Right when the 2012 season ended, Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers made it clear that the team was looking for another starter toward the top of their rotation. He mentioned the organization’s young arms and depth are key but they would like to find someone who is already big league ready and bring experience.
That person could be the team’s latest starting pitching acquisition in Brandon McCarthy. With Oakland last season, the 29-year-old was 8-6 with a 3.24 ERA in 18 starts. He hopes to be that player that the team desired when the off-season began.
“You want to know that you are joining a good team and something there that you could possibly be one of those final pieces too,” said McCarthy on Wednesday.
“It is a team that is really close to being competitive,” he added. “I think all of the ingredients are there. A really deep starting rotation, there is a lot of good offensive talent there especially young talent, there are some good defensive players. I think you have everything there that you’re looking for to make a deep run and possibly win the whole thing.”
McCarthy thinks it will be a smooth transition coming to the Diamondbacks because most of his immediate family currently resides in Scottsdale as well as Tucson. And also because he has been teammates and has good relationships with some players currently on the roster.
“We you are leaving somewhere you know and going somewhere new you’re typically looking for a lifeline,” said McCarthy. “Something about having (Trevor) Cahill there, (Cliff) Pennington, Brad Ziegler there. People that I know and am familiar with…that was a big thing for us.”
McCarthy’s season ended earlier than expected and in a nightmare fashion. Back on September 5 in a game against the Angles he was struck on the right side of his head by a line drive. As a result, he suffered an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture.
A month ago saw a concussion specialist at the University of Pittsburgh and participated in comprehensive tests and workouts. He rested for a month prior and by the time he got there he started off hesitant but when they pushed him through it he noticed that he was fine.
“Ever since that day I haven’t felt restricted on anything, I haven’t felt any symptoms. It has really become as much of a non-factor as something that major could be,” McCarthy explained.
One way McCarthy got through the scary injury was with something Oakland became accustomed too and what Arizona can look forward too. That is his humor.
“The way I approach everything is I try to attach humor to it,” explained McCarthy. “As early as being on the ambulance to the hospital I was trying to think of funny tweets and pretty much rights as I regained conciseness I was back to the same thing…It was a way to reassure my friends and family. I think it helped the process quite a bit.“
McCathy’s head injury is now behind him and is looking forward to his first season with the Diamondbacks. He is aware that Chase Field isn’t the friendliest of places for pitchers and especially for more fly-ball prone pitchers at that. But that will not change his approach on the mound.”
“There is still an emphasis on making pitches and making quality pitches and even in a really bad park, you can have success,” said McCarthy. “There is no fear of the stadium and again a lot of that is talking with Trevor (Cahill) who’s a big ground ball guy…You’re going to give up home runs, you’re going to give up some things that are a little bit cheap but when you throw well you’re throwing well and that’s basically in any ball park.”