29 April 2010
The Diamondbacks put SP Kris Benson (right shoulder) and RP Leo Rosales (foot) on the 15 Day Disabled List, and called up SP Kevin Mulvey and RP Daniel Stange. Mulvey will probably start in Benson's spot in the rotation next Monday against Houston, while Stange gives them a fresh arm for the bullpen. Depending on how the other 4 starters pitch against the Cubs, there is a chance that Mulvey will be needed in long relief, which could still leave Monday's start to Cesar Valdez or Billy Buckner.
Kevin Mulvey (25) came to the Diamondbacks from the Twins in last year's Jon Rauch trade. He throws a fastball around 90mph, and has a decent slider, with an occasional curve and change-up. He has historically been pretty tough on right handed batters, holding them to a .236 batting average in the minors, while left handers have hit .281 against him. He made four starts for the Diamondbacks in 2009, going 0-3 with a 7.04 ERA. In 23 IP, he struck out 18 while walking 12 and allowing 5 HR. His 2009 numbers in AAA were better, 5-8, 3.93 ERA, with 113K/54BB in 149 IP. The walks were a problem for Mulvey at both levels.
In Spring Training of 2010, Mulvey was a candidate for Arizona's starting rotation, but really struggled with his command. In just 9.1 IP, Mulvey allowed 13 hits and 7 walks, while striking out 5. He was only charged with 6 ER, but also gave up 9 more unearned runs.
Mulvey finally started to pitch well in AAA Reno in April. He has made 4 starts for the Aces, and has a 4.05 ERA, with 14K/5BB in 20 IP. He has not allowed a Home Run in AAA this season, and his last start in AAA was solid, even though he took the loss - 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6K. If he can maintain that type of command, he has a chance to be successful in the Majors.
Daniel Stange is a 24 year old right-handed reliever who has been pitching for AAA Reno. He missed parts of the 2007 and 2008 seasons with Tommy John surgery, but seems to have fully recovered. He can throw his fastball in the 90s, and has had good strikeout rates in the minors.
Like Mulvey, Daniel Stange needs to control the walks to be successful. He has pitched pretty well at AAA, going 3-1 with a 2.89 ERA, with 8K/5BB in 9.1 IP. The 5 walks are a little high, but his strikeout rate has continued to be good. In AA Mobile in 2009, he struck out 7.7K/9 IP while only walking 2.6BB/9.
He has been very tough on right handed batters in 2010, allowing only 2 hits and 1 walk to the 18 right handed batters he has faced. For his minor league career, he has held RHB to a .240 BA while lefties have hit .282. Stange is a ground ball pitcher, with a career ground ball rate of 50% and fly ball rate of 32%, and he has improved his GB/FB ratio in 2009 (GB/FB=1.6) and 2010 (GB/FB=3.5). Stange will probably start out in low-leverage situations for the Diamondbacks, but there are certainly opportunities for him to receive a larger role if he pitches well.