Diamondbacks move Trevor Cahill and his 9.17 ERA to the bullpen

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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.

Jimmy Nelson to undergo back surgery

Jimmy Nelson back surgery
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Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times reports that Dodgers pitcher Jimmy Nelson will undergo lumbar surgery on his lower back on Tuesday.

Nelson, 31, signed with the Dodgers on an incentive-laden one-year, $1.25 million contract with a vesting 2021 option back in January. With incentives, Nelson could have pushed his 2021 option from $2 million to $9 million. The Dodgers can instead buy him out of his contract for $500,000.

At the beginning of spring training in February, Nelson was battling groin and lower back issues and ultimately exited a late-February bullpen session due to back issues, ending his chance to win a spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Nelson missed the entire 2018 season due to a shoulder injury and briefly pitched for the Brewers last season. Across 22 innings, the right-hander allowed 17 earned runs on 25 hits and 17 walks with 26 strikeouts.

David Price recently opted out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, so the Dodgers’ rotation appears to include Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Julio Urías, Alex Wood, and one of Ross Stripling, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin.