With the Arizona Diamondbacks now playing out the string, the team decided to end the season early of top pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs. This, after last week the club announced that another top prospect, Trevor Bauer, would also be shut down for the remainder of the season. Even if the D-Backs were in the playoff hunt, it is easy to believe that the decision to rest both pitchers would still have been made.
Curiously, Skaggs has thrown 151 2/3 innings when combining all levels this season as opposed to 171 1/3 innings in 2011. According to an article by Nick Piecoro of azcentral.com, one American League scout stated that in April the lefty’s velocity was usually 93 MPH, topping out at 96. In July, the numbers were 91 and 94 respectively. In his last two starts, Skaggs averaged less than 90, perhaps showing the effects of showing up to Spring Training earlier. Of course, there is also a lot more stress trying to put away Major League hitters as opposed to batters in Double A and Triple A. One could understand the youngster’s frustration about having his campaign cut short but this decision was made for beyond 2012. The D-Backs are an organization that clearly has a lot of its future tied up in their young starting pitching. There is no need take unnecessary risks with the arm of Tyler Skaggs, Trevor Bauer or any other future star.
Watching Skaggs pitch this year was a treat. His mound presence and command appeared to be much older than his 21 years. That’s part of the reason why I voted on our poll that he has the brightest future among the Arizona young guns. As much as I think pitchers should throw more with fewer rest, I can’t argue with the organization’s decision to shelve Skaggs. Expect the former first round pick to be in the running for the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year.
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