Prior to this season, many Diamondbacks fans wanted to see what they were going to get out of Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs, two of the best pitching prospects in the farm system. They both had minimal experience in the big leagues, but not substantial time to know what each was capable of being in the every-day pitching rotation. In 2013 they both spent time in the big leagues, Corbin spent the whole year in the rotation, while Skaggs was shuffled around multiple times, never staying in one place long enough to get comfortable. The 2014 season will bring more questions about the rotation and bullpen as outlined by Christian Moffett and Tom Lynch, our V.S. colleagues. My advice to Kevin Towers and Co. is as follows: Give Skaggs (and other prospects) a chance to prove themselves!
A lot has been said about Skaggs falling out of favor with Towers and possible trades for a closer (which the Diamondbacks desperately need) especially to the Toronto Blue Jays for their closer Casey Janssen. A good idea in theory, but as Lynch outlines, not one that will benefit the Diamondbacks in the long run. I know it is a strange idea, but how about we just wait for our phenomenal farm system to get the minor league experience it needs until they are ready for the big leagues, instead of trading them away for mediocre players. Let players like Archie Bradley, who went 12-5 in 21 starts with a 1.97 ERA and 119 strikeouts who is the D-backs No. 1 pitching prospect, and Jake Barrett, the closer in waiting, who went 1-1 with a .36 ERA, 14 saves and 22 strikeouts for the Mobile Bay Bears as well as giving Skaggs the chance and the stability of staying in the same place. Skaggs went 6-10 in the Minors with a 4.60 ERA and 115 strikeouts while going 2-3 with a 5.12 ERA and 36 strikeouts for the D’backs.
I attribute most of Skaggs inconsistent play to how many times he was called up and then sent back, a ridiculous amount. Skaggs has shown as much, if not more promise than Corbin did at the minor league level. I also don’t like the whole attitude that Towers wants to get rid of guys who he didn’t acquire, it just isn’t the way to go about doing things. It should be based on talent and what each individual brings to the table.
I know in today’s game it is all about how you can win now, but I don’t think it is the approach the Diamondbacks should take. They need to continue developing the amazing talent they have in their farm system, I think many of them are closer to the big leagues than many realize. We’ll be able to sign better free agents if the majority of our players are from our farm system. We could sign a big bat to protect Paul Goldschmidt and address other concerns in the bullpen. I would hate to see Bradley, Skaggs or Barrett become the next Trevor Bauer or Jarrod Parker, talent we trade to address short-term needs. The St. Louis Cardinals have defied everyone by building their team in this same manner and yet continue to compete year in and year out.
Follow this plan and maybe, just maybe we could see the Snakes play for another World Series title.
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