It’s not even mid-April, yet a good amount of the optimism surrounding the 2014 Arizona Diamondbacks has already dissipated.
Tying the mark for the worst 10-game start in team history will do that.
Starting pitching, which was considered a huge question mark for the team following Patrick Corbin’s Tommy John surgery, has been less than stellar.
Trevor Cahill was rocked Tuesday by the San Francisco Giants in a 7-3 D-backs’ loss at AT&T Park. The right-hander surrendered a two-run homer to Brandon Belt in the first inning and never got on track.
Cahill lasted only 3.2 innings while allowing eight hits and five earned runs. His record fell to 0-3 and his ERA ballooned to 7.90. The 26-year-old’s performance thus far has many questioning his future in the Arizona rotation.
“He has good stuff, it’s just that the location is not there,” D-backs general manager Kevin Towers told Doug and Wolf Wednesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “He’s pitching behind in the count. On Belt, the ball is supposed to be out and away, not down and in.
“I know a lot of people are talking to him, it’s just, where do we go? If you take him out, if you take (Randall) Delgado out, you don’t want to rush your kids right away. Do you put (Josh) Collmenter back in the rotation? We’re weighing all of these things right now.”
As far as Cahill’s struggles go, Towers doesn’t believe the early season performance is related to a lack of preparation.
“He’s probably our hardest-working pitcher,” he said, adding that head athletic trainer Ken Crenshaw has applauded Cahill’s work ethic. “It’s not that he doesn’t prepare or doesn’t study hitters. He’s just got one of those types of deliveries that can get out of whack with his hand position, his stride.
“He just has a hard time repeating his delivery, and I think that’s why you see the inconsistencies from inning-to-inning and pitch-to-pitch with him.”
Towers did point out it’s not just Cahill. Short outings have been very common for D-backs starters in 2014.
“We’ve only had three or four games where our starters have gotten into the sixth inning,” Towers said. “Your bullpen is out there each and every day and there’s walks, there’s home runs, there are starters that aren’t locating the ball where it should be.
“We rack our brain after every ball game about what types of things can we do here to kind of change this up. We realize it’s April, we don’t want to panic and don’t want the players to think we’re panicking, but to me, if things don’t get better, change needs to happen.”