Mulholland Released; Rotation Needs A Spark

Managing Editor
Posted Jun 22, 2006

Ortiz and Mulholland are gone, and Scott Hairston heads to the disabled list. This team needs a spark, and whether it comes from a trade, or another exciting young pitcher, Managing Editor James Renwick says it better happen soon.

Here's a shocker for you.

Russ Ortiz cleared waivers. 

No way.  The Diamondbacks also released veteran lefty Terry Mulholland, if for no other reason than they need an arm, and Mulholland, who battled injury and then an inner ear infection, wasn't giving them one.  With the success Randy Choate has had since being recalled, he became the lefty in the bullpen for Bob Melvin, and Mulholland became expendable.

The Diamondbacks have yet to make the big move they have been rumored to be seeking, but the losing ways of the D'Backs, a run that has seen them drop from first to last in the NL West in less than two weeks, might be making the 'buyer' vs. 'seller' decision a little more difficult for the front office.

Not that they have fallen out of the race.  The NL West is separated by all of three games from first to last, and a pair of wins, coupled with some losses, could put them right back in first before the end of the weekend. 

The troubling thing now is that the D'Backs rotation is getting awfully young.

Miguel Batista is 35 years old, and right now he's their de facto #2.

Claudio Vargas just turned 28, Brandon Webb is 27, and the rest of the rotation, as it stands now, is even younger, with the Edgar Gonzalez and Enrique Gonzalez (no relation) just 23 and 24 respectively.  The fourth and fifth spots, the ones currently held by the Gonzalezes, could be a rotating one, with Dustin Nippert making a start here or there, and perhaps Micah Owings, who has been impressive at every level he's pitched, including two starts in Triple A in which he's allowed one earned run in 13 innings, getting a call soon.

But if the Diamondbacks really want to challenge for the NL West title, somebody is going to have to step up.  Both Edgar and Enrique have pitched well, even if Edgar did take the loss today, but outside of Webb this team does not have a pitcher that intimidates opponents, and pretty soon they are going to need one. 

The Diamondbacks need to take a chance, and take it soon.  The two options are going out and making a trade, or calling up Owings now.  Something dramatic has to happen, and either move could spark this club, and above all else that is what this club needs.

A spark.

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