The Arizona Diamondbacks truly find themselves sitting in the lap of luxury when it comes to their pitching rotation. Not only do they have some young veterans to fill out spots on the team, but they seemingly have endless amounts of prospects that are ready to be called up or have just arrived to the big leagues.
Manager Kirk Gibson has come out and stated that the top three players in his rotation coming out of the All-Star break will be Ian Kennedy, Joe Saunders and Trevor Cahill. The only name that is somewhat of a surprise there is Saunders, who was a candidate to lose his starting job after becoming injured.
Wade Miley is a foregone conclusion to be the fourth starter behind Cahill, but will get a few days off since he is representing the D-backs in Kansas City this week. The question is, who will be the fifth starter? As I said, the team has plenty of options.
First, the Diamondbacks could turn towards last year's rookie, Josh Collmenter. Although he struggled as a starter earlier on this year, he has come in since Saunders went down and been extremely effective. In his last 27 innings pitched, he has given up just three earned runs. Needless to say, he has been outstanding.
But Gibson has stated in the past that he prefers Collmenter to come out of the bullpen. That is where his skillset can be utilized the best. When paired up with Patrick Corbin, the two make a very strong duo of long relievers.
Speaking of Corbin, he will be in the mix to start as well. Although his first time in the bigs didn't go too well, he has really improved. He has only given up four earned runs since getting called back up. Again, he is a player that is effective as a long reliever. Taking him out of that role (this season) may be a mistake.
The player that I think will lock down that final spot is the other young phenom, Trevor Bauer. His first two starts against the Braves and Padres were a bit shaky, but after seeing him go to work against the Dodgers, it became obvious that this kid just needs time to settle in. Once he gets his pitches going, he can be devastating on the mound.
He just has too much talent to send back down to AAA. Unless he really struggles, I see him as the projected fifth starter once the Diamondbacks launch their second half campaign.
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