Josh Collmenter Needs to Return to the Bullpen
By Thomas Lynch
Jun 7, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Josh Collmenter (55) reacts after giving up a home run to New York Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson (not pictured) during the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Josh Collmenter returned to the starting rotation of the Arizona Diamondbacks early in the 2014 season. It was out of necessity that the move was made, with Patrick Corbin‘s season done before it started because of the dreaded torn UCL ligament. Trevor Cahill was brutally ineffective. So the rotation needed a fresh arm and Collmenter certainly delivered. However, the time has come to turn back the clock and turn Collmenter back into what he does best.
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The 29-year old right-hander needs to return to the bullpen. Doing that would make a rotation that is already in shambles, perhaps even worse. However, the D’backs are a better team with Collmenter working in relief and making the occasional spot start. In 2012 and 2013, he pitched to the tune of a combined 3.42 ERA in 182 1/3 innings. No team had a pitcher quite like Collmenter, a guy who could hurl five innings in extra frames, not pitch for four days and then make back-to-back quality appearances. Right now, the D’backs do not have a pitcher like that. Randall Delgado seems to be the guy they are targeting for that role and he’s done a decent job. I’d rather have him a short reliever for now and put Collmenter as the long man. That would improve a staff in desperate need of some solutions.
The number for Collmenter in 2015 are not pretty: 3-6, 5.24 ERA, 13 home runs given up in 68 2/3 innings. Even if his ERA was a run lower, I would still advocate a return to the ‘pen. Corbin has begun a rehab assignment and Robbie Ray had his third good start of the season last night. When Corbin comes back, I’d rather see young pitchers Ray, Rubby De La Rosa and Chase Anderson remain in the rotation to see if they can be bona-fide Major League pitchers. We already know what Collmenter is: a tremendous weapon out of the bullpen, not a full-time, 200 inning starting pitcher.