Pitchers and catchers are reporting to their respective camps and there are a descent amount of free agents still left unsigned. One of those being named Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo is entering his 15th major league season and at the age of 36 (37 at the end of February) he is no stranger to the mound. The guy even has a world series ring. A no brainier starting rotation option for many teams looking to upgrade. He’s been linked to many teams this off-season such as the Twins, Orioles, Dodgers and Diamondbacks.
Bronson Arroyo would be a perfect marriage with the Arizona Diamondbacks. A team that has upgraded with some power in the outfield and have bolstered their back end of the bullpen this off-season. The Diamondbacks appear serious about making a run for the postseason in 2014. In a division with a loaded Los Angeles Dodgers and the 2010/2012 champion Giants, a starting pitching upgrade would improve the dbacks chances of shaking up the division and provide veteran leadership for their young starters.
Currently the Diamondback rotation shakes out like this..
1. Patrick Corbin
2. Trevor Cahill
3. Wade Miley
4. Brandon McCarthy
5. Randall Delgado/Archie Bradley
Spots 1-4 are a lock, but Arizona has room to sign Arroyo if they feel the need and Kevin Towers has made it clear he will do whatever it takes to improve the club. Bradley will most likely head to AAA Reno and shifting Delgado into the bullpen or sending him back to Reno to start the year is possible. Since 2005, Arroyo has pitched under 200 innings once (199 IP in 2011) and holds a career 4.19 ERA making him a reliable and stable starting pitcher. A 2 year deal will likely do it and it would be wise to not let him slip away to a rival team.
So I sit here watching this incredible up and down World Baseball Classic game between USA and Canada. A game that has a feel like like a final game in a ALDS, but in the month of March. The United States at one point, decides to put Arizona Diamondback David Hernandez out to the mound. I can’t help but think about how underrated the guy is….
In my eyes, David Hernandez is one of the top relief pitchers in the game. A man who does his job quite like no other, bridging the gap from the 8th inning to the 9th beautifully. A handcuff to the aging J.J. Putz. In the past 2 seasons for the Dbacks, Hernandez compiled 48 holds which is a Major League 12th best. Not to mention a good honkin’ fastball and a nasty slider.
A former 16th round pick by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft. 483rd overall to be exact. He came up as a starter, putting in good overall numbers in the minors. At 24 years old, he was called up by the Orioles making 19 starts and once out of the pen for a limp 5.42 ERA. Forward to December of 2010 and David Hernandez along with Kam Mickolio for slugger Mark Reynolds. Perhaps Arizona was on to something by trading for Hernandez, seeing how they had drafted him once previously but he didn’t sign. They had an obvious liking for the guy. The Diamondbacks strictly used him out of the bullpen in 2011 and 2012 and the move payed off. Proving that he is a trusty reliever and without a doubt a possible future closer for the Diamondbacks, replacing an aging and oft injured J.J. Putz. Between David and Heath Bell, he’ll likely get some save opportunities if Putz sees any DL time or needs a night off.
In fact, the four seasons he has pitched in the MLB he managed to lower his ERA, runs, hits given up, walks, WHIP, and HR’s allowed in each season. While increasing his strike out total in each season. In 2012 he stuck out an impressive 98 batters in 68.1 innings. Perhaps the most valuable part of David Hernandez to the Arizona Diamondbacks is that he is set to earn just over $3 Million for the next 2 seasons. Count on him to have another voluminous season.