Jul 11, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin (46) pitches against the New York Mets during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
The Arizona Diamondbacks have an issue with their starting rotation. When I say or write that, it usually means that the crew as a unit is not very good. While it is below average, the issue I am referring to has nothing to do with bad performances. With Zack Godley‘s third consecutive strong start and the imminent activation of Chase Anderson from the disabled list, the D’backs will have an extra man in the customary five man rotation. What is a fringy playoff team to do? An option could be to expand the rotation to six members, something the team is considering according to Steve Gilbert at mlb.com.
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If one is opposed to such a measure, who would you evict from the rotation? There is not a person in the bunch where you could look at and say, “he deserves to be sent to the bullpen or down to Reno”. You certainly aren’t going to demote Patrick Corbin. Same goes for Rubby De La Rosa. I am sure that many folks wouldn’t mind seeing Jeremy Hellickson sent somewhere other than taking a turn every fifth day but that realistically won’t happen either. Although Robbie Ray hasn’t pitched as well as he did early on, the lefty hasn’t done anything catastrophic to warrant a demotion. Anderson was tremendous early in the season and his struggles as of late could have been the reason why he landed on the DL in the first place. Finally, why would any of us want to put Godley in the bullpen or in Triple A when he has held two out of his three opponents scoreless?
While I generally oppose a six man staff, it might make sense for Arizona. No one in the rotation threw 150 Major League innings in 2014. Anderson hurled 155 between the Minors and the D’backs while De La Rosa accumulated about 160 between Triple A and the Boston Red Sox. Beyond those two, none of the other guys reached 100 innings at the Major League level last year. For the D’backs to remain competitive and keep .500 as a realistic goal, then switching to a six man rotation makes sense. It allows the team to have each pitcher exceed his innings total from the prior year without going over by a drastic number. While trying to put forth the best guy day in and day out, let this also serve as competition for next year’s starting rotation. When Aaron Blair gets the call to make his case, the rotation battle will become even more interesting.