With a spot open in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ rotation Tuesday night, right-hander Josh Collmenter seemed like an ideal option for manager Kirk Gibson to turn to.
But Collmenter, a former starter who has thrived (3-0 with a 2.86 ERA) as the team’s utility pitcher out of the bullpen in 2013, was passed over in favor of Randall Delgado.
Before Monday night’s game against the Miami Marlins, Gibson said the decision had less to do with Collmenter and more to do with not wanting to fill multiple positions.
“He’s good at what he does,” Gibson said of Collmenter. “You could say arguably he’s as good as there is. You get in an extra inning game, you put Collmenter in. He’s won three of them for us and done his job.
“I think ultimately if you moved him into the starter’s role, then you’re taking somebody to fill his role and you’re filling two roles. Here, we are just filling one.”
Delgado, who was acquired in the blockbuster trade that sent Justin Upton to the Atlanta Braves back in January, made one relief appearance (allowed two runs on four hits in two innings of work) for the D-backs back on June 3 against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The 23-year-old right-hander is 2-5 with 5.91 ERA in 13 starts with Triple-A Reno this season, but according to Gibson made notable strides in his most recent start (allowed one run on two hits in 6 2/3 innings of work) against the Sacramento Rivercats on June 13.
“Delgado was up here, got his feet wet this year and went back down, worked on some things, threw a good game and had better command,” said Gibson. “He’s the guy.”
When asked how he’ll handle the rotation moving forward after the Marlins leave town Wednesday, the D-backs manager was rather non-committal.
“I’m not sure,” Gibson said about his future plans. “We’re just going to try and get through this series right here and get some things stabilized.”