Zack Godley to the Minors
The Diamondbacks may have gone 7-3 in their last ten and rookie starting pitcher Zack Godley may have won all three of his first starts in the majors with a combines ERA of 1.50, that doesn’t mean the Diamondbacks are obligated to keep Godley in the majors. In fact, with Chase Anderson expected back on Saturday and the bullpen heavily taxed due to recent short starts, the Diamondbacks decided to send Godley down.
While sending Godley down doesn’t make much sense on the surface, for this team, right now, it does.
The Diamondbacks have already surpassed this season’s expectations going 51-54 to this point. They sit in fourth place in the NL West, seven games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. Additionally, they are seven back for the second wild card berth. That is so much closer than anyone would have expected after being the worst in baseball last year. As as executives, Tony LaRussa and Dave Stewart must do what is right at the time and right now, the right thing to do with Anderson back is to get rid of the kid with the least amount of time, most amount of options, and a potential future as a starter.
Anderson has not been all that bad in truth. Before this recent injury, he was pitching to a 4.37 ERA and 1.27 WHIP with less walks per nine than last year. Yeah, he also has a lower strikeout rate, but K’s aren’t the end all be all of pitching. On this particular rotation, those are passable numbers. As my colleague Tom Lynch pointed out a few days ago, Anderson had been pitching well until a few starts that were exceptionally bad, which may have led to the DL stint.
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With almost no hope for the playoffs, the Diamondbacks won’t send down Patrick Corbin, Rubby De La Rosa, or Jeremy Hellickson. Robbie Ray is a lefty and has done nothing to warrant a send down (neither has Godley, but Ray has been up longer). Maybe a six-man rotation makes sense on some level, but there is one little benefit of not going that route: service time. It would be awesome to see Aaron Blair, especially after those rumors that he was going to be traded to the Reds. It would be nice to get Archie Bradley some more innings and hope for progress on his control issues. It would even be nice to see Braden Shipley, JR Bradley, or Yoan Lopez.
But, the Diamondbacks benefit from keeping the rotation at five and keeping the more likely future starters like Godley in a rotation, even if it is in the minors. Robbie Ray has pitched well, but he isn’t a future rotation staple. Hellickson needs innings and appearance to show other teams what he can do. Corbin needs innings to recover from his last injury. De La Rosa has been on fire since the All-Star break, so of course he keeps pitching.
In the end, Godley is going to continue getting his work in and the Diamondbacks can use up Allen Webster in the bullpen instead. But, expect Godley to come back up as long as he continues pitching well if one of the other starters gets injured or traded.
On that last note, sending Godley down makes me wonder if a waiver trade of someone is going to happen soon. Hellickson maybe?