The Diamondbacks made another change for the second-half of the season, with news this afternoon that Zach Duke will be moving from the rotation to the bullpen, and Barry Enright will come back from Reno, starting Tuesday's game at Chase against Milwaukee. Duke had missed almost two months, and his performances when he did return were mediocre, posting a 5.47 ERA in nine starts.
Barry Enright's numbers in the majors this year were, if anything, worse than Duke's. He made six starts and was tagged with a 6.49 ERA. He was hurt by both the long-ball (seven HR in 34.2 IP) and walks (a K:BB ratio of 19:15), a lethal combination that earned him a ticket to Reno early in May. However, he has pitched significantly better there, going 8-2 over his dozen starts. While Enright's 4.29 ERA may not seem all that great, it's well above average in the PCL, where most teams have collective ERAs above five - in the case of the Reno Aces, 5.89.
Enright's peripherals have also improved, in particular his K:BB ratio, which has been at 54:23 over 71.1 innings. The homers, eleven of those, are still higher than one would like, but a good chunk of this is playing in the launching pad which is Reno. Enright's numbers on the road are a lot better. In five outings elsewhere, he has a 2.25 ERA, with a K:BB ratio of 29:10, and only four home-runs in his 32 innings pitched away from home. The team will be hoping, that's the pitcher who shows up at Chase on Tuesday.
With Duke moving to the bullpen, there will need to be an appropriate change made there. As a left-hander, it would seem that fellow southpaw Alberto Castillo is the obvious choice to be shuffled off the roster. While he has allowed only one earned run in his seven appearances, he has struggled with control, walking five in 4.2 frames. Yhency Brazoban is another possible target for termination, having been unimpressive in most of his outings, with batters hitting .308 off him thus far.
If you're counting along at home, that's approaching ten million dollars in failed baseball players which were acquired by the D-backs over the winter. Along with Duke ($3.5m salary), there's Melvin Mora ($2.35m), Armando Galarraga ($2.3m), Russell Branyan ($1m) and Juan Miranda ($420K). Outside of the bullpen, it's hard to think of a move made by GM Kevin Towers which has proved successful - Henry Blanco and his 0.3 bWAR is about the peak of it. And yet, we sit here 3.5 games out of first, which is far better than we expected. Go figure.