Arizona Diamondbacks should double-down on pitching

The Arizona Diamondbacks already have a solid pitching staff, but they should double-down, and continue to add to the pitch depth chart.
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez holds up his jersey with GM Mike Hazen
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez holds up his jersey with GM Mike Hazen / Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ most significant free agent addition thus far this off-season has been veteran lefty Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez is a massive addition to the D-Backs’ rotation and brings in an additional rotation anchor behind Merrill Kelly and Zac Gallen. But the Diamondbacks shouldn’t stop there. If anything, they should double-down and continue to add pitching.

As of right now, the Diamondbacks’ fifth and final starter will be one of Ryne Nelson, Tommy Henry, Bryce Jarvis, Drey Jameson, Corbin Martin, or Blake Walston. Of course, it would be unreasonable to expect the Diamondbacks to have a rotation of five ace-like pitchers. That’s unreasonable for any team. But the D-Backs shouldn’t just settle with what you’d typically expect from a 5th starter.

There are plenty of decent starting pitchers who aren’t just back-of-the-rotation-type starting pitchers. The D-Backs were previously connected to Lucas Gioltio. Michael Wacha and Mike Clevinger would be aiming for the above #5-type pitcher production. It would be nice to see the Diamondbacks aim for another top starting pitcher, such as Jordan Montgomery, Shota Imanaga, or even Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

Securing the number five spot in the rotation isn’t an absolute must, as finding a designated hitter is probably atop the D-Backs’ priority list. But if the D-Backs have five starters, each of whom could post an ERA under 4.00, their rotation would easily be the best in the National League, and by a wide margin. But the rotation isn’t the only area the D-Backs should double down on. Now is the time to improve the bullpen.

Finding at least one, and preferably two, higher-leverage arms should be on the D-Backs’ to-do list. There are still plenty out there right now. I wouldn’t expect them to go after Josh Hader, but think of how good the back of the bullpen would look if they signed Japanese lefty Yuki Matsui and veteran right-hander David Robertson. I recently noted Jordan Hicks as someone who could push the D-Backs over the Dodgers. That was, of course, before they signed Ohtani, but Hicks would be my top bullpen target to go after.

I’m not saying the Diamondbacks should ignore the rest of the lineup. Signing a good designated hitter should be at the top of their priority list right now. But they should continue to improve one of the biggest strengths on their roster. They shouldn’t settle for a good pitching staff. They should aim to have a great pitching staff, one that’s deep and gives them multiple options for 2024.