I don’t know about you but I am a little tired of reading and writing about the performance of the bullpen for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Yes, it has been a mess at times but I also would like to go positive and mention a guy who has been perfect. Literally. With his scoreless inning last night, Matt Reynolds has now pitched 16 1/3 innings in 2013 and has given up exactly zero runs.. In 17 appearances he has allowed seven hits and has issued one walk to go along with 14 strikeouts. That is called domination, something that none of us could have possibly expected from the lefty.
I admit it, I didn’t know much about the 28-year old Reynolds when the D’backs acquired him last November from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for 3rd base prospect Ryan Wheeler. It certainly was not of the magnitude of the deals involving Justin Upton and Trevor Bauer. His numbers, particularly his two full seasons in Denver and skewed by Coors Field, were about average. Reynolds appeared to be falling under the category of the dreaded “lefty specialist” as his 165 career appearances covered only 126 innings. However, it is obvious General Manager Kevin Towers saw something in him other than a needed lefty in the bullpen. The strikeout to walk ratio with the Rockies indicated he was a guy that would at least not be issuing many free passes. Also, he was durable in Colorado appearing in over 70 games the previous two seasons. Finally, Rockies’ pitching has been bad so that while the ERA was over 4.00, it could be attributed to his other ‘pen mates failing to pick him up. With Wheeler in still in Triple A Colorado Springs, this trade has turned out to be a steal for Arizona right now.
Matt Reynolds has proven to be more than just a situational guy. He is the Snakes’ most reliable member of the bullpen who should be getting into more setup situations instead of David Hernandez. Maybe if J.J. Putz continues to struggle, Kirk Gibson could call on Reynolds to record the final three outs. I only hope that by writing this piece that I did not jinx the rest of Reynolds’s season.
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