PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers appears to be gaining the strength back in his vocal chords, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time.
With just three days until Wednesday’s trade deadline, the D-backs find themselves trailing the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers by 2.5 games but are still very much in the thick of things when it comes to the National League West pennant race.
“I think the key thing right now, and it’s what most clubs are doing, is trying to be honest with yourself as to whether you’re a contender, a pretender or you don’t know,” Towers told the media before Sunday’s game against the San Diego Padres. “To me, these are times where you have to be right. Especially if you’re going to move prospects, you have to think you’re in good position to win the division or make the postseason.”
So how does Towers view the D-backs as they’re currently constructed before he hunkers down in a makeshift war room this week in Tampa?
“We might be a buyer or seller, or we might not do anything,” a non-committal Towers said. “We like the club the way it is right now. We knew a lot of our moves were made in the offseason and that was by choice.
“We spent some of the available dollars in the winter to bring on some people knowing that hopefully with no injuries we wouldn’t have to do much at the trade deadline.”
While the value of some of his offseason acquisitions — be it Cody Ross or Martin Prado or Heath Bell — might be up for debate, there’s no question when it comes to the rash of injuries the D-backs have endured this season.
And one that went particularly under the radar back on June 11 — left-hander reliever Matt Reynolds (0-2 and 1.98 ERA) suffered a strained left elbow — has cost the bullpen a level of versatility it previously had entering the season.
Towers, though, is among those who have noticed.
“I think bullpen, left-handed relief help,” Towers said when asked what the biggest need is going into the deadline. “We have only one guy down there right now in Tony [Sipp]. And, Tony’s probably been better against right-handers than left-handers [this season].
If the team doesn’t land another left-handed bullpen arm by Wednesday, Towers noted that Eury de la Rosa could be a potential option.
However, while the 23-year-old pitched flawlessly (no hits in 2 2/3 innings) during his brief time with the D-backs, the team can’t call him up again for another four days due to the league’s minor-league option policy.
Although Towers has a reputation for being a very active general manager when it comes to trades and free agency, a big splash probably isn’t on its way.
The way the D-backs general manager sees things, why mess with a roster that has its fair share of success so far in 2013.
“Makeup-wise and chemistry-wise, I like the guys we have in our clubhouse,” said Towers. “Probably this year more so than some of my prior years here, I don’t know how much I want to mess with that.
“I think over the long run, these guys will persevere and end up hopefully on top of the division.”