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Diamondbacks ‘pen still needs upgrades

When D-backs manager Kirk Gibson says, “We have to develop a bullpen,” he isn’t saying anything we don’t already know.

While he said those words to the media Monday afternoon, could they have been directed to GM Kevin Towers?

That’s the theory Sports 620 KTAR’s Paul Calvisi presented on Sports Interactive Tuesday, saying it could be a plea for help.

“We need it now, we don’t need it before the trading deadline, we don’t need it late July, we need it right now in late June,” he said. “This bullpen needs a boost.”

Calvisi said a bad bullpen is “the black hole of baseball,” that it is nearly impossible to overcome.

True as that may be, the bullpen has been pretty solid up to this point in the season. Are the struggles a sign of things to come or just the type of rough patch every team goes through? Or, actually, could the troubles be unrelated to anyone who steps up on the pitcher’s mound?

“That bullpen will get better when this team’s hitting with runners in scoring position gets better,” Dave Burns said on the show, “as you can take some of the pressure off of the bullpen to be so perfect.

“How many of these one-run games are these guys going to play in before they realize they’ve got to hit better in those runner in scoring position-type situations?”

It’s a fair point, as the go-ahead run was on third base Monday night with no outs. He didn’t score, and Putz allowed the winning home run the very next inning.

No matter how the bullpen rights the ship, it’s going to have to get back to its earlier form if the Diamondbacks are to contend for the NL West crown.


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