Whatever personal problems that were adversely affecting RHP Tim Worrell have apparently subsided, and the veteran relief pitcher is under the belief things will be even better now that he's pitching at home.
Worrell, who has lived in Glendale, AZ. for the past eight years, joined the Diamondbacks last week in a trade with Philadelphia that sent INF Matt Kata to the Phillies and brought the right-hander and cash considerations to Arizona.
"I've never had a chance to play where I live, and I'm looking forward to it," said Worrell, 38, who is pitching for his ninth major league team. "I have four kids, and I need to stop running them all over the country.
"I don't know how long I'm going to play. I'm not going to put a limit on it. But I'm definitely on the end of a career, so it's nice to be able to come here and hopefully finish it up."
Worrell's numbers with the Phillies weren't good, but after leaving the club for two months to deal with his personal issues, he was much better in his return to Philly following a short stint in the minors.
The Diamondbacks think he can provide leadership and experience to an otherwise extremely young bullpen, which has struggled much of the season. Worrell made his Arizona debut on Saturday and retired the only batter he faced on two pitches.
"I don't want to say 'words of wisdom' -- that makes me sound old -- but if there's some things I can pass on in different circumstances, that would be good," Worrell said. "Hopefully, guys can bounce things off me and I can share my experiences with them."
Worrell said he could have stuck it out in Philadelphia, but added, "I don't think the East Coast thing was a very good fit."
He said he had approached Phillies GM Ed Wade about the idea of getting traded and said if it could be to a team in the West Coast, he would be much obliged.
"So they got me home (in Arizona), which is unbelievable."
--The Diamondbacks think they finally may have found the veteran relief pitcher they've been seeking all season, but the addition of Tim Worrell forced them to make a subsequent roster move and it left the club without a single left-handed pitcher in the bullpen after Armando Almanza was outrighted on Friday.
"Anaheim has done it for several years now," manager Bob Melvin said of going without a lefty in the pen. "You've just got to try to identify the guys you think have the best chance of getting left-handers out. Quality arms are more important than whether he throws right, left or ambidextrous."
For the time being, the Diamondbacks likely will call upon Mike Koplove to face left-handed hitters at key points late in games. Left-handed hitters are only batting .250 against him this season.
As for Worrell, acquired on Thursday along with cash considerations from Philadelphia in exchange for infielder Matt Kata, Melvin said he could use the 38-year-old just about anywhere. Worrell arrived in Phoenix in time for Friday's game against the Atlanta Braves and was available, but did not pitch in Arizona's 6-5, 10-inning victory.
"We've been looking for that veteran presence for a while," Melvin said, "and this is a guy the organization likes and last year and in recent years, he's done very well. We've been searching for that guy who can help us down there. He's closed before, he's set up before, he's done everything you can possibly do in the bullpen and we feel this could be a good fit."
--INF Alex Cintron hit his second career walk-off home run Friday, launching a pinch-hit, solo homer off Jim Brower in the 10th to win it for Arizona.
"I was really happy to come off the bench and do something for the first time. All year, I've been struggling coming off the bench," said Cintron, who had five hits in 26 previous pinch-hit, at-bats.
--Manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Mark Davis both were ejected in the ninth inning of Friday's game against the Braves by home plate umpire Jim Wolf. Wolf ejected Davis for comments he felt he heard Davis make from the dugout, and Melvin quickly raced out to argue Wolf's strike zone before getting tossed, too.
"I like Jim Wolf. He's a good guy. But we had a little difference of opinion there and so I got thrown out and he has the hammer," Melvin said.
--LHP Shawn Estes, sidelined with a bone bruise in his left foot, was scheduled to meet Saturday with specialist Peter Mitchell to determine how the starter proceeds with his rehab.
--RHP Russ Ortiz (rib) threw 30 pitches in a simulated game Friday and will do so again Monday in Milwaukee before it is decided when he will begin a minor-league rehab assignment.
--3B Troy Glaus on first-year manager Bob Melvin, who is starting to take some criticism in Arizona for the club's inconsistent play: "He's one of the favorites I've ever played for. You don't have to scream and yell to get respect. You get respect by respecting others. And he communicates."
--RF Shawn Green on the Diamondbacks' inability to put together a hot streak -- they haven't won more than three games in a row since winning six straight games in April: "It's time to turn the corner. There's really no explanation for it. ... It's got to change soon."
--INF Matt Kata was one of manager Bob Melvin's favorite players in the organization, but Kata couldn't find the playing time and spent most of this season in Triple-A Tucson, where he hit .312 with three homers and 28 RBIs in 45 games.
--C Koyie Hill struck out in each of his four at-bats Tuesday (July 19) in a 6-3 loss to Florida upon being recalled from Triple-A Tucson and being pressed into starting duties because Chris Snyder was sick with the flu. "It's like the kid the bully doesn't want to pick on, because you beat him up once, you're going to have to beat him up every day," Hill said. "I'm going to come right back at you every single day. I'm not going to let this get me down."
--SS Royce Clayton's wife, Samantha, is expecting triplets in early November. Asked if he might consider retiring from baseball in the near future because of the impending births, Clayton, 35, said it was something he hasn't decided.
"We're going to play it by ear. If I need to be home, I need to be home," he said. "I don't foresee it being too much of a problem. Samantha doesn't. We'll see how it goes."
Clayton will become the second Diamondbacks player to be a father to triplets. Luis Gonzalez and his wife, Christine, are the parents of 7-year-old triplets. The Gonzalez family also happens to live down the street from the Claytons.
Clayton has seven hits in his past two games and has hit safely in five straight at a .571 clip (12 for 21).
--RHP Brandon Webb (8-7) is winless in his past five starts, going 0-4 with a no-decision.
BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Consecutive quality starts by RHP Claudio Vargas, who has been a pleasant surprise as the understudy for the injured Russ Ortiz. Vargas has allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his past five outings. He was acquired off waivers from Washington earlier this season and could move back into the bullpen when Ortiz returns from a rib injury.
22 -- Number of walk-off home runs by the
Diamondbacks in their history after Alex Cintron's game-winning solo shot in the
10th inning of Friday's 6-5 victory over visiting Atlanta.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "All of us need to lead by example
because it's time to step it up. Once the All-Star break comes and you're in
contention, the only way you're going to get there is by elevating your game.
It's not going to be given to you, so we have to go out and take it." -- SS
Royce Clayton on the Diamondbacks' hopes of making the playoffs.
C Kelly Stinnett, sprained left wrist, 15-day DL.
LHP Shawn Estes, stress fracture in left ankle, 15-day DL.
RHP Russ Ortiz, rib cage strain, 15-day DL.
RHP Oscar Villarreal, slight tear in rotator cuff, 15-day DL.
RHP Brandon Lyon, strained elbow, 15-day DL.