PHOENIX — Randall Delgado has come full circle and done so in less than two months.
First, he was expected to contend to be the Arizona Diamondbacks’ fifth starter. Then, he appeared headed for a bullpen role. And now, as the 2014 regular season resumes, he is again the Diamondbacks’ fifth starter, almost by default.
Delgado will start the Diamondbacks’ first road game, Friday, April 4 at Colorado.
“It feels pretty good for me,” he said on Monday. “I’ve always been a starter. I prefer to be a starter.”
Prior to the start of spring training, Delgado and top prospect Archie Bradley were expected to compete to be the fifth starter. That changed following the signing of Bronson Arroyo on the first day of spring training.
The bullpen then became the likely destination for Delgado, who at the time was okay with such a move — at least publicly — but maintained the mentality of a starter, preparing himself as such.
He made four spring starts, going 0-1 with a 5.28 ERA, two walks and 10 strikeouts in 15.1 innings.
Still, there did not appear to be any room for him. The Diamondbacks certainly were not going to go to a six-man rotation. But then Patrick Corbin got hurt and underwent Tommy John surgery, ending his season before it began.
The door was once again open for Delgado or Bradley or perhaps even Josh Collmenter. Bradley, however, struggled in his final couple of outings and Collmenter had not been extended out enough to realistically join the rotation.
That left Delgado, the 24-year-old right-hander who was acquired as part of the Justin Upton trade with the Atlanta Braves two offseasons ago.
“Unfortunately that happened to Corbin,” Delgado said. “Everybody is hoping he’s going to be all right soon.”
Delgado will make his second career start at Coors Field. He allowed two runs on three hits including a home run in five innings last season. He did not factor into the decision, a 9-4 loss on Sept. 20.
“I’m staying the starter so it’s okay for me,” Delgado said. “That’s what I like and just try to give the best I can do.”