Mike Hampton is a gamer with exceptional experience and a competitive attitude that this team needs from guys in club house and not just the guy in the manager's office.
Hampton threw a bullpen session for the Diamondbacks last week and according to General Manager Jerry Dipoto, "Looked a lot like Mike Hampton."
Which is good because he is Mike Hampton.
Hampton will start off in Triple-A Reno but the intention is to get him to Arizona where he can work out of the bullpen.
"We have every intention of finding out how much of a contributor he can be at this level," Dipoto said.
It's possible he could be back with the team next season but that's not a given by any means. In September 2009, Hampton underwent full rotator cuff surgery and was expected to miss the entire 2010 season.
Dipoto played with Hampton in Colorado and described him as a tremendous competitor which seems to be his main appeal, "A veteran guy who's had a tremendous career, who understands success, who's played on good teams, who's been exposed to the right types of guys."
He embodies a lot of what we've talked about over the last couple of months and what we need to expose our players to. He's a professional. His work habits are tremendous and like I said, I don't know anyone who's more competitive."
So again, why not?
From the official release:
Hampton, who will be assigned to Triple-A Reno, has a 148-115 record and 4.07 ERA in 409 games, including 355 starts, during his 15-year Major League career with the Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, New York Mets, Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Braves. He was the selected in the sixth-round of the 1990 First-Year Player Draft by the Mariners.
The two-time All-Star was named the Sporting News' National League Pitcher of the Year in 1999 with the Astros after leading the league with 22 wins, while also becoming the first left-handed 20-game winner in Astros history. He started at least 30 games in seven consecutive seasons from 1997-2003, posting a 98-67 record and 4.10 ERA over that span as his 226 starts ranked tied for third and his 1463.0 innings was seventh in the Majors.
Hampton won five consecutive NL Silver Slugger Awards from 1997-2003 and is a career .246 hitter with 16 home runs and 79 RBI. In 2003, he became the first pitcher to win a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award in the same season.
Hampton missed the entire 2006-07 seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery and went 3-4 with a 4.85 ERA in 13 starts with the Braves after coming off the disabled list mid-season in 2008. In 2009, he went 7-10 with a 5.30 ERA in 21 starts in his second stint with the Astros.