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Dominic Leone added to Arizona Diamondbacks roster

The meat-grinder which has been the D-backs bullpen has taken another spin, with fresh arms being called up as reinforcements for the Cardinals series. Dominic Leone has now joined the previously-announced Keith Hessler on the roster.

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After last night's nine-inning bullpen outing, this isn't too much of a surprise. Probably the bigger shock is that the team managed to find two arms eligible to be called up, given the 10-day rule which means that anyone optioned to the minors has to stay there for at least 10 days, unless there is an injury resulting in a Disabled List move. Only 20 games into the season, and the team has already used 13 different relievers - close to two entire bullpens. Only the hapless Braves (14) have used more. There's good reason for this. The D-backs bullpen has averaged more than four innings per game; their total of 84.2 IP is 11.1 more than the next-placed Reds - who are as close to the 9th-placed Marlins as they are to us.

The quality overall hasn't been bad - the 3.46 ERA overall ranks sixth in the league - but it has been a constant grind, caused by a combination of short starts and extra-innings load. Our starting pitchers aren't that far below average so far: the NL mean is 5.6 innings per game, with the Diamondbacks sitting at 5.2, which is 12th in the league. But we have had to work more than three times the league average of extra-inning plate-appearances: we've had 48, compared to the NL mean of 15. That's a double-whammy against which it's hard to defend. Hopefully, Zack Greinke can be the ace we need, and go deep into tonight's game, give most of our relievers a much-needed night off.

Certainly, neither Dominic Leone nor Keith Hessler appear to be the sort of arms you want to see in high-leverage situations. Leone has allowed eight hits and six earned runs over his 3.2 innings for the Diamondbacks - he's best known for getting ejected against the Marlins - and Hessler gave Arizona an 8.03 ERA over his 18 appearances (12.1 innings) for them last season. If we see either of them tonight, it's unlikely to be a good sign, unless we're leading by about ten runs.