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D-backs’ Collmenter roughed up by Halos

Heading into the 2012 Major League Baseball season, many
believed that Arizona Diamondbacks’ right-hander Josh
Collmenter would have to pitch very well during the Cactus
League to hold onto a spot in Kirk Gibson’s formidable
starting rotation.

With the impressive roster of young arms the Diamondbacks
have assembled, the pressure to excel appeared to be
squarely on the shoulders of Collmenter.

But the Homer, Michigan native has struggled in March,
never more so than on Friday in a 9-2 loss to
the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Collmenter was tagged for 10 hits and 8 earned runs in
just four innings of work against the Angels. He also
yielded two home runs, one by Howie Kendrick and one by
Albert Pujols, on the afternoon. In the process,
Collmenter’s Cactus League ERA ballooned to 11.81 while
his record fell to 0-4.

Gibson was perturbed following the loss, but not by his
starting pitcher’s outing. He was bothered by the
questions inquiring whether or not he’d re-evaluate his
starting rotation, which includes Collmenter in the third
slot behind Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson.

“I’m not planning on (re-evaluating),” he said. “You’re
going to ask me that question every start, aren’t you? We
went through this last year.”

Questions also arose about Collmenter’s spring struggles
possibly being tied to his health, or perceived lack
thereof.

“Don’t ask me that question every time. He went out there
today and threw. It’s one game, we’ve already discussed
it.”

Collmenter got into trouble in the bottom of the first
inning, allowing a lead-off triple to Erick Aybar, who
then scored on Kendrick’s homer. Later, Bobby Abreu
knocked in Pujols and Torii Hunter with a two-run single
and just like that, the Angels led 4-0. L.A. then tacked
on three more runs in the third highlighted by Alberto
Callaspo’s two-run triple.

Despite the unsightly pitching line, Collmenter said his
confidence hasn’t waned.

“I feel fine, I know when I can make pitches and I’ll be
fine, it’s just a matter of making sure that I do those
and focus on each and every pitch and not take any pitches
off,” he said.

Collmenter will have one more start in the spring before
his first scheduled regular season outing, which right now
is scheduled to be Sunday, April 8 against San Francisco.
His process to prepare for that start will include some
time in the film room as well.

“Just continuing to work out my mechanics or whatever it
may be,” he said. “I’ll look at tape and just see what I
do when I make good pitches and if there’s something
different when I leave the pitches up.”