Wolf garnering consideration for spot in D-backs’ rotation
Although the Diamondbacks lost the last two games of their series against the Phillies, Bronson Arroyo on Saturday and Brandon McCarthy on Sunday turned in the team’s third and fourth straight quality starts. It was a welcome improvement for a beleaguered starting rotation that still boasts the worst collective ERA in the league.
Perhaps Arroyo, McCarthy and the rest of the rotation have turned a corner. But if not, left-hander Randy Wolf eagerly awaits in Triple-A.
Wolf, signed to a minor league deal earlier this month after a contract dispute with the Mariners in spring training, gave up just five hits and a run Thursday for the Reno Aces against Salt Lake, an Angels affiliate.
That outing lowered Wolf’s ERA to 3.71 in 17 innings with Reno.
Manager Kirk Gibson on Friday was asked about Wolf and the possibility that the 37-year-old could get a promotion in the near future.
"If he continues to throw the ball well, he’s certainly a guy we’re going to consider," Gibson said, according to Arizona Sports. "Our starting pitching needs to be better, period."
Gibson added, "We evaluate daily how we can improve our pitching. Our starting pitching has not been what we had hoped it would be. And he’s a starter. Does that answer your question?"
Wolf missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He signed a minor league contract with the Mariners during the winter and was told he’d made the team near the end of spring training, but when Seattle wanted to renegotiate the terms of the contract, he asked for and was granted his release.
"I was principally objected to that simply because we negotiated in good faith in February on a very team-friendly contract if I were to make the team," Wolf said at the time. "I felt like I came in amazing shape, I pitched great and I earned a spot on the team. They told me I earned the spot on the team, and to me, that advanced consent thing is kind of renegotiating the contract. So I told them I wouldnât sign it and I disagreed with it."
After waiting for an opportunity, Wolf eventually signed with the Diamondbacks.
Another pitcher in the system, although he is far from helping the major league team, is highly touted prospect Braden Shipley, who flirted with a no-hitter on Thursday.
The franchise’s first-round pick from last year, pitching for Low-A South Bend, lost the no-hitter in the seventh inning against Dayton. Shipley also lost the game, 3-1, but boasts a 0.79 ERA and a 10-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 11 1/3 innings this year.
Shipley, ranked the franchise’s No. 2 prospect behind Archie Bradley, could receive a promotion to High-A Visalia later this season but isn’t likely to advance further this year.