On Monday, manager Kirk Gibson announced the regular season starting rotation for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The guys in the rotation are not at all a surprise. They are Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Josh Collmenter, Trevor Cahill and Joe Saunders.
These guys were the ones everyone expected to be in the rotation, but the decision to put Collmenter ahead of Cahill turned some heads. Gibson would not elaborate as to the reason for this. Even as much as a couple of weeks ago, Collmenter was referred to as the fifth starter.
So why the change?
In Nick Piecoro's Twitter timeline, he points out some facts. It is surprising that Cahill would be pushed back to face the Padres, considering the success he had against the Giants last year. Cahill is also a little susceptible to the homerun, so pushing him into the San Diego series makes sense. That is, until you realize that his next scheduled start would be in Colorado.
Neither Cahill nor Collmenter have had a great spring.
The one thing that I think we can point to is the trust factor. Last season, Collmenter pitched very well and, even when he had a bad or subpar game, he always seemed to bounce back.
Collmenter was also the choice of Kirk Gibson to pitch in the playoffs.
If I had to guess the reason for this decision, it is trust that it came down to.
Cahill is still new to the team, Collmenter has done it already for a playoff team. Perhaps Gibson wants Cahill to feel hungrier and wants to give Collmenter a confidence boost.
Whatever the reason, Gibby had a magic touch a year ago. Can it continue?