Diamondbacks Plethora of Pitching
The fans of the Arizona Diamondbacks got to catch a glimpse of both the present and what is yet to come on Wednesday during the first ever double-header at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks faced the Miami Marlins with two rookies taking the mound. Tyler Skaggs, who is considered one of the top prospects in baseball and turned 21 just last month, made his Major League debut. He allowed two runs and three hits over 6 and 2-3 innings in a 3-2 Diamondbacks win over the Marlins.
Skaggs did give up a homerun in the second inning, but then shut down the Marlins on one hit the rest of his outing. He also struck out four. He pitched like he was a veteran by working his way out of a man on first and second, with nobody out jam in the sixth inning. Skaggs started the 2012 season in Mobile and then was promoted to the Reno Aces of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League in late June. He also appeared in the 2012 All-Star Futures Game. Skaggs posted a 2.91 ERA in AAA Reno before being called up to the majors. If Joe Saunders is not traded, Skaggs will likely return to Reno but he looked good enough that the Diamondbacks will have a hard time keeping him down for long.
Wade Miley who will turn 26 in November was terrific yet again on Wednesday. He limited the Marlins to just four singles and a walk over eight shutout innings to earn his 14th win of the season. He allowed just two batters to reach second base in the game, one of which came on a passed ball. He closed out his start with some swagger, striking out the final three batters he faced in the eighth inning. He finished with five strikeouts in the game. He improved his record to 14-8 on the season, while lowering his ERA to 2.80. Miley continues to put together an outstanding rookie season. He seems to be getting better as the season goes on. Since the All-Star game he has gone 5-3 with a 2.32 ERA in eight starts and he shows no signs of slowing down. Miley has a real shot at winning Rookie of the Year honors in the National League.
It could be said that these two first year players saved the series and perhaps the season for the Diamondbacks. This has to make the organization and coaches very happy about the club’s future.
Both pitchers provided a glimpse of what the Arizona rotation will look like beyond 2012. Along with Trevor Bauer, who is also 21, and Patrick Corbin, who is 23, shows there is no shortage of young, quality arms in the Diamondbacks organization? Corbin has been pitching important innings since July, in both starting and relieving roles this season.
Even though Bauer was demoted back to the minors in mid-July after a “some-what” disappointing first stint in the majors; we are well aware of Bauer’s dominance against minor leaguers. We are now waiting for his return to the majors, and hopefully the second time around will produce a much better result. He remains an elite prospect.
Another pitcher in the Diamondback’s minor league organization to watch is Archie Bradley. Bradley is only a year removed from high school and just turned 20 two weeks ago. He is still young and developing as a pro, but you can see his potential from his strikeout rate and hitters low batting average. The Diamondbacks have a plethora of pitching prospects, so they can afford to be patient with Bradley.
If the Diamondbacks are going to make a run at a playoff spot you can be certain all four of these young pitchers will have an impact. Whatever happens between now and October, the Diamondbacks fans should be excited about the present and the future. I hope to see you at the ballpark.