Diamondbacks News

Heilman Aiming for Starter Role

By Scott Allen

I was about floored when I heard this morning that newly signed Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Aaron Heilman was ready to ditch the bullpen and give being a starter a try.  Apparently, according to Dbacks general manager Kevin Towers, Heilman has expressed his interest in the role in the past.

So, this spring, Heilman is going to try it out and see if it is a fit.  My biggest problem with this is who does he replace in the rotation if he is good enough to start?  With Ian Kennedy, Joe Saunders, Daniel Hudson, Zach Duke, and Barry Enright all supposedly in the rotation, the addition of Heilman would mean one of those guys would not be a starter.

I have a hard time believing Kennedy, Saunders, or Hudson would be out.  My best guess is if Heilman succeeds in his spring mission, he would replace Duke or Enright.  Duke seems to be the wild card here.  We don't know what to expect out of him.  Will we see his rookie of the year candidacy performance or his 2010 performance where he went 8-15?  I guess we will see in March.

Maybe Heilman does well enough to rotate with someone in the 5th starter role?  Normally I wouldn't be against something like that, however that 5th man role has really been a disappointment over the past couple of seasons, lacking any kind of stability.  Welcome to 2011.