GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When the Diamondbacks gave reliever David Hernandez a two-year contract last June, the 27-year-old admitted wanting to be a closer but said, "You've kind of just got to wait your turn."
It seemed then as if the wait could nearly be over. The D-backs had not picked up their option on 35-year-old closer J.J. Putz, who'd scuffled a bit after posting 45 saves in 2011. But Putz got back on track, and got his option renewed in October, followed later in the offseason by a one-year extension through 2014.
So for now, Hernandez has to be content to remain the closer-in-waiting.
"Whenever you have the opportunity to extend a guy like J.J., that definitely makes our team better," Hernandez said. "I just want to win and I want to go to the playoffs and win a World Series. If that means I have to pitch in the sixth inning because there's other guys ahead of me, that's fine. I just want to win."
Ahead of Putz, Hernandez has been among baseball's most effective setup men, e...