ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

D-backs still mulling options for vacant pitching rotation spot

Jun 18, 2019, 5:38 PM

Manager Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks looks on to gameplay during the ninth inning ...

Manager Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks looks on to gameplay during the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on May 08, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo had an instruction for his staff when the team flew home from Washington, D.C. on its latest road trip.

Lovullo wanted everyone to be thinking about what they’d do with the “fifth” rotation spot, one that’s been in a state of flux with the absence of Luke Weaver and Jon Duplantier due to injury and the demotion of Zack Godley to the bullpen. It’s been a hole in the team’s roster that prompted the Diamondbacks to have “bullpen days” on more than one occasion, most recently starting Archie Bradley and then going to Godley thereafter for relief on Sunday.

The D-backs lost that game, 15-5.

Back to the drawing board the team goes, mulling its options for what to do when that spot in the rotation when it comes up on Saturday against the Giants.

“Yeah, we know that we have an open spot there,” Lovullo said Tuesday. “We’ve been pounding away at that for most of the afternoon here, since I got to the ballpark. We haven’t come up with any conclusions. We have all of our names, we’re going to throw ’em up there against the wall, and ultimately, I’ll get a chance to make the decision about what’s the best direction to help us win that baseball game on that day.”

The team has a few options: The Diamondbacks can have another bullpen game, taking its chances with shorter-length appearances by a handful of pitchers against a last-place San Francisco team. They can recall a pitcher from Reno, such as Matt Koch, Ricky Nolasco, Taylor Widener or Alex Young, although none of those players are currently on the 40-man roster.

More long-term, the D-backs could add an arm from the outside via trade, though the hope may be that Duplantier comes back before GM Mike Hazen would be forced to make such a move.

As 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro pointed out Tuesday, the D-backs’ fifth spot in the rotation can come up as few as two times over the next several weeks because of off days and the All-Star break. Both of those games will be against the Giants, against whom the D-backs are 4-2 this season with one sweep.

“We feel like there’s going to be two outings here for the starter and this is where we’re at today,” Lovullo told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Tuesday. “And then after that with the off-days and the All-Star break … it’s going to be late July before we need a fifth guy.”

If the D-backs do go the route of the aforementioned bullpen game, the options could include Bradley, Godley, Matt Andriese or even T.J. McFarland, all of whom have made major league starts in their careers.

Lovullo said Tuesday that despite Bradley’s struggles on Sunday — and throughout this season — he’s not overly concerned about his bearded righty at the moment. Bradley went 1.1 innings on Sunday and allowed four earned runs. His ERA on the season stands at 5.18.

“I don’t really have a lot of concern with Archie, because he’s so accountable,” Lovullo said. “He understands what’s right and what’s wrong in his game. He fesses up to what needs to be done to keep moving forward. He’s going to have some bad days. I know that.

“But he’s trending in a very positive direction. What he’s done here this year is he’s started to develop a pitch at the big-league level, which is hard to do, and he’s thrown a very efficient changeup. I don’t think he really got the chance to get to that pitch the other day.”

Array

Arizona Diamondbacks

Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts as he hits an RBI ground ball out in front of Wil...

Kellan Olson

Ketel Marte keeps hit streak going, D-backs beat Dodgers again

In a start to the Arizona Diamondbacks season that has been filled with offensive inconsistency, Ketel Marte is providing consistency.

7 hours ago

Brandon Hughes throws a pitch...

Tyler Drake

Brandon Hughes recalled by D-backs, will start vs. Dodgers; Slade Cecconi optioned

The Arizona Diamondbacks recalled left-handed pitcher Brandon Hughes from the Triple-A Reno Aces on Wednesday.

14 hours ago

Jake McCarthy...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks’ Jake McCarthy provides perspective on Corbin Carroll’s struggles

Jake McCarthy went through a difficult follow-up tp his rookie season and is confident Corbin Carroll will fight through this.

21 hours ago

Brandon Pfaadt...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks’ Brandon Pfaadt keeps quality starts rolling in win over Dodgers

Diamondbacks starting pitcher Brandon Pfaadt threw his fifth consecutive quality start Tuesday night in a win at the Dodgers.

1 day ago

Ketel Marte...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte extends hitting streak to join exclusive club in team history

Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte extended his hitting streak to 20 games against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1 day ago

Deyvison De Los Santos...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks red hot prospect Deyvison De Los Santos moves up to Triple-A

Arizona Diamondbacks first base prospect Deyvison De Los Santos is another step closer to the major leagues.

1 day ago

D-backs still mulling options for vacant pitching rotation spot