Right-hander Zack Grienke returns to the starting rotation for the Arizona Diamondbacks
Most observers believe it is much too late for the Arizona Diamondbacks to salvage this season. In fact, manager Chip Hale began to lace pre and post-game remarks of late with clear references to the 2017 season.
One clue in trying to put pieces back is determination of the starting rotation. In flux for most of the season, Hale said not only do pitchers continue to engage an audition period, but the organization is out to try and quantify answers for the next season ahead.
One segment back returning from a significant absence is right-hander Zack Greinke, considered the ace of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Greinke’s return, making his first start Tuesday night against the Mets since June 28, appears like a domino effect to the rotation. In order to make room for Greinke among the starters, Hale, general manager Dave Stewart and Tony La Russa, the club’s Chief Baseball Officer, shifted players.
For now, Zack Godley has moved from the rotation to the bullpen, and Braden Shipley, impressive in his last two starts against the Dodgers and Brewers, remains in the rotation. Going forward, there could be additional movement.
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“We’ll see how Shelby Miller progresses in the minors,” Hale said. “If he’s ready to get back to the major leagues, we’ll have to move some guys around. We’re talking about everyone, and those guys still in the rotation.”
At this point, Hale expects right-hander Rubby De La Rosa to be back sometime before the end of this season. On the disabled list since May 27 with right elbow inflammation, De La Rosa started strong and was 4-5 with 4.15 ERA in eight starts.
“Right now, Rubby is coming along,” Hale added. “There is a time still this season where I can see Greinke, Miller and De La Rosa all back in the rotation.”
Shuffling of the rotation means a more in-depth look at Shipley, who was a number one pick (15th overall) of the Arizona Diamondbacks out of the University of Nevada-Reno in the 2013 draft. After a rough start in during his debut in Milwaukee, Shipley settled down and then gave the Arizona Diamondbacks two, straight quality starts. These includes six shutout innings, and a victory, at Dodger Stadium on July 30, and a no-decision against the Brewers on Aug. 5 in which he allowed two earned runs in six innings.
When Greinke was activated to start against the Mets, the decision whether to keep Godley or Shipley in the rotation was a paramount consideration. In the end, decision-makers opted to move Godley into a relief role.
“Godley is more suited to pitch out of the bullpen,” Hale said. “He’ll stay there for the next week or so, and then may come to the rotation. We’ll see how things work out.”
To make room on the 25-man roster, the Arizona Diamondbacks optioned reliever Evan Marshall to Triple-A Reno after Sunday’s home game with the Brewers. For Marshall this season, he has been pulled on a yo-yo string. He spent three different times in the majors in 2016, and he was last recalled from the Aces on July 31. Now back down for still another time, Marshall was 1-0 and a 3.95 ERA in 25 appearances at the Triple-A level.
Over this past weekend, Arizona RBI won the Senior Baseball Division Championship of the 2016 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series. The triumph Phoenix its first RBI World Senior championship in the 24-year history of the tournament.
Arizona RBI defeated Passaic RBI in a 3-2 contest Sunday at the P&G Cincinnati MLB Youth Academy. Arizona RBI, which played in its second consecutive RBI World Series and third appearance in five years, won four consecutive games after starting 0-2 and finished the tournament with a 4-2 record.
Arizona starting pitcher Genner Cervantes, 17, held the dangerous Passaic lineup to two runs (one earned) and three hits in 5.2 innings and was named the Most Valuable Player of the Senior Division Championship Game. Making only his second appearance on the mound, Cervantes held Passaic’s best four hitters in this tournament to only two hits in 13 at-bats and retired 17 of the first 21 batters he faced. Cervantes is a student at St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix.