Given the Qualls/Gutierrez debacle, A.J. Hinch has said that all bets are off and that he will go with the hot hand. Right now, that's Heilman.
ATLANTA - As manager A.J. Hinch tries to figure out ways to deploy his bullpen, General Manager Josh Byrnes continues to make phone calls as he attempts to address it.
"Yeah, I'd love to solve it today in every way," Byrnes said when asked if the continued struggles increase urgency for a fix. "Maybe it's a few changes and some guys pitching up to their normal standards.
"But by the same token, from trade mode, I don't think we want to pay double what we should in order to get a guy. And from internal mode, I don't think we want to put younger players in situations they aren't ready to handle."
One move Byrnes doesn't appear to be considering is a dismissing pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr.
"No, I don't think it's 'Stott,' " Byrnes said. "I don't think that's the case."
A day after the relievers who were expected to be his two best this season - Juan Gutierrez and Chad Qualls - gave up runs in a devastating loss, Hinch said that "all bets are off" when it comes to relief roles.
"You reach the point to where you've got to go with the hot hand," Hinch said. "I'm trying to figure out who the hot hand is at this point."
The lone hot hand would probably be reliever Aaron Heilman, who hasn't allowed a run in his past 10 appearances. No one else has shown consistency.
The Diamondbacks entered Saturday with a bullpen ERA of 7.49. The last team with a bullpen ERA above 7.00 on May 15 was the 2000 Cubs, who had a 7.65 ERA.
Since earned runs became an official stat - 1912 for the NL, 1913 for the AL - only the 1930 Phillies (8.16) finished with a bullpen ERA above 7.00. They were 52-102.http://www.azcentral.com/sports/diamond ... ssues.html