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Fortifying the ‘Pen

Posted By Josh Robbins On Jan 16 2011 @ 12:28 pm In Arizona Diamondbacks | No Comments

Diamondbacks General Manager, Kevin Towers, is known throughout Major League Baseball for assembling terrific bullpens.  He was the architect for the current San Diego Padres dominant relief corps that includes set up specialists Mike Adams, Luke Gregerson, and ace closer, Heath Bell.  Each pitcher was acquired via trade utilizing the savvy ability of the newly appointed Executive Vice President & GM.

However, Towers has the opportunity to enhance his reputation by remaking one of the worst bullpens in big league history.  In 2010, Diamondbacks relievers posted a 16-32 record, 5.74 ERA, and converted only 59% of save opportunities.  Meanwhile, the bullpen featured a 1.61 WHIP, 1.48 K/BB, and a league-worst, 62 home runs allowed.

To combat the weakness, Towers signed free agent J.J. Putz to become the team’s new closer.   He will take over the ninth-inning responsibilities from Juan Gutierrez.  Putz features a mid-90s fastball and sharp breaking slider that can dominant the opposition.  The right-hander has a 3.19 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 106 saves during his eight-year career.

In addition to Putz, RHP David Hernandez and RHP Cam Mickolio were acquired from the Baltimore Orioles in a deal that sent 3B Mark Reynolds to ‘Charm City’.  The two relievers provide the organization with quality arms that Manager Kirk Gibson could potentially rely upon in 2011.

In order for the Diamondbacks to become relevant again in the NL West, Towers must continue to fortify the pen by limiting the number of potential victories from becoming disastrous loses.

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