MLB: Josh Collmenter Moves to the Starting Rotation
The Arizona Diamondbacks have started a shake up with their starting rotation as right-hander Josh Collmenter has replaced the struggling Randall Delgado in the pitching rotation. Collmenter developed into a quality starter back in 2011 when he helped the Diamondbacks win the NL West title. He posted a surprising 3.38 ERA with 154 innings pitched and had ten wins as a rookie. In 2012 Collmenter‘s grip on the starting rotation was lost when he started the season very slow and struggled in his four starts with an ERA at 9.82. Instead of sending the popular- with-his-teammates-Collmenter down, Manager Kirk Gibson decided to move him to the bullpen and made him the swingman, a position he seems to enjoy.
Over the past two seasons Collmenter has been a valuable member of the pitching staff, with his ability to bail out his team with long outings and his ability to pitch more than an inning on consecutive days. The role suits him perfectly, as he is not really a pitcher who should pitch through the batting order more than three times. Hopefully moving him back to the starting rotation won’t turn the most consistent part of the bullpen into a wait and see who will be the swingman.
Collmenter will start on Monday against the New York Mets. He last pitched on April 9th, going four scoreless innings at San Francisco. He threw 53 pitches in that game, but there should be no reason why he wouldn’t be able to throw up to 90 pitches in his start on Monday. He has a 2.25 ERA in eight innings of relief this season. Collmenter has caught the eye of hitters due to his unusual over-the-top delivery. Although he does not possess superior speed to his fastball (with an average of 87 MPH), he does rely on his cutters and changeups to keep the hitters off-balance. He throws a curveball, but that is his least effective pitch. Hopefully, the experiment of Collmenter in the rotation is a short one. He is desperately needed in the bullpen.
Delgado is going to the bullpen to work on his issues as he lasted just 3 1/3 innings in his last start and has an ERA over 10. Can he turn into the weapon that Collmenter was in that role? For him a move to the bullpen could be the answer for him to stay on the team. Delgado throws five pitches, a four-seam fastball in the 90–93 MPH range, a two-seam fastball, a curveball, and a changeup. He also worked on a slider to right-handed hitters in Spring Training.
This will not be the final move for the starting rotation as they struggle with a combined ERA over six; and something needs to be done before the season is lost. The next move might be Trevor Cahill being sent to AAA Reno to work on his control and mind set. Look for newly signed left hander Randy Wolf to take Cahill’s spot in the rotation after working himself into pitching shape at AAA Reno.
The leash also has to be fairly short on Brando McCarthy. He will be given another start, and if his struggles continue look for Bo Schultz, who pitched in Australia, or Charles Brewer who pitched in four games last season to possibly take the place of McCarthy.
As far as Archie Bradley the most prized prospect in the organization, this team appears cautious about how quickly they bring him up. If he was a position player with the same talent and expectations, it would be a different story. They should let him pitch at AAA Reno another month, if not longer. He pitched 123 innings at AA Mobile last season but needs to build up his durability. He has averaged around six innings per game through his minor league career. He still needs work on his command. In his first full year at Class A South Bend he averaged 5.6 walks per nine innings. It did improve last season, dropping to 4.1 per nine innings, but it is still considered a high walk rate. He is going to end up as the ace of this staff one day, but the club still needs to give him time to finish developing into the dominant pitcher he is going to be.
I hope to see you at Chase Field and keep on being a fan during this difficult start to the 2014 season.
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