Diamondbacks News

Arizona Diamondbacks – Campos could emerge as long-reliever

By Mark Brown
Patrick Corbin (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)
Patrick Corbin (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The Arizona Diamondbacks remain in search for a reliable, long reliever

Over the past few weeks, Chip Hale, manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, says his pitchers are in a continued cycle of audition.

That includes starters and relievers, and not one pitcher, Hale points out, is exempt. A subsequent shuffling took place earlier this month. That’s when Patrick Corbin, who has not won a game at home this season, and a principal starter, was banished to the bullpen.

At this point, no pitcher appears released from going under the microscope and experiencing a thorough examination. One intriguing story could be right-hander Vicente Campos, who made his major league debut Saturday against Cincinnati.

Undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014, Campos has been compared to Corbin. Each pitcher had a similar operation two years ago. Both are now pitching at the major league level. While both are regarded as starters, Campos’ showcase against the Reds raises two options.

Already, talk is now entered around 2017 season for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Campos’ position in this scenario could be interesting. Though a starter by trade, Campos showed, at least in this initial outing in the majors, he’s capable of filling the role as a long reliever.

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Against the Reds, Campos went 5.2 innings and tossed 82 pitches (51 for strikes). Relieving starter Zack Godley in the third, Campos lasted until the eighth and, according to Hale, pitched effectively.

“He’s a starter,” Hale said. “The reason he was in there (Saturday) was because we needed an arm. We didn’t know what to expect, but knew he pitched well at (Double-A) Mobile. He showed us a good sinker, so we could look at him as a starter for next season.”

The presence of a reliable long reliever essentially left when Josh Collmenter fell out of favor. Between starting and coming in during early and middle innings, Collmenter was dependable, but now, that role is wide open.

In that regard, Campos thinks of himself as a starter, and utilized that approach when called upon early in Saturday’s game.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity,” Campos in Spanish said through an interpreter. “Sure, this was my first game and I was a little nervous. But, I looked at this game as normal. I felt good, and happy I was able to get a chance.”

With the starting rotation in a state of flux all season, Camos could get a reasonable look during spring training. That again, that depends upon the transactions made during the up-coming off-season.

Campos came over from the New York Yankees in late July for reliever Tyler Clippard.

A comparison of numbers indicates the trade, at this point, could be considered more beneficial to the Bronx Bombers. Coming into Sunday’s game, Clippard appeared in 12 games for New York, sported a 1-0 record and an 0.84 ERA. That’s one run allowed in 10.2 innings. With the Arizona Diamondbacks, the right-hander was 2-3 in 40 appearances and a 4.30 ERA.

Next: Finding ways to win

By comparison, Campos was 10-5 and a 3.26 ERA with four minor league teams this season. Campos was recalled from Mobile on August 25.

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