MLB: The AZ Diamondbacks need to get in “SYNC”
The Arizona Diamondbacks shook up their pitching rotation and batting order on Monday night, but with the same result, a loss to the Mets. The loss was the fourth straight for the Diamondbacks and they are now 1-9 at home and have the worst record in MLB at 4-12.
Josh Collmenter, who was moved to the starting rotation in place of Randall Delgado, could only go four innings with a pitch count at 73. The Diamondbacks were not going to push him past that point in his first start of the year. While he didn’t pitch poorly, he was not dazzling either. He allowed three runs on five hits in his four innings.
Mike Bolsinger, who was called up from AAA Reno on Monday to take Trevor Cahill’s spot in the rotation, made his big league debut behind Collmenter and allowed a pair of runs while tossing three innings.
Putting this one game aside, I am hoping these moves will put a spark into a team that is currently not in sync at all. To say that there is still time to turn their abysmal start around would be an understatement. With 146 games left on the schedule there are changes that will need to be made to keep both fans and the players interested in this team’s progress and success.
The starting rotation needs to find consistency. Yes, I know, easier said than done. The team ERA is at 5.96 and they have given up the most walks in MLB. They will need someone to step up and fill that important role of dominant pitcher. I will only mention a few starters in this article.
First, Wade Miley, who is now considered the ace of the staff and, while he is a former All-Star, he is still working on being a consistent all around starter.
Bronson Arroyo needs to show everyone why he was signed. He is an innings pitcher, but coming off a back injury that limited him in spring training Arroyo threw just 82 pitching in his first outing and threw just five innings in his second start. He will likely be allowed to pitch deeper into tonight’s start, as it looks like he has worked his way back to full strength. Sometimes one dominating game from a starter can go a long way in getting a team back in sync.
The next step is to get the bullpen situation figured out. Will Harris has been sent down to the minors, which hopefully will get this bullpen going. Trevor Cahill will move into the bullpen and we will soon see if he is better suited in a relief role. It looks like Brad Ziegler has worked out his poor Spring Training showing. Ziegler has not given up a run since the April 4th game, when he gave up 2 runs. Joe Thatcher also seems to have worked out his early season struggles and will be counted on since he is a lefty. What the Diamondbacks need is a solid 8th inning guy, leading up to their closer, Addison Reed. In a previous article I mentioned that I believe that 8th inning pitcher should be J J Putz.
The Diamondbacks’ bullpen, which was the worst in MBL 2 weeks ago, has seemed to settle down. Their ERA has gone from 6.93 to 4.27. They still lead baseball in innings pitched and it shows as every bullpen pitcher has been over used. While closer Addison Reed hasn’t been as sharp as we expected, he has at least been consistent enough for the team to rely on.
Finally they need consistency from everyone. Every part of the Diamondbacks’ game needs to show up every night. Sometimes we see great pitching, only giving up a couple of runs, but their offense goes missing. When the offense shows up and puts up five or more runs, the pitching gives those runs right back. If the Diamondbacks plan on getting things turned around and start winning streak, the offense, the defense and the pitching need to pick each other up rather than let each other down.
I hope to see you at Chase Field. Follow me on Twitter: @Basebaldaz and listen to me on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 PHX every Saturday from 10AM/1PM AZ time.