Giving it another shot, Luke Weaver returns to the rotation for the Diamondbacks
According to Jake Anderson, the Arizona Diamondbacks are moving Luke Weaver into the vacated #5 rotation spot that needed to be filled after Humberto Castellanos' elbow injury. Weaver only just returned from an elbow injury himself this past Sunday when he pitched as the bulk reliever following Opener Kyle Nelson's single inning. On Sunday, against the strong offense of the Phillies, Weaver pitched 3 innings and gave up only 3 hits, 1 run, walked 2, and struck out 4. He got his first win on the season as well.
It was a great first outing for Luke as he got his legs and arms under him in the MLB once again. Of course, it helped that the Dbacks' offense exploded that game. Regardless, Weaver threw 62 pitches, 36 of them for strikes.
So, perhaps Weaver is meant for the rotation? He's not found much success in the rotation, but has he found any in the bullpen? Don't forget that Weaver made the club out of Spring Training as the long man in the bullpen, before getting hurt on Opening Day.
Luke Weaver is just okay for the rotation, could be great in the bullpen like Caleb Smith for the Diamondbacks
From 2019-to 2021, Luke started every game he pitched in, 37 starts. Of course, that just shows how much he was injured as most starters make 30+ starts in a single healthy year. Digression aside, Weaver went 8-18 over those 182.0 innings with a 4.45 ERA, 4.02 FIP, 98 ERA+. He also gave up an eye-popping 27 HRs, 52 walks, and struck out 186 batters. Those are average numbers for a #5 starting pitcher. Well, the strikeouts are pretty good.
Weaver might have the "stuff" for the rotation, but he doesn't have the health. Every year of his Diamondbacks career so far, he has been injured, aside from 2020. Twice, he has had an elbow injury which is worrisome. An SP needs health more than anything else to be able to throw more than a couple of innings. Putting further stress on Weaver's arm could cause more issues, or just not work.
Meanwhile, if he were to continue to be a good reliever out of the bullpen with a strong fastball and great changeup, he could help the Dbacks so much more. Time will only tell how he does on Saturday versus the Twins as to if this will be a good decision or not. No doubt though that unless he just does amazing, he's just keeping that spot in the rotation warm for another pitcher in the minors. Perhaps Tommy Henry?