After his best start of the season last time out, Josh Collmenter seemed to return to his 2011 form last night. Well, for a little while at least. Collmenter cruised through the first three innings of Tuesday’s 8-5 loss to the Phillies before one swing of the bat seemed to unravel him.
Collmenter surrendered a two-run homer to ailing Hunter Pence then three batters later allowed another two-run bomb to Laynce Nix. Collmenter was chased in the 7th and the game got out of hand after umpires appeared to incorrectly rule that Jason Kubel trapped a fly ball by Juan Pierre. The Phillies scored three more runs that inning and the game was effectively over.
While Collmenter’s numbers are bad overall (9.82 ERA, 0-2) he’s actually been better his last two starts giving the D-Backs 5.1 and 6 innings respectively. He’s definitely at a risk of losing his rotation spot with the way that Trevor Bauer has been pitching but the fact that he’s making it deeper into games might be buying him a little bit of time to get his problems figured out. The problem for Collmenter is that it’s not just Bauer who appears to have his eyes set on the rotation spot. Patrick Corbin pitched awesome in his start Tuesday night allowing just 3 hits in 7 innings of shutout ball for the Double-A Mobile Bay Bear’s in their 4-1 win over Jacksonville.
So how much longer can Collmenter stay off a demotion? If he can pitch marginally better he can likely save his spot for the time being since Corbin, Bauer and Tyler Skaggs are all at Double-A. A promotion directly to the the D-Backs wouldn’t be unheard of but ideally the front office would love to get them a couple of starts at Triple-A before moving them up.
If Collmenter doesn’t improve at all, then one of the talented trio will be put on the fast track to Chase Field.