Starting Pitching Review: What The @$%! Happened?


As we have read over the last couple weeks, our friend Tom Lynch has reviewed the Diamondbacks at each position, not only from last year, but what may happen in the future. A lot of words come to mind when I think about the starting pitching last year for Arizona, but the big, bold word continues to be INCONSISTENCY. See what I did there? I made the word “inconsistency” bold in the post!

While there was certainly a lot of ups and downs with the staff, I will defend it a little. This was not the Year Of The Pitcher for the Diamondbacks–it was the Year Of The Injury. I know it’s taking the easy way out to blame a bad season on injuries, but come on, the amount of ailing players this year was ridiculous! Let’s all reminisce about the injuries from last year, shall we? First off, Daniel Hudson has been on the DL for about nine years, so there is no saying when he will return. It’s looking like next year, but don’t quote me. That was a big loss in the rotation, because Huddy can just flat-out pitch. Before being shipped to San Diego, Ian Kennedy spent some time on the DL with some bizarre injuries. Trevor Cahill had some injury issues with his oblique, as well as being on the shelf with what doctors called, “complete inability to get outs.” The list goes on-and-on, but as you can tell, injuries were a big part of this staff.

Injuries aside, we just didn’t know what we were going to get from start to start from each pitcher. Wade Miley, who was coming off a fantastic 2012 season was just okay in 2013. Brandon McCarthy led the league in being an “eh” pitcher. Nothing was terrible about Brandon, but at the same time, nothing about him got me excited. He was coming off a serious injury, so we don’t know how much was still a work in progress on the mound. Did you notice how I left Patrick Corbin out of this discussion? Corbin was great in 2013. The all-star delivered almost every start, and he was the bright spot on this staff.

With the injuries, guys needed to fill in. Randall Delgado was pretty good. I think Delgado is very teachable, and he can potentially be a solid starting pitcher. With all this said, the guy I had the most faith in was Tyler Skaggs, but the front office apparently didn’t see it that way. While I’m on the topic, Tyler Skaggs once liked one of my Instagram photos, so you could say were pretty tight. How did the Diamondbacks reward Tyler for his solid starts? They sent him to Visalia for a bit. Don’t get me wrong, Visalia is a beautiful city, but I always thought that Skaggs should have been with the big club for an extended amount of time.

The beauty of baseball is that there is always another season. By the looks of it, 2014 has us asking a lot of questions, and not getting a lot of answers so far. First off, the team doesn’t have a pitching coach as of this second, so that’s a great start! We absolutely do not know what this rotation will look like come May 1. Will Hudson be healthy? Will Archie Bradley be in the rotation? Will Trevor Cahill even have a spot on this staff? The fact of the matter is that this team has endured some turmoil already this offseason, so a little more drama will be no surprise. If I were the GM, Tyler Skaggs would be in my rotation, but for some reason, he doesn’t get the respect he deserves from the bigwigs upstairs. Something that is scaring me is that proposed trades for Skaggs are actually sounding very logical. Who knows, Tyler might be in a Toronto Blue Jays jersey next season (Jays fans have their fingers crossed).

It would be silly if we claimed to know what the staff will look like next year, but if all goes well for Huddy, he will be on the staff. Hopefully, this staff will be anchored by Patrick Corbin, because why not? Corbin has shown day after day that he is ready. We don’t what Wade Miley we are going to see, but if he is even kind of of like who he was in 2012, things might be okay.

I love the fact that I’m sitting here talking about inconsistency and chaos, but nothing says inconsistency and chaos like not having a coach or a complete staff. Awesome!

Priorities for Arizona: Give Skaggs a defined role with the team already!

Beyond 2014? Well, McCarthy and Cahill are signed through next year. Both Miley and Corbin are signed, but become arbitration eligible in two years. IF Arizona keeps this rotation, that leaves one spot open. Who should have it? Skaggs? Maybe Bradley? A completely new face? The idea of even thinking beyond 2014 is starting to hurt my head. Let’s just focus on this year, and cross the 2014 bridge when we get to it. I realize that is the single worst mentality to have if I were running a team, but it’s the best I’ve got at this point.

Actually, now that I think of it, is there a way to have Paul Goldschmidt pitch every game and also play first base? I just figured there is nothing he can’t do. Hmm, something to think about!

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