Many things have gone poorly for the Arizona Diamondbacks in their last two games. That’s how two different opponents, the Nationals and the Dodgers, each put up 14 runs on the D-backs.
The starting pitching hasn’t been there, but any chance of rallies have been put to bed by a group of relief pitchers struggling just as much.
That’s to be expected considering all the turnover in the bullpen.
Manager Chip Hale knows it’s going to be a process in determining which relief pitchers should be thought of in the longterm.
“The trust factor is what we’re looking at. They need to step up. They need to take it personal and pitch like they can. They wouldn’t be here if they hadn’t had success in the minors leagues,” Hale told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
“They have the ability,” he added. “Sometimes it takes time up here to get your feet wet. And we’ve tried to give them that … security of knowing they’re going to pitch again. They have to earn it.”
On Monday, Randall Delgado gave up five runs in a 14-1 loss to the Dodgers. A night prior, the foursome of Dominic Leone, Steve Hathaway, Daniel Hudson and Evan Marshall allowed eight combined earned runs.
Ironically, it was Hudson and his 6.69 ERA who came out cleanly in that game.
Hale realizes he has little choice but to allow his pitching staff to work out of its problems.
“We feel like every time we put them in they’re going to turn the corner,” he said. “We’ve had that situation if you think about (Enrique) Burgos and (Jake) Barrett and the success they’re starting to have. There were times this year where we put them in — the first batter faced for Barrett was a real issue. He’s starting to find his way and so is Burgos.”
Burgos had a 7.36 ERA and 9.00 ERA in April and May, respectively, but after the All-Star break has gone 7.2 innings with one earned run allowed (1.17 ERA).
Barrett has separated himself as a candidate to become the permanent closer with a 1.23 ERA in 7.1 innings following the All-Star break. Aside from a rough month of June, he’s been fairly steady compared to the rest of the bullpen.
All went well in a Tuesday simulated game where injured pitcher Rubby De La Rosa threw to catcher Chris Herrmann (hamstring) and outfielder A.J. Pollock (elbow), according to Hale.
De La Rosa tossed two frames. The right-handed starter will throw another simulated game or rookie game before getting ready for a rehab assignment.
All three came away with positive outlooks.
Pollock, who has been out all season after a complex elbow surgery, could be on deck to return sooner than expected. The team still has not discussed his timeline, however.
“A.J. is very close to going out and starting a rehab assignment,” Hale added. “He’s close.”
Hale didn’t take kindly to the Dodgers’ Saturday plunking of D-backs lead-off man Jean Segura, even if Arizona has been apt to hit Los Angeles batters.
“With Jean, the problem we have is it always seems to happen after he hits a home run, and that’s an issue,” Hale told Burns and Gambo. “We’ve hit our share of Dodgers. The problem is I can guarantee you of those 10, we didn’t target anybody. Those are just balls that got away pitching in. I have a hard time believing the one Jean took was not a targeted pitch. That’s when it gets ugly.”