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ESPN analyst Tim Kurkjian ‘Thatcher can get outs down the stretch’

The Arizona Diamondbacks made a splash on Wednesday when they traded opening day starter Ian Kennedy to the San Diego Padres for left-handed specialist Joe Thatcher, prospect Matt Stites, and a draft pick.

Kennedy struggled to a 3-8 record with a 5.23 ERA as the team has gone 2-10 in the right-hander’s last 12 starts.

In return, the D-backs got a consistent left-handed specialist and a potential future closer from the Padres.

ESPN analyst Tim Kurkjian was on Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo show discussing the Snakes’ haul in the trade.

“They had to find someone for that bullpen and Thatcher gives them a left-hander to gets outs down the stretch,” Kurkjian said.

Thatcher has a 2.50 ERA through his career in the second half.

This season, he has posted a 2.10 ERA in 50 games, striking out 29.

Most importantly, he has given up no runs in four games against the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, a team the D-backs trail by 3.5 games going into play on Wednesday.

The prospect acquired was Matt Stites, who has a 1.53 ERA in 144 appearances in the Padres’ farm system since being drafted in 2011.

“The reliever they got, Matt Stites, throws really hard and could be a possibility,” Kurkjian stated.

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