Burgos’ soreness could open spot on D-backs for Hernandez
The Diamondbacks appear likely to make another bullpen move following a 3-2, 10-inning loss at St. Louis on Monday afternoon. But it would have nothing to do with performance.
Their concern is with rookie right-hander Enrique Burgos, who was removed from the game because of arm soreness after facing two batters in the ninth inning. Bullpen coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. spoke to Burgos before he entered the game, and manager Chip Hale, pitching coach Mike Harkey and assistant trainer Ryan DiPanfilo went to the mound when Burgos shook his arm after his final warm-up toss.
After Burgos gave up two singles in five pitches, he was replaced by J.C. Ramirez, who stone-walled the Cardinals with three straight strikeouts before giving up a walk-off homer to Jhonny Peralta in the 10th inning, a blow that negated Mark Trumbo’s game-tying, two-run homer in the eighth.
"The first two hitters we didn’t see what we wanted, so we got (Burgos) out of there as quick as possible," Hale told reporters after a quick meeting with general manager Dave Stewart and chief baseball officer Tony La Russa. "Some motions out there after he threw the ball, some grimacing," Hale said. "You just can’t take a chance with his arm, and it’s this kid’s career. You don’t want anything to happen. We want to be very careful. We’ll reevaluate him. We’ll have to make a decision on him tomorrow."
Asked if a move were imminent, Hale said, "We’ll see. We were just talking about it, and we’re not done talking about it."
Right-hander David Hernandez could be a candidate to join the staff if a move is necessary. Hernandez, who has not appeared n the majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery on April 1, 2014, is considered close to joining to the D-backs after a rehab assignment. He threw a scoreless inning Friday and was scheduled to make another appearance for Double-A Mobile on Monday, although the game was rained out. It is not clear how that would affect any decision.
Burgos, 24, is 0-2 with a 4.61 ERA in 13 appearances since being recalled from Mobile on April 29, when Archie Bradley was placed on the disabled list after being struck in the face with a line drive. He is averaging 16.5 strikeouts per nine innings with a fastball that can touch the high-90s mph and a high-80s slider.
Burgos had his first two major league saves on the D-backs’ previous road trip in Miami in back-to-back appearances May 18-19 and has pitched seven times in the last 11 days when the D-backs needed extra work from their bullpen while playing two 13-inning games. Burgos took the loss Saturday when he gave up a three-run homer to Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo in the ninth inning of a 9-6 loss.
"We’ve used him quite a bit, so we have to be very careful," Hale said.
Burgos’ fastball on Monday was clocked at 95 mph.
Tuffy Gosewisch did a nice job of framing low fastballs, especially against left-handed hitting Matt Adams. Adams was called out on strikes with two runners on base in the fifth and ninth innings, both on pitches that Gosewisch deftly nudged into the strike zone. Adams flung his batting helmet down after the first one. Gosewisch also threw out two runners attempting to steal second, including Scottsdale native Peter Bourjos, one of the fastest players in the majors.
27 — hits by Yasmany Tomas in May after a three-hit game Monday; it ties the team’s rookie record for the month set by Didi Gregorius in 2013.
* Chase Anderson gave up 10 hits in six innings but held the Cardinals to only two runs by pitching his way out of trouble. Anderson helped himself by covering first base on a double play started by Paul Goldschmidt with two runners on in the fourth inning, getting to the bat in plenty of time to take Nick Ahmed’s throw. Anderson struck out Adams with two runners on to end the fifth and opposing starter Carlos Martinez with two on to end the sixth. "We can’t expect him to throw a shutout every time," Hale said. "He’s having a nice year. Was it his best stuff today? I don’t think so. But he limited the damage, keeping us in the game. The D-backs have scored 16 runs while Anderson has been on the mound in his nine starts. His ERA is 2.59.
* Trumbo’s two-run home run off left-hander Kevin Siegrist to straightaway center field was his fifth in 11 games while hitting No. 2 in the lineup ahead of Paul Goldschmidt. "Two strikes. Shadows. Good pitcher on the mound. I got a fastball I could handle," Trumbo told FOX Sports Arizona’s Todd Walsh. "It wasn’t one of those situations where you feel you are in the driver’s seat. Right now I’m not in one of those stretches where I am killing the ball, but trying to remain as tough as I can. Have to, in order to get some of the guys behind me some pitches" to hit. Siegrist had two up two runs all season before Trumbo’s homer.
* Ramirez has inherited 11 runners in his six games with the D-backs since being purchased from Triple-A Reno to fortify the bullpen. He has permitted only two to score, one on a bases-loaded double play grounder. He stranded all three runners when he replaced Daniel Hudson with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth inning of Hudson’s start May 10.
Because of the odd 3:15 pm start time on Memorial Day, hitters from both sides had a difficult time seeing the ball late in the game. Home plate was in shadows by the eighth inning while the pitchers mound was still in the sun. "Once we got past the eighth, it was very difficult to see," Chip Hale said.