7/11/2013 10:13 P.M. ET
Towers: Relief help bigger target for trade
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Trade rumors have linked the D-backs to a number of high-profile starting pitchers, but the team seems more likely to add bullpen help.
"I'm not as concerned probably with our starting pitching and looking externally for starting pitching as much as trying to get a bullpen arm," D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said.
The D-backs rotation has had its share of struggles during the first half, but they have gotten better performances of late and the team has a number of internal options.
First and foremost, Brandon McCarthy and Trevor Cahill will both likely be off the disabled list toward the end of July or early August.
"Both of those guys have been very effective Major League pitchers for contending teams," Towers said. "To know that we've got those guys, it's kind of like Trade Deadline guys. You get them right and in the right spot, and they're pitching with confidence, good things could happen."
In addition, the team has been pleased with the performances of young pitchers Randall Delgado and Tyler Skaggs.
Also in the D-backs' system are left-hander David Holmberg and top pitching prospect Archie Bradley at Double-A Mobile. Both of them could help if needed, as could Triple-A options Charles Brewer or Zeke Spruill.
D-backs searching for answers with bullpen
PHOENIX -- D-backs general manager Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson were at Chase Field until the wee hours of the morning following Wednesday's 14-inning loss to the Dodgers, discussing the topic that is clearly on the minds of Arizona fans: What can be done about the struggling bullpen?
"Just talking about where do we go," Towers said. "Do we give other people opportunities beginning the second half of the season until some of these other guys get it right? How do we fix it? What other things can we do to try and get guys in the right spots to where we can be more successful? Those are the type of conversations we're having right now."
The D-backs have 19 blown saves this year, most in the Majors.
For now, it appears the D-backs will try to piece things together as best they can during this four-game series with the Brewers and then discuss further options over the All-Star break.
"We're trying to look every which way we can to try and hopefully find the right ingredient here," Towers said. "We've tried to look at home splits, road splits. It's probably more short term now. I think Gibby is just going to look at matchups over the next four days."
J.J. Putz is getting closer to full strength after a lengthy stint on the disabled list, so the team could go back to him in the closer's role sooner rather than later.
As to whether the team will be more aggressive in the trade market, it sounds like Towers wants to search internally before pulling the trigger on a deal.
"We've still got two to two-and-a-half weeks before the Deadline, and we'll have enough time to look at some of our internal options first and foremost before we get real aggressive externally," Towers said.
One of the internal options will not be top pitching prospect Archie Bradley. Towers said the club will not use Bradley in a relief role, preferring to keep him as a starter while he builds up innings.
Gibson did not say before Thursday's game who would close if an opportunity presented itself.
"I think we're in a position now that it's kind of hard to anoint a closer based on where we're at," Towers said. "I don't think that's fair right now. I think we're still in the evaluation process based on what we see over the next three or four days."
De La Rosa called up for bullpen; Skaggs sent down
PHOENIX -- To bolster a tired bullpen, the D-backs called up left-hander Eury De La Rosa from Triple-A Reno and optioned starter Tyler Skaggs to Class A Visalia.
De La Rosa was 1-4 with a 5.14 ERA for the Aces in 37 games this year.
"If you imagine getting the news you've wanted to hear since you were a baby, it's almost unexplainable how exciting the news is," De La Rosa said via an interpreter.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said De La Rosa was fearless on the mound and would not be intimidated by making his Major League debut.
"Baseball for me is basically the same, whether it's Single A or the big leagues," De La Rosa said. "It's always the same, and if this is the level you want to play at, if this is the level you want to get to, you can't have fear because otherwise you're never going to get here."
Skaggs was the odd man out in the roster shuffle because he pitched Wednesday, so he was not scheduled to make another start before the All-Star break.
With the Triple-A and Double-A All-Star Games taking place next week, the only place for Skaggs to stay on his regular rotation turn was Visalia.
Skaggs must remain in the Minors for 10 days, but with the upcoming All-Star break he could be recalled and slotted back into the big league rotation as early as the Sunday following the break.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.