Mar 14, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Logan Schafer (1) steals second base in front of Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Didi Gregorius (1) in the fifth inning at Maryvale Baseball Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
After losing ace Patrick Corbin for the season with a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament on Sunday, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ starting rotation suddenly went from a team strength to a position with some question marks. Corbin who was supposed to start the opening game in Sydney will not make the trip and Wade Miley will take his place on the roster. The Snakes have already announced that Miley will indeed start the first game. Add to that to the concern that Bronson Arroyo might not be ready to start the season, and the D’backs’ need for starting pitching has suddenly ramped up.
With Corbin out, the likely candidates to replace him are Josh Collmenter, Archie Bradley, and Randall Delgado. Losing your ace at this point in the season is tough for any team to swallow and the whole team obviously feels for Patrick. Arizona General Manager Kevin Towers talked about the loss of the team’s ace with MLB.com:
"“It’s tough. I feel bad for Patrick. When you get that news, myself, I went through it myself back in the ’80s. It’s tough. It’s scary. He was all excited about going to Australia and to see his teammates getting ready to get on the plane … knowing there’s a chance he could miss the entire season, that’s tough.”"
While it’s heartbreaking to lose a pitcher like Corbin this late in the game, the D’backs have to move on and win without him. Arizona has great opportunities internally but the word is beginning to get out that the D’backs are exploring the market for a major league starting pitcher.
The Snakes also have three shortstops on the roster and quite a few teams are in need of one. The New York Mets are one of those teams with Ruben Tejada their opening day starter for now. While Tejada can produce, he doesn’t cut it as an everyday starter that can be relied upon. At the same time, the market for Didi Gregorius has been heating up over the past few days and the Mets are the apparent front runners. D’backs’ scouts were out watching Mets’ pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard in hopes of possibly trading him for Didi. However, the Mets have already said that they have no intentions of trading their top pitching prospect for a SS. Rafael Montero has surfaced as a possibility but New York would likely only deal him to Arizona for Chris Owings.
If the organization is only willing to deal Didi, then the Mets would likely offer guys like Jacob deGrom or Jenrry Mejia. deGrom could help power the best rotation in the Pacific Coast League going 4-2 with a 4.52 ERA with Triple A Las Vegas in 14 starts after being promoted from Double A Binghamton. Mejia would probably be the best option because he has at least some MLB experience. Mejia made five starts with the Mets last season going 1-2 with a 2.30 ERA. The question is can he pitch consistently for a full season and is he better than the options the D’backs have internally?
I think both Bradley and Delgado are better options than Mejia. While Delgado struggled a little bit down the stretch, he has more experience and is more proven at the big league level. Even with his one bad start, Bradley convinced me in his first two starts and in his live BP sessions that he can get out big league hitters consistently. If something were to happen to Owings and the D’backs don’t have Didi, then they would have to go with Cliff Pennington at SS and I don’t know if he can produce as much as the other two can. If the team could somehow get Syndergaard for Didi then I would do it but if I’m Towers that is the only guy I want. If the D’backs didn’t have the depth in the rotation that they have then I would be more desperate, but they have plenty of options to compensate for Corbin’s loss.