The D-backs have already endured their fair share of injuries this year including DL stints by star outfielder Chris Young and starter Daniel Hudson. Plus, Justin Upton has been battling a sore thumb for most of the season.
So it’s not a surprise that the D-backs have struggled at times to begin the season given that their starting pitching and offense has been limited by injuries. However, the one area where they have been completely healthy, the bullpen, is where they might be struggling the most.
The bullpen has quietly put up a 4.76 ERA coming into today’s game against the Marlins.
Several times the D-backs have had big leads and the bullpen squanders them forcing Manager Kirk Gibson to start getting closer J.J. Putz warm in the bullpen. Now, each time they were able to close it out without using Putz but the bullpen pitches do tire pitchers more than you would think.
It’s imperative that Putz actually does get a day off without having to throw any pitches as he has struggled a bit to begin the season.
While the starting pitching has been outstanding, outside of Josh Collmenter‘s struggles, and will probably only get better with Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs waiting in the wings, the bullpen has let a few leads slip away. They have already lost five games this year as a group after losing only 14 all of last year.
Fortunately, constructing a bullpen is GM Kevin Towers specialty so we will see what moves he makes, if any. But a successful bullpen is vital to the success of the 2012 D-backs.