Relaxed Thatcher attacking hitters out of bullpen

Relaxed Thatcher attacking hitters out of bullpen

LOS ANGELES -- Joe Thatcher this season is pitching like the pitcher D-backs GM Kevin Towers thought he was getting last year when he acquired him from the Padres.

After the July deal, Thatcher compiled a 6.75 ERA, and by the end of the season, the left-handed specialist was struggling against lefties and righties.

In eight appearances this season, Thatcher has a 1.29 ERA.

"Just attacking the strike zone," Thatcher said. "Making pitches, going after guys."

As for his struggles last year, Thatcher said he never lost faith in his ability.

"That wasn't who I was," he said, adding that after going through Spring Training with the D-backs, he now feels more a part of the team than he did last year.

So far, Thatcher has even been effective against right-handers, holding them to two hits in 12 at-bats.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.