What Should Happen With the D-Backs Starting Rotation


There are some rumblings that two injured pitchers for the Arizona Diamondbacks are on the mend and could join the team soon after the All Star Break.  Brandon McCarthy out with shoulder inflamation and Trevor Cahill disabled with a hip contusion but began experencing shoulder woes himself,  have thrown in recent days and there has been progress as reported by mlb.com’s Steve Gilbert.   McCarthy threw two twenty pitch innings in a simulated game and is scheduled for a 65-70 pitch sim game on Sunday.  Cahill is playing catch at 90 feet and could throw a bullpen session toward the weekend.  When those two are ready to go, the D’backs will have some tough decisions to make.

Brandon McCarthy will be back soon forcing the D’backs to make some tough choices. Image: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Here are my feelings on the what the rotation should look like when McCarthy and Cahill are back.  First of all, I would NOT remove Tyler Skaggs from the rotation unless he just forgets how to throw a ball 60 fet, 6 inches.  I am a huge Skaggs fan so it distrubed me when Venomstrikes’ Jeff Wiser speculated that the lefty could be traded for Jeff Samardzija.  As much as I like Samardzjia, Skaggs has the makings of something special.  I have felt that way was since he was brought up last season and continued to believe it even as he was sent to Triple A Reno during Spring Training.   His outing on Friday night against the Colorado Rockies when he shut out the Rox for eight innings allowing only three hits renforced my belief.  You don’t just give up on 22 year old left handed pitchers with big upside unless you get completely blown away on an offer.  Samardzjia by himself certainly does not fit that description.  If it comes down to winning a game and my choices are Skaggs, Cahill or McCarthy, it’s a no-brainer for me.  I would choose Skaggs and given the performance thus far of the other two (even though McCarthy was better before getting hurt) so would most D’back fans.

If Skaggs stays, the other candidate to be sent away is Randall Delgado.  But has Delgado done anything to have himself removed from the rotation and worse, sent back to Reno in favor of two guys who have underperformed?  In his five starts, Delgado has not surrendered any more than three earned runs in any single game.  He also has only walked four batters in 31 innings, three of them in one start.  That’s the good news.  The bad is that opponents are hitting at .331 clip on the year and he has yielded 40 base knocks in those 31 innings.   Delgado has the potential to become a much better pitcher if he learns to locate more effectively instead of continuously throwing 92-95 with no movement right down the middle of the plate.  Again, which of the three pitchers do you trust the most?  I would probably lean toward more McCarthy but Delgado is not exactly a bad choice given the circumstances.

The reason why this is even an issue for me and I would imagine for most fans is that the sheer ineffectiveness of Cahill and the unrealiability of McCarthy to stay healthy.  I don’t think it should be automatic that both guys should be out back into the rotation.  The only real advantage that the older two have over the younger two is money.  Cahill and McCarthy will make a combined $10.5 million while Skaggs and Delgado will combine to make 10% of that.

What should happen:  McCarthy in the rotation, Skaggs stays in the rotation, Cahill to the bullpen, Delgado to Reno

What will happen:  Cahill and McCarthy in the rotation, Skaggs and Delgado to Reno

And yet another prediction or two gone wrong.  May the best D’back team win.

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