The Diamondbacks begin play today with a major-league worst 4-11 record and are already six games behind the first-place Dodgers in the National League West, so they have decided to shake things up their starting rotation.
Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona reports that the Diamondbacks will move the struggling Trevor Cahill to the bullpen. Mike Bolsinger has been called up from Triple-A Reno and will make his first major league start Saturday against the Rockies.
Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson hinted last week that Cahill’s spot was in jeopardy, so six runs (two earned) on five hits and five walks over four innings yesterday against the Dodgers was apparently the last straw. The 26-year-old right-hander is 0-4 with a 9.17 ERA and 13 walks over 17 2/3 innings this season.
Cahill is owed $20 million through 2015 and his contract includes a pair of club options for 2016 and 2017, so the Diamondbacks have some incentive to get him straightened out. As far as early April decisions go, this feels like a panic move, especially since Bolsinger and Josh Collmenter aren’t better bets for success. The Diamondbacks are clearly focused on winning now, so it might not be long before we see top prospect Archie Bradley make his major league debut.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network and FOX Sports reports that the Mariners have acquired starter Chris Heston from the Giants. The Giants will receive a player to be named later, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Heston, 28, logged only five innings in the majors this past season as he battled an oblique injury and otherwise spent most of his time with Triple-A Sacramento. Heston was solid out of the Giants’ rotation in 2015, posting a 3.95 ERA with a 141/64 K/BB ratio in 177 2/3 innings over 31 starts.
Heston will be under team control through 2021. He’ll provide depth for the Mariners’ rotation in the meantime.
Joe Nathan‘s agent, David Pepe, says his client wants to pitch in 2017, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. “He’s like the Energizer Bunny,” Pepe said.
Nathan, 42, came back from Tommy John surgery in July, pitching two scoreless innings for the Cubs with four strikeouts and two walks. The Cubs released him and the Giants picked him up, and Nathan went on to pitch 4 1/3 scoreless innings down the stretch with five strikeouts and two walks.
According to FanGraphs, Nathan’s velocity wasn’t where it used to be, which is to be expected of a pitcher in his 40’s coming back from major elbow surgery. Still, with teams always on the hunt for bullpen depth, it would be shocking if Nathan didn’t get any bites before spring training starts.