The Diamondbacks added Brandon Medders’ fresh right arm to their bullpen Wednesday and the reinforcement couldn’t have been timed better.
To make room for Medders, who had been on the disabled list all season with inflammation in his back, the Diamondbacks optioned Casey Daigle to Triple-A Tucson.
Medders joins a bullpen that has been taxed of late by multiple long outings. The bullpen contributed 13 innings of relief in the team’s first three games since Brandon Webb’s last start Friday, then had to provide 6 2 /3 innings Tuesday when Russ Ortiz suffered a cramp in his right calf.
“We don’t want to cover three (or) four innings, let alone what we had to cover (Tuesday),” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said.
Covering multiple innings has been the norm early this season as only Webb has averaged more than six innings per start.
As a result, in the four days between Webb’s two most recent starts, Daigle and Jason Grimsley each threw three times, including an outing each of least two innings. Meanwhile, Juan Cruz threw two-plus innings twice in three days, and Luis Vizcaino threw at least an inning three days in a row.
Even though his most recent major league stint lasted just seven days, Daigle did not disappoint.
He gave up two runs on five hits in 4 2 /3 innings spread across three appearances. Both runs came during 2 2 /3 innings of mop-up duty in his season debut Saturday night.
He struck out four — including Barry Bonds once — and walked none. Melvin’s confidence in Daigle was apparent when Daigle was sent to the mound in the seventh inning of a game the team was leading Tuesday night.
He threw a perfect inning and the Diamondbacks went on to a 7-5 win over the Giants.
“Casey’s been great,” Melvin said. “My feeling is he’ll be back up here.”
DRAFT ORDER SET
The Diamondbacks will have five of the first 87 picks in the 2006 first-year player draft, Major League Baseball announced. The draft is scheduled for June 6-7.
In addition to the Diamondbacks’ own pick (Nos. 11, 55 and 87) in each round, the team was awarded a pair of extra selections due to the departure of Type A free agent Tim Worrell, who signed with the Giants in the offseason. A free agent is designated Type A if he is considered among the top 30 percent of players at his position.
As compensation for the loss of Worrell, the Diamondbacks received a ‘sandwich’ pick (No. 34 overall) between the first and second rounds and the Giants’ third-round pick (No. 86 overall).
The right calf cramp that drove Ortiz out of Tuesday’s game is not expected to cause him to miss a start. He’s scheduled to throw a routine bullpen session today. . . .
Reliever Terry Mulholland, on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation, is expected to accompany the team on its upcoming road trip. His return is not imminent. . . .
NASCAR driver Casey Mears threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Wednesday’s game.