Arizona lost another series this weekend, this time against the Chicago White Sox and now it is clear the Diamondbacks need pitching help.
On Friday, the Diamondbacks got off to a great start with a 4-1 victory. Daniel Hudson led the way pitching a complete game allowing only 3 hits and only one run. Justin Upton led the way for the offense batting 3 for 3 scoring once and driving in a run in the 1st inning.
Saturday and Sunday would not go with the same momentum losing both games.
Saturday, the Diamondbacks lost 6-2 behind White Sox star Paul Konerko 3 run home run late in the game. The Diamondbacks kept it close until the 7th inning. Going into the bottom of the 7th the Diamondbacks chose not to pinch-hit Micah Owings in order to keep him on the mound. After Micah was unable to get a hit he gave up the 3 run home run to Konerko to push the game to 6-2.
Sunday, the Diamondbacks collapsed late again in the 8th inning giving up 5 runs to fall to the White Sox 8-2. Paul Konerko of the White Sox homered again for the third straight game in the route. Esmerling Vasquez gave up 5 Earned Runs in the loss but rookie Josh Collmenter was credited with the loss.
The Diamondbacks collapsed again for another series loss. Luckily the Oakland A’s swept the San Francisco Giants this weekend to keep the Diamondbacks within one game of the Giants in the NL West.
Two games in a row the relief help from the Diamondbacks collapsed to let the game slip away. Clearly the Diamondbacks cannot expect an outing every night like Daniel Hudson showed on Friday night. On a consistent basis the Diamondbacks bullpen must perform much like it did in May and early June.
Heilman and Vasquez have been terrible this past month with a 7.50 ERA and 7.84 ERA respectively. Also, J.J. Putz has missed 3 save opportunities all in the last month.
Both Sam Demel and Juan Gutierrez are both on the disabled list and should be returning very soon. Whether or not this will be the change the Diamondbacks need still remains to be seen. Clearly the Diamondbacks will need to make a trade either within their bullpen or even within the starting rotation.
Here are some possible options for the Diamondbacks:
Houston Astros: The Astros are clearly out of the pennant race in the competitive NL Central and may already be willing to rebuild for next season. Wandy Rodriguez might be the best idea but riskiest as he has struggled a lot this season. A change of scenery might be what the team needs. If the Diamondbacks can make the right offer other pitchers within the Astros rotation would be huge to add such as Bud Norris or Brett Myers.
Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers with their financial problems could be willing to unload players to solve some financial problems. The Dodgers would most likely not unload their ace Clayton Kershaw but anyone else may be available in order to stop the financial bleeding.
New York Mets: The New York Mets are another team that could look to unload stars in order to meet the financial obligations of the team. Owner Fred Wilpons must raise enough capital in order to pay back the minority owner or he could risk losing majority ownership. The focus in New York is on Jose Reyes and David Wright but if the Diamondbacks want to get serious with the Mets they could focus on some of their pitching stars Jon Niese or Mike Pelfrey.
Oakland Athletics: If the Diamondbacks go after bullpen help the Oakland A’s might be the team to call. The A’s might be willing to give up Grant Balfour or Michael Wuertz. Obviously the A’s are not in the financial troubles that the Mets or Dodgers are experiencing so a more legitimate trade in terms of talent will be required.
Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies have what seems an unlimited amount of pitching arms. Vance Worley or Roy Oswalt could be a possible trade option from the Phillies but the Diamondbacks would have to pay the price. The Phillies are known to be shopping for a right-handed hitter. A number of prospects will not be enough to make the trade so the Diamondbacks could suffer for a trade.
The most likely scenario is to go after the Astros or the Athletics, as they might be willing to part with players on expiring contracts for future prospects rather than help from superstars now. Either way the Diamondbacks need help with their pitching while they still have the Giants in their sights.
In other news, today the Diamondbacks called up Wily Mo Pena in order to get DH help with their road trip to AL teams Kansas City and Oakland this week. This will be Pena’s first MLB appearance since 2008 with the Washington Nationals. To open up the roster spot the Diamondbacks outrighted Sean Burroughs to AAA Reno.
Tonight Joe Saunders will get the nod for the Diamondbacks against the Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar in Kansas City.
About the Author
Written by Matthew Hesse
Matthew Hesse is currently located in Tucson, Arizona and he graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelors in Business Management in 2009. Graduated from Tiffin University with a Masters in Business Administration with a focus in Sports Management in 2011. Recent intern with the Pro Exposure Basketball Showcase and Greene Sports Management. Fan of Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, and the University of Arizona Athletics.