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Not everyone is a believer in D-backs’ rotation

With the beginning of the 2012 Major League Baseball
season just days away, expect to be inundated with preview
and predictions pieces from various media outlets. And
yes, if you were wondering, ArizonaSports.com will roll
out its boffo season predictions article Friday morning.

USA Today’s
National League West preview piece
hit the
world wide web Monday morning, and to almost nobody’s
surprise, writer Bob Nightengale picks the D-backs to
repeat as division champions.

What was interesting about Nightengale’s piece is that he
includes a “Scout’s Take”, in which an anonymous MLB scout
offers opinions on what they’ve seen this spring. The
following comments were offered on D-backs’ starting
pitchers Trevor Cahill and Josh Collmenter:

Their starting pitching looks like a mess.
Cahill looks like he’s throwing (batting practice) out
there; his ball isn’t sinking at all. He was supposed to
be a No. 2 starter but looks no better than a No. 4, and
that’s being nice. I’m not sure Collmenter would make
hardly anyone else’s rotation. His velocity is just 86 to
88 mph.

Again, this is just one scout’s opinion, but it is at
least a little concerning considering that Cahill’s
strength is his ability to keep the ball down and induce
plenty of ground ball outs.

But Cahill has allowed five home runs this spring in just
12.2 innings of work. And he’s allowed at least one long
ball in each of his four Cactus League outings.

Last season, Cahill allowed 19 home runs in 207.2 innings
with the Oakland A’s — but more than half of those
innings were compiled at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, which
was the toughest park in the American League to hit a home
run in last season.

Collmenter’s lack of velocity has been talked about ad
nauseum since he was called up from the minor leagues in
April of 2011. Collmenter relied on location and an
unusual over-the-top delivery to fool hitters, which he
did quite regularly on the way to a 10-win rookie season.

The good news is that the Diamondbacks
have a wealth of young arms like Trevor Bauer, Tyler
Skaggs and Patrick Corbin waiting in the wings should any
of the current members of the rotation struggle.