When the Arizona Diamondbacks signed Oliver Perez last week, it made an already crowded bullpen even more packed. It was assumed that this was an indication that the team was not satisfied with it’s left-handed options. One effect of this move is that Will Harris, one of the club’s better relievers last season, seems to be one of the odd men out. His spot was already in jeopardy with the acquisition of Addison Reed and the return to form of David Hernandez. Now, barring another move, Harris seems destined for Triple A Reno.
It is a shame because Harris has done nothing wrong to be put in this spot. When the bullpen needed some stability last season, 29-year old Harris was there to become the Snakes’ second best option after Brad Ziegler. In 61 games covering 52 2/3 innings, Harris went 4-1 with a 2.91 ERA. He struck out 53 batters and walked only 15, a better than 3 to 1 ratio while allowing 50 hits. In Spring Training, the righty has thrown seven innings in six games and has given up only one earned run while walking three and fanning eight. You tell me if Harris has earned a place on the D’backs’ Opening Day roster. To me, there is no doubt he belongs there.
In order for Will Harris to make this team, a couple of things need to happen. Joe Thatcher would have to be released and Archie Bradley would have to start the season at Reno. In addition, another reliever would have to be dealt as Randall Delgado will end up in the bullpen by mid-April (assuming Bronson Arroyo starts the season on the disabled list). It’s a lot of things that have to break right for Harris to make the team and I am not sure they are all going to happen.