Bullpen Report Card: It’s Not Pretty


I remember when I was in elementary school, I used to dread the day when report cards got mailed home. It’s not that my grades were that bad, but I just hated to idea and tension associated with it. Also, I didn’t want my mom to yell at me. It’s now time to mail the report card home for the Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen.

Okay fellas, let’s figure this one out: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For me, this was one of the most frustrating years for the bullpen. Remember that week when Heath Bell and David Hernandez gave up homers to literally every batter they faced? Diamondbacks fans have certainly endured brutal performances from the pen in the past, but 2013 hurt big time. What makes me upset is that I thought Tony Sipp had a lot of potential, but just when I start to like him, he gets designated for assignment. Too much inconsistency caused the bullpen to struggle and fans’ stomachs to turn.

Ten different Diamondbacks were charged with blown saves last year. Awesome, good job everyone! If that doesn’t upset you, will the fact that Arizona paid Bell almost $1 million per blown save make you a little uneasy? The bullpen was certainly young, but the performance wasn’t there and ultimately, Charles Nagy paid the price for it. J.J. Putz has a fan in me, but health is going to be a big factor again this year, like always!

Bullpen Report Card

  • Effectiveness of Everyone But Brad Ziegler: C-
  • Limiting Runs: Ugh
  • Inconsistency: Yes
  • Getting Outs: Eventually
  • Causing Christian Frustration: A+

We’ve learned 2 things from this. One is that the pen needs to be better, and the second is that I would make a terrible teacher because I don’t give out letter grades when I’m supposed to.

Here are my thought going towards 2014. Either Heath Bell wakes up, or he goes. I would also have David Hernandez on a short leash to start the year. He was able to work on things in Reno and it paid off for him, but if Hernandez isn’t great to start the year, then back to Reno it is. J.J. Putz should be the closer of this baseball team until further notice. As for Ziegler, he just needs to keep doing his thing and getting ground ball outs at will.

Also, can Arizona figure out this pitching coach situation? Please, for all of our sake?

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