Every team in Major League Baseball that hopes to hoist a World Series trophy better have it. Whether it is three studs at the top of the rotation or three guys at the back of the bullpen who can shut the door, pitching is the bedrock of success. Within much of these contending staffs is one pitcher that can be relied on to start on a moment’s notice or take the ball in the second inning of a blowout and spare the rest of the bullpen. For most teams, this pitcher is a necessity.
Outside of fans in Arizona, when one thinks of the D’Backs pitching, it is either in reference to veterans Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill, J.J. Putz and David Hernandez or youngsters Wade Miley, Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer. Yet it is Collmenter who has proven to be extremely valuable in his two season in the Majors. In 2011, he went 10-10 and finished fifth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. He also helped prevent the D’Backs from getting swept in the NLDS by allowing only one run in seven innings of work in Game 3 against the Milwaukee Brewers. 2012 started out badly for the righty as he finished April with a 9.82 ERA in 18 1/3 innings pitched and an 0-2 record in four starts After being sent to the bullpen, Collmenter settled down and started to pitch effectively in relief outings. He made his next start July 1st and pitched six solid innings giving up only one run. From that point on, Collmenter won five of six decisions while alternating between starting and relieving, finishing 5-3 with a respectable 3.69 ERA.
When the 2013 season begins, Collmenter will probably be asked to assume the same role for the D’Backs. Ramiro Mendoza was pitched under similar circumstances for the New York Yankees during their big run from 1996-2001. Good teams need guys like that. Although he is not a household name, you can bet fans of the D’Backs know who Josh Collmenter is and how valuable he is to their team.
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