|Arizona Diamondbacks add 3 veterans off waivers for pennant run|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 04 August 2007 12:14|
The Diamondbacks added three veterans over the past two days to bolster depth heading in to an anticipated pennant run.
Left-hander Joe Kennedy was claimed off waivers from the Oakland A's on Saturday, a day after Arizona grabbed ex-Diamondbacks right-hander Byung-Hyun Kim from Florida and infielder Jeff Cirillo from Minnesota.
``Really with all three guys, they just protect areas where we didn't want to see our depth compromised,'' general manager Josh Byrnes said by telephone Saturday from Los Angeles, where the Diamondbacks were in the midst of a big three-game series with the Dodgers.
Kennedy was 3-9 with a 4.37 ERA this season with Oakland, where he began the year in the starting rotation but made his last 10 appearances as a reliever. He is in his ninth major league season, with stops in Tampa Bay and Colorado before going to Oakland in 2005.
The 28-year-old is 42-61 in his career with a 4.75 ERA. Last season, pitching exclusively out of the bullpen for the A's, he was 4-1 with a 2.31 ERA in 39 appearances.
Kim and Kennedy both have experience as starters. For now, though, Kim will be in the rotation and Kennedy in the bullpen.
Kennedy becomes Arizona's second left-handed reliever. The other is Doug Slaten, 3-1 with a 2.22 ERA in a bullpen that has been the team's biggest strength in its surprisingly successful season.
Kim, also 28, is 6-5 with a 4.63 ERA in 17 appearances - 14 of them starts - for Colorado and Florida this season. He returns to a team where he made his big league debut at age 20 in 1999. Kim became Arizona's closer, earning 70 saves from 1999 to 2002.
He's best remembered, however, for his inability to hold leads in the 2001 World Series in Yankee Stadium, where New York came back to force a sixth and seventh game in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won, but Kim didn't pitch in those final two games.
Either Kim or rookie Micah Owings will start Tuesday night against the Pirates, the opener of a six-game Arizona home stand.
Kim will take the spot initially held by Randy Johnson, out for the season because of back surgery. Rookie Yusmeiro Petit (2-3, 4.23 ERA) had that job, but was optioned to Triple-A Tucson on Saturday.
Arizona also designated outfielder Jeff DaVanon for assignment to make room for Cirillo.
With DaVanon gone and Carlos Quentin injured, Cirillo will become the fourth outfielder, despite playing in the infield most of his career.
The Diamondbacks brought up 19-year-old phenom Justin Upton to play right field earlier in the week.
The 37-year-old Cirillo is a career .297 hitter. He was batting .267 in 50 games for the Twins this season.
``All these guys have been around. They're used to a lot of different roles,'' Byrnes said. ``Kennedy went through a pennant race last year. I think that helps. We have a lot of faith in our team and our young players. They've done a tremendous job, but at this point in the year, they (the newcomers) fill a hole for us and create depth for us.''