A lot of us have ranted and raved at and mocked the Diamondbacks in the past year or so, but that doesn’t really get anyone anywhere. What does is actual information. Nick Piecoro has some real information today in the form of an excellent column that notes the team’s lack of success with their pitchers. Specifically, how good pitchers who come to Arizona tend to do poorly, seemingly poor pitchers who leave Arizona tend to do well and seemingly poor pitchers who stay in Arizona don’t seem to improve.
He talks to Kevin Towers about it and Towers doesn’t necessarily have great answers for that. In one instance — Brandon McCarthy and the whole cutter controversy — he seems to have a somewhat ill-informed answer. It’s a must-read.
There is a good chance that change will be coming to Arizona soon. Tony La Russa is on the scene now and many suspect that Towers isn’t long for his job. Kirk Gibson too for that matter. If those changes to come, observations like Piecoro’s will likely be key in the decisions that put such change into effect.
Giants reliever Hunter Strickland has been activated from the 60-day disabled list, the club announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, third baseman Pablo Sandoval was shifted to the 60-day disabled list, where he’ll remain for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his right hamstring. Right-handed reliever Dereck Rodriguez has also been placed on the 10-day disabled list after suffering a hamstring strain during Tuesday’s brawl against the Dodgers.
Strickland, 29, had been shelved with a fractured right hand since mid-June. The right-hander sustained the injury after punching a door and underwent surgery to repair the fifth metacarpal in his pitching hand. He only missed the minimum after making a speedy recovery, however, and finished his recent rehab stint with 5 2/3 innings of two-run, 10-strikeout ball for the Giants’ rookie, High-A and Triple-A affiliates.
Prior to the incident, Strickland logged 13 saves in 28 opportunities with a 2.84 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 34 appearances. According to comments from club skipper Bruce Bochy, the Giants don’t plan on wasting any time before deploying their former closer, but will make him available in high-leverage situations as soon as possible. It’s worth noting, too, that the team still has a viable closer in lefty reliever Will Smith, who picked up 10 saves and engineered a 3.10 ERA, 1.8 BB/9 and 12.8 SO/9 in 20 1/3 innings since Strickland landed on the DL this summer.