La Russa won’t reveal Saturday’s starting pitcher
D-backs Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa won’t reveal who will start on Saturday against the Marlins, and the organization has several options.
“The answer is, yeah, we have our guy,” La Russa said with a chuckle on the Doug & Wolf show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Wednesday. “I think something that’s significant like that is best done through our PR department when everybody finds out at the same time.”
The former big league manager says he “absolutely” knows who the pitcher will be, but as he left the possibilities to our imagination, one sensible choice is Zack Godley.
The 26-year-old right-hander is 4-5 with a 3.61 ERA this season, splitting time between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno. In his last start, on Monday against the Salt Lake City Bees, Godley pitched seven shutout innings for Reno, allowing three hits and two walks with six strikeouts.
Godley was called up in July last season and made his major league debut against the Brewers, tossing six shutout innings. He went on to appear in nine games – starting six – posting a 3.19 ERA over that span with 34 strikeouts. He has yet to appear in the big leagues this year.
He’s listed as the probable pitcher for the Reno Aces’ game on Friday, and is already on the D-backs’ 40-man roster.
Josh Collmenter is perhaps a more convenient option, as he’s already with the big league club and has started 75 career games in the major leagues. Since coming off the disabled list this season, he’s appeared in five games as a reliever, allowing four runs in 7 1/3 innings. His readiness could be an issue, as he hasn’t thrown more than two innings nor 40 pitches in a single outing this season.
Edwin Escobar had occupied the place in the rotation that comes up on Saturday, but his poor performance prompted the D-backs to send him to the bullpen. Through two starts in the big leagues this year, Escobar pitched a total of just seven innings, allowing 11 earned runs on 15 hits and three walks.
Braden Shipley, the D-backs’ No. 1 prospect according to MLB.com, is unlikely to get the call; he’s not on the team’s 40-man roster and would only get three days of rest if he were to pitch on Saturday. He was picked in the first round by the Diamondbacks in 2013, and has never appeared in the big leagues.