Outside of Brad Ziegler and Josh Collmenter this season, it’s been the same old story for the bullpen: they’ve been consistently inconsistent. The team is 2.5 games up in the National League West going into Wednesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but imagine if they cut their 18 blown saves in half or even by a third? It’s a completely different race.
Division leaders can’t win late in the season with a closer by committee approach, as Kirk Gibson hinted at last week, so the onus is on Kevin Towers to change that going into the July 31 trade deadline. I admire the D-backs GM because he is a man of great pride and conviction, but now is not the time to let pride get in the way of improving a beleaguered unit.
He re-signed J.J. Putz to a two-year deal and acquired Heath Bell in a trade this past offseason — moves that have turned out to be bad decisions in 2013. But the deadline offers him a second chance, a way to issue a mea culpa and right the ship himself.
With affordable names like Frankie Rodriguez, Steve Cishek, Jose Veras, Jesse Crain and Casey Janssen all potentially for sale, Towers has to make a move, and maybe multiple moves.
It might not be a big splash like landing Yovani Gallardo, but if Towers is the bullpen guy most believe he’s become over the years, now’s the time to say “my bad” and get down to business.