While I’ll maintain that Kirk Gibson has to stick with fifth starter Josh Collmenter for at least a little while due to the relative inexperience of his main competitors, Collmenter didn’t help his case at all on Sunday.
Collmenter gave up 5 earned runs over 3 innings against the San Francisco Giants while Patrick Corbin shut out Double-A Mississippi over 6 innings on Sunday. Corbin gave up 6 hits with 1 walk and struck out 5. Not coincidentally, calls to replace Josh Collmenter were coming in often and steady from unhappy fans. The good news for Collmenter, however, is that the Diamondbacks furious comeback in Sunday’s 7-6 win likely dulled the cries for a demotion just a little. The D-Backs still won and they still swept the hated Giants.
Unfortunately for Collmenter, he’s not going to be able to rely on the offense and bullpen–which gave up just one hit–to bail him out forever. He’ll need to be able to pitch into the sixth inning at a minimum while keeping the D-Backs in the game. Two or three run are erased all the time, six run comebacks are rare. Despite his spring struggle, the reality of the situation is that Collmenter has simply had one bad start. Spring struggles are common and as long as the player makes the roster, shouldn’t be held against them. A close look at Collmenter’s statline from Sunday shows that there could be room for improvement as control isn’t his issue. Collmenter only walked one batter and struck out three, showing that his stuff is still good enough but that he’s just missing his spots. He also allowed a home run to one of the games best young catchers–Buster Posey–something that is bound to happen to a lot of opposing hitters this season.
All eyes will definitely be on Josh Collmenter and Patrick Corbin in their next starts as the two will be linked to the fifth rotation spot until super-prospect Trevor Bauer gains experience in professional baseball.