The Diamondbacks are that rare contender that might not act as buyers at the non-waiver deadline. They lack an obvious need, and soon might face a number of surpluses:
*Center fielder Adam Eaton is expected to return from a strained left elbow by the end of the month, giving the team four quality outfielders – Eaton, Jason Kubel, Cody Ross and one of the league’s best producers, Gerardo Parra.
*Infielder Willie Bloomquist is getting close to returning from a strained right intercostal, and second baseman Aaron Hill figures to come back from his broken left hand in June, likely jeopardizing the roster spots of Cliff Pennington and Josh Wilson.
*Right-hander Daniel Hudson is expected to return from Tommy John surgery in about three weeks, giving the D-backs the option of using him as a starter or reliever. All of the team’s starters currently are healthy. None is performing poorly.
A need could arise for a late-inning reliever if closer J.J. Putz fails to recover from elbow trouble. But general manager Kevin Towers said that he is “100 percent confident” that Putz will return.
Some teams would consider moving its excess pieces for prospects, and young pitchers in particular. The Diamondbacks, of course, could take such a route. But frankly, they’re deep in young pitching, too.
Towers attributes the high ERAs of Triple A left-hander Tyler Skaggs (5.93) and righties Randall Delgado (7.62) and Chase Anderson (5.47) to the hitter-friendly conditions of the Reno ballpark and the Pacific Coast League in general.
The D-Backs also have three future rotation candidates at Double A – righty Archie Bradley and lefties David Holmberg and Andrew Chafin. Bradley, one of the game’s top prospects, has a 0.90 ERA in four starts since his promotion from A ball.
Towers said the D-Backs will not promote Bradley to the majors this season, preferring for him to complete his normal development.
As stacked as the team is right now in both the majors and minors, there simply is no need to rush.