coming across in the Mark Reynolds trade with Baltimore. The issue has been with the sixth or seventh inning where relievers such as Esmerling Vasquez, Aaron Heilman, and Kam Mickolio have had success but have also struggled at times.
Besides the bullpen, the starting rotation has also been inconsistent. While Ian Kennedy has been good thus far and Daniel Hudson and Joe Saunders have started to come around the fourth and fifth starters have struggled.
After a great first game Zack Duke struggled against the Washington Nationals last night. Josh Collmenter has shown flashes of brilliance but there are questions whether he will continue to have success as teams get more at bats against his unorthodox delivery making you wonder if perhaps Towers should be looking for a fifth starter.
Word out of Los Angeles is that the Dodgers are primed to make a roster move activating Vicente Padilla from the disabled list. While the corresponding move has not been announced there are rumors that starter Jon Garland will be designated for assignment.
Garland has pitched for the Diamondbacks before with mixed results. He could offer a veteran presence and provide a good option for a fifth starter allowing the Diamondbacks to move Collmenter back to the bullpen where he has been successful and would not have to go through the opposing team’s line-up multiple times.
Only time will tell whether Garland becomes available but it would seem to be an interesting option to explore and give the Diamondbacks some added pitching depth that they currently don’t have.