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Josh Collmenter is the unsung hero of the Diamondbacks’ pitching staff

He won’t be going to the All-Star game. He won’t get any Cy Young votes. But outside of Patrick Corbin, he has been the Arizona Diamondbacks’ most important pitcher.

He is Josh Collmenter, and he is a rock. There has been some talk this week, with Kirk Gibson even hinting on my show, that Collmenter could start Tuesday, but that would be the wrong move. Collmenter is way too valuable in his current role of long reliever. Collmenter is 3-0 in extra inning games. He went five strong innings in a 16-inning win over the Cardinals on April 3rd, giving up just one run. He did it to the Cardinals again on June 4th, going four scoreless innings in a 14-inning marathon win. And Wednesday night he threw two scoreless innings to help the Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers in 12 innings.

Overall, Collmenter has a 2.86 ERA over 34 2/3 innings with 35 strikeouts and 11 walks. No relief pitcher has thrown as many innings — not Brad Ziegler, not David Hernandez, not Matt Reynolds. No one. Collmenter is no specialist, he can pitch to lefties or righties, can go one inning or five innings. Throw in the fact that Arizona has played 10 extra inning games and has 19 come-from-behind victories, and you realize that these D-backs are in a lot of close games. Not having Collmenter available out of the bullpen because he is pitching every 5th day is a no-win situation. Sure he can spot start for a couple of games, but you better hope you don’t need him in the games he is not starting in. It just doesn’t seem worth it.

Collmenter doesn’t get the glory. He doesn’t light up a stat sheet. But there is not a team in baseball that wouldn’t want him on their side.

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