D-backs’ 3-5 pitchers strut stuff in recent outings as deadline looms
Jul 4, 2023, 8:30 AM | Updated: 8:42 am
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
The Arizona Diamondbacks have been one of the biggest surprises of the MLB season in 2023, becoming the fourth fastest team to win 50 games.
The results (50-35, three game lead in NL West) have been due to a team effort from the bats, fielding, baserunning and pitching. But the starting pitching has taken a major leap lately.
The league has been wary of both Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly for the better part of 18 months now, but what about the other three starters?
A short time ago, fans in the Valley were clamoring for another strong starting arm to pair behind Gallen and Kelly after Madison Bumgarner was designated for assignment, Zach Davies had a poor start to the year and the rookies Ryne Nelson and Tommy Henry were inconsistent.
With the trade deadline still 30 days away, Kelly’s trip to the 15-day injured list could accelerate the team’s decision to be buyers. It seems as if the three heard outside noise and responded with their jobs on the line.
Nelson had one of the best starts of his career Saturday night against the Los Angeles Angels, helping Arizona clinch the series after the second game.
The rookie righty allowed one earned run, three hits and one walk with six strikeouts in a career high 7.1 innings pitched on the road.
The fantastic start against the Angels was a follow up from his previous outing against the San Francisco Giants, also on the road.
Nelson pitched seven innings of three hit ball, adding one earned run, six strikeouts and two walks.
His stats in that period total: 14.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 12 K, 1.26 ERA and a 0.63 WHIP.
Henry adds the team’s sole lefty arm in the starting rotation after Bumgarner’s departure.
He has now turned in three consecutive marvelous starts against the Angels, Washington Nationals and Cleveland Guardians.
The rookie had 18.1 IP, turned in 18 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 16 K, 1.96 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and two quality starts.
His record has jumped to 5-1 on the year with a 4.08 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 5.32 FIP.
Additionally, the D-backs have emerged victorious in the last five games Henry has started on the bump.
Davies is 30 years old and is currently on a one-year, $5 million contract with Arizona. He would not be owed a large sum of money just to depart from the team, like Bumgarner was.
Despite his ERA sitting at 6.54, the righty turned in his best performance of the season on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays.
He went seven innings on two hits, no runs, two walks, three strikeouts and a 0.57 WHIP.
If Arizona were to go out and get a new pitcher, it is becoming murky who he odd man out would become.