By: Jim Marshall
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Vidal Nuño continues to receive little help from the Diamondbacks’ offense, as he lost yet another quality start, 2-1, to the Dodgers last week. He made it through seven innings for the fourth start in a row, with nothing to show for it. He limited the Dodgers to just two runs on seven hits and a pair of walks.
There wasn’t much excitement when the Arizona Diamondbacks acquired the left-hander in early July for Brandon McCarthy. With the way Nuño had pitched for the Yankees, the trade was considered more or less a wash. While with the Yankees this season, he had two wins and five losses, with an ERA of 5.42 and had given up 15 homeruns. In fact, most thought the Diamondbacks would send Nuño to AAA Reno and call him up in September or that he would be a player added in a July trade to another team.
Since arriving in Arizona the 27-year old Nuño has been given a permanent spot in the starting rotation. And, for the most part, has delivered some solid performances. In his very first start in July he shut out the Marlins over seven innings, allowing only three hits. But, the offense, which has been an issue all season for the Diamondback, could not provide him with any run support and with the bullpen losing his 1-0 lead; they ended up losing that game, 2-1. Over his last seven starts Nuño has only once allowed more than two earned runs, while pitching at least 5 2/3 innings in six of those seven games. Over the past 22 1/3 innings, he has given up only five earned runs while striking out 18. His overall statistics for the 11 games he has started for the Diamondbacks is 0-5 with a 3.16 ERA. He has 54 strikeouts and .206 average for hitters against him.
When we head into Spring Training 2015, if the Diamondbacks have not signed one of the top free agents, Nuño should be considered for a starting spot. Starter Josh Collmenter belongs backs in the long reliever role and with Wade Miley’s regression and the unknown status of Trevor Cahill, Nuño deserves a chance to be in the starting five. Patrick Corbin and Bronson Arroyo will both miss healthy portions of the 2015 season, so the starting rotation going in to Spring Training could be Chase Anderson, Archie Bradley, Aaron Blair, (Wade Miley, Trevor Cahill if still with the Diamondbacks) and Nuño. With the possible additions of Randal Delgado and/or Braden Shipley.
The Diamondbacks still have 19 games to play, including nine at home, and even though it has been a long season, getting out to Chase Field is still a great time.