Well the MLB trade deadline came and went and the Arizona Diamondbacks made a trade not for a bat which would have helped this offense tremendously but instead got a reliever.
The team traded starting pitcher Ian Kennedy to NL West division rival the San Diego Padres for relief pitcher Joe Thatcher, minor league relief pitcher Matt Stites, and a compensation draft pick. We all had a sense that Kennedy was going to be moved either to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim or the San Diego Padres according to reports yesterday.
Obviously, the Diamondbacks get a very good reliever in Thatcher because GM Kevin Towers made it a focus to get a left handed specialist to help upgrade the bullpen. This season, Thatcher has been pitching well with a 3-1 record out of the bullpen. He also has a 2.15 ERA and is holding left handed hitters to a .215 batting average. Also Thatcher has not given up an extra base hit this season.
Those are all great numbers which can help the Diamondbacks now, as they are currently 4.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the NL West. As I mentioned earlier in this piece, the Diamondbacks also get a young future arm in Matt Stites, who is right now pitching in Double-A. Stites is only 23 years old and could be a young arm in the pen for the Diamondbacks in the future. Currently for Double-A San Antonio, he has a 2-2 record, with a 2.08 ERA, 14 saves, and 51 strikeouts.
Great numbers and expect him to be in Double-A Mobile, which is apart of the Diamondbacks farm system. Lastly, how do the Padres feel about acquiring a pitcher like Ian Kennedy? Padres GM Josh Byrnes said about Kennedy, “He is under club control through 2015, and we feel he will help us take another step forward as a team.”
We will see how these moves affect the Padres and Diamondbacks not only this season but in future seasons down the road.