Dbacks’ Make Move At Trade Deadline To Improve Their Bullpen
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Thursday, August.1, 2013
By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner) Follow @aecanada12
The Arizona Diamondbacks were the kings of the National League West division for most of this season, and that’s not saying much. That division is not what you would call competitive, with only two teams that have a record over. 500.
Arizona was able to maintain their lead in large part because the Los Angeles Dodgers were dealing with numerous injuries.Then once the Dodgers had key players healthy, Los Angeles started to play better.
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The Dodgers have a 2 ½ game lead over Arizona, but I expect both teams to be in contention until the final week of the baseball season.The Dodgers made some upgrades to their team by acquiring players before the Trade Deadline passed.
The last day of the deadline they added some depth at the catcher position by trading for Minnesota Twins catcher Drew Butera.
Arizona had plenty of needs during the deadline, with them needing a left-handed reliever to come out of the bullpen for them. The bullpen has underperformed this season with them blowing plenty of saves this season.
They were also looking to upgrade their starting rotation by acquiring a starting pitcher.
They only had one starting pitcher in Patrick Corbin that has been reliable for them this season. The Diamondbacks also had two pitchers in Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy that were on the disabled list.
The club had a chance to acquire high-profile starting pitchers, but that would have required they give up some of the better prospects in their farm system. The General Manager for the team, Kevin Towers decided it was better they keep those players.
They really did not need to go after a starter with both Cahill and McCarthy expected to return soon. Arizona also has one of the better farm systems in baseball when it comes to pitching.
They were able to make a deal that allowed the team to get a left-handed reliever. Arizona sent starting pitcher Ian Kennedy to the San Diego Padres for Joe Thatcher, Double-A closer Matt Stites and a supplemental second-round pick in next year’s draft.
This is a great move for Arizona, because they now have someone that can get left-handed hitters out from their bullpen. The other pitcher that they received in the deal could be a future closer for the team.
Stites has as much upside as just about any relief prospect in the minors. He is a fast riser who pitched in the Arizona Fall League last year and jumped to Double-A this year. .
He is done for the season after having emergency appendectomy surgery this week, but I would not be surprised to see him make the Opening Day roster next season.
For Thatcher, this marks the second time that Towers has traded for him. The first time was in July 2007 when he brought him to San Diego in the Scott Linebrink trade with the Milwaukee Brewers.
This is the rare type of trade where both teams are considered winners in a deal. The Padres receive a pitcher that two seasons ago won 21 games, while posting a 2.88 ERA.
They hope he can anchor their rotation next season and with him moving to pitcher-friendly Petco Park his numbers should improve. This has been a season to forget with him having an ERA of 5.23 in 124 innings pitched.
So maybe with him going to a new team he will pitch better. When he is at his best, Kennedy is very tough match for opposing teams. He is also under club control for the next three seasons.
For Arizona they acquire a player that bolsters their bullpen greatly. Tony Sipp is the lone lefty in the bullpen for them, and he is average at best with lefties hitting .254 against him.
He also has a high ERA of 4.06 in 31 innings pitched, while walking 17 batters to go along with a WHIP of 1.41.
Now with Thatcher he is light years ahead of Sipp with a 2.10 ERA in 30 innings pitched. The reliever has only walked four batters to include a WHIP of 1.06. He is holding lefties to a .215 average this season, and in his career they only have a .209 average against him.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***
A big thank-you goes out to our ”Lead Baseball Columnist and Minority Website Owner” Chris Lacey. Chris has been a fan of watching baseball since the age of 13. Now he does like all sports – but his favorites after baseball are hockey and basketball.
Chris is very good with computers and is a college graduate.
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Posted on August 1, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @aecanada12 on twitter, arizona diamondbacks, brandon mccarthy, clayton kershaw, drew butera, ian kennedy, joe thatcher, los angeles dodgers, matt stites, milwaukee brewers, minnesota twins, Patrick Corbin, petco park, ricky nolasco, san diego padres, scott linebrink, Tony Sipp, trade deadline, trevor cahill, Zack Grienke. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Dbacks’ Make Move At Trade Deadline To Improve Their Bullpen.