Do not feel sorry for Diamondbacks’ left-hander Vidal Nuno.
Nuno has no pity on himself and in fact, remains almost cheerful. That demeanor seems in stark contrast to his numbers with Arizona.
Arriving just before the All-Star break in a trade with the New York Yankees, Nuno traversed through of period of adjustment to the National League. Once he established a rhythm and comfort zone, Nuno has been perhaps the Diamondbacks most consistent pitcher over the past few weeks.
Yet, the bottom line shows no victories in Sedona Red for his 10 starts for Arizona. In a refrain common to Alfred E. Neuman, Nuno seems to say, “what, me worry?’
In retiring the final 20 hitters in a row he faced Saturday in a tough 2-0 defeat to Colorado, Nuno brushed off the reality of no victories and that’s in despite of six quality starts in his last seven starts.
“I’m settling down and keep pounding the zone,” Nuno said. “No, there are no frustrations and you have to just keep on fighting.”
The results of a current 3.23 ERA for his 10 starts in the desert remains a strong disparity to numbers in New York and his expendability from Bronx. Dealt to the Diamondbacks for pitcher Brandon McCarthy, Nuno was 2-5 with New York and a 5.42 ERA. He managed wins over the Angels on May 7 and Red Sox on June 27 and that was before the trade on July 6.
By late June, the Diamondbacks began sending out feelers on McCarthy and the Yankees were one of the first teams to respond. With a history of Arizona pitching coach Mike Harkey as the Yankees’ bullpen coach for the previous six years, Nuno was not unfamiliar to the Diamondbacks’ organization.
“We had discussions with Harkey about him and Hark knew he had a good arm,” said manager Kirk Gibson. “His mechanics are strong and he’s had a great stretch for us.”
Part of Nuno’s current 0-4 record with the Diamondbacks is lack of run support.
Over his 10 starts, the offense, with Nuno on the hill, Arizona has won only game. That was a 5-2 decision over San Diego on Aug. 23 and a game in which Nuno received a no-decision. In all, the Diamondbacks have scored four runs in a game only twice and were shut-out Saturday against the Rockies with Nuno as the starter.
The team scored only two runs for Nuno in three different starts, three runs in one start and one run in another start. The bottom line, said Gibson, “we have to score runs for him.”
Nuno’s continues to try for that elusive initial win for Arizona in his next start Thursday night against the Padres in San Diego.
SEPTEMBER ROSTER EXPANSION
Beginning Monday, rosters of all major league teams can expand to 40 players.
For the Diamondbacks, plans call for two players to be added immediately. Outfielder Cody Ross, on the disabled list since July 22 with a left cal strain, and pitcher Daniel Hudson, after two Tommy John surgeries on his right elbow, will join the team in San Diego on Monday.
“Beyond Ross and Hudson, I’m not sure who else at this point,” said Gibson. “Much has to do with (Triple-A) Reno. If they are in the post-season, then we can’t take players. If they are out, then we’ll make some decisions.”