For Arizona Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers, late 2011 has been all about utility benchwarmers and veteran pitching.
For the past month and a half, Towers and the Diamondbacks front office has been busy mapping out the team's 2012 personnel strategy. From tweaking the 2012 starting lineup to overhauling the Diamondbacks' look on the mound, Towers summed up his biggest wish for this 2012 offseason in three words: "more veteran pitching."
In addition to re-signing most of the 2011 position players who elected for free agency in late October, the following is a list of the Diamondbacks' pitcher shakeups:
Returning MLB Pitchers and Experienced Prospects (13 Pitchers)
D-Backs pitchers and prospects with MLB experience returning in 2012 include Josh Collmenter, Sam Demel, Barry Enright, David Hernandez, Daniel Hudson, Ian Kennedy, Zach Kroenke, Wade Miley, Joe Paterson, J.J. Putz, Bryan Shaw, Mike Zagurski (acquired from Phillies in late Sept. 2011) and Brad Ziegler
New Diamondbacks Pitchers in 2012 (Five Pitchers)
- Jonathan Albaladejo (Signed as a Free Agent, 12/13/11)
- Craig Breslow (Acquired in Trade with Oakland, 12/09/11)
- Trevor Cahill (Acquired in Trade with Oakland, 12/09/11)
- Joe Martinez (Signed as a Free Agent, 12/06/11)
- Takashi Saito (Signed as a Free Agent, 12/14/11)
Pitchers not Returning from 2011 (5 Pitchers)
Earlier this month, the Diamondbacks decided against tendering contracts to Joe Saunders and Micah Owings. Pitcher Kam Mickolio was additionally released on Nov. 7, while pitchers Zach Duke and Jason Marquis became free agents on Oct. 31.
With new possibilities abound on the Arizona mound, the following is a glimpse at the 2012 opening week's starting rotation and bullpen occupants, if the season were to start with no further trades or transactions.