The Diamondbacks announced that they have acquired right-hander Lucas Harrell from the Astros in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Harrell will be assigned to Triple-A Reno.
Harrell, 28, was designated for assignment by the Astros last week. Formerly a key member of Houston’s rotation that was considered to have at least somewhat comparable trade value to Bud Norris, Harrell has seen his stock tumble since the beginning of the 2013 season.
After posting a 3.76 ERA with 6.5 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 57.2 percent ground-ball rate in 193 2/3 innings in 2012, Harrell slumped to a 5.86 ERA in 153 2/3 innings last season. Command issues were central to Harrell’s decline, as the 88 walks he issued (5.2 BB/9) led the American League and fell just one shy of the amount of strikeouts he picked up (89). Harrell’s ground-ball rate also dropped (51.5 percent), and neither problem seemed to be corrected in his brief 2014 sample of work. Harrell walked nine batters in 12 1/3 innings en route to a 9.49 ERA with Houston this season.
Should the D’Backs be able to restore Harrell’s command, his ground-ball ways would be an excellent fit for the homer-friendly Chase Field. Arizona’s need for pitching depth has been well documented already, as the team has lost top starter Patrick Corbin to Tommy John surgery and received an unacceptable 6.15 ERA from its starting rotation to date.