PHOENIX -- In an attempt to get him back on track, the D-backs are taking right-hander Zack Godley out of the rotation and placing him in the bullpen.
“What I told him is we’re going to pull you out, we’re going to let you work on a couple things,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “And, when and if that happens, you’re going to show me when it’s time to reinsert you into the rotation. I’m not saying it’s going to be a permanent thing, but I have to see some things change. And he knows what they are.”
Throwing more strikes is one of the biggest keys for Godley, who has struggled in four of his six starts this year and has a 7.58 ERA with 18 walks and 25 strikeouts.
“We’ll see,” Arizona general manager Mike Hazen said when asked if the move was temporary. “I hope so. He’s obviously covered a lot of innings for us, pitched very well for the last couple of years and probably going through a little bit of a down cycle right now and just searching for that consistency back. We feel like this a way we can get him going.”
As for who will take Godley’s place in the rotation, that is less clear.
Thanks to Monday’s off-day as well as Thursday’s scheduled day off, the team can simply skip Godley’s turn this time around. The D-backs could push that spot in the rotation back to May 7 when they take on the Rays.
Hazen said the team did not want to shift reliever Matt Andriese into the rotation because of how valuable he’s been in his current role.
Right-hander Jon Duplantier, who pitched four shutout innings Sunday, also does not appear to be a candidate. Duplantier has not been stretched out past 60 pitches this year, and after being optioned Sunday, he has to remain in the Minor Leagues for 10 days.
That would seem to leave right-hander Taylor Clarke as the natural choice.
Clarke is scheduled to start for Triple-A Reno on Wednesday, which would set him up perfectly for May 7. Clarke was called up by the D-backs on April 20 when they needed an extra arm in the bullpen, and that day he tossed three shutout innings of relief to earn the save.
Clarke was optioned back to Reno after the game, but he made a good impression on the Major League staff.
“We’ve got to make sure we’ve got the best candidate that’s here on that particular day,” Lovullo said. “We’ve got to organize how that’s going to happen, and we don’t know who that is. We’ve got to figure that out quickly, because our days are winding down.”
Given which players on the roster currently have Minor League options remaining, it seems likely the D-backs will need to send down a position player to make room.
Hazen said for now the team would stick with its three-catcher alignment.
Left-hander T.J. McFarland was activated prior to Tuesday’s game. McFarland, who has been out with shoulder inflammation since Spring Training, took Duplantier’s spot on the roster.