Once upon a time, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ bullpen was
the best in baseball, able to lock games down when the
had a lead and keep them in the game long enough for the
offense to rally late.
Oh, what a difference one season makes.
The Diamondbacks are carrying a bullpen ERA of 4.65 —
enough for sixth-worst in baseball — and have already
credited for six losses in this young season.
And while lefties Joe Paterson (11 earned runs in 2.2
of work) and Mike Zagurski (4 earned runs in 2.1 innings
work) have received much of the blame for the struggles,
team is also having to work through issues with closer
The 35-year-old right-hander given up a run in four of his
nine appearances, while blowing two of his seven save
Including a walk-off homer surrendered to the Nationals’
Desmond Wednesday, Putz has allowed three long balls on
season — one short of the four he gave up in 2011. His
stands at a disappointing 6.48, which is a far cry from
2.17 mark he finished 2011 with.
At the same time, Putz has struck out 10 batters and
issue a walk so far in 8.1 innings of work, so it’s not as
he’s totally lost on the mound.
The good news for the D-backs, though, is that there are
relievers putting together fine seasons.
Setup man David Hernandez has struck out 19 batters in
innings of work, Bryan Shaw has been effective out of the
with a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings, and veterans Brad Ziegler
Craig Breslow have been solid, too.
What does it all mean for the Diamondbacks? Well, other
the fact that it’s early and there is time to improve, not
Unless, of course, they don’t improve.