The Arizona Diamondbacks have officially announced their starting pitcher for Opening Day on April 6 and it’s certainly no surprise.
Manager Chip Hale named Josh Collmenter his starter for the season opener against the San Francisco Giants.
This will probably be the least shocking news that we see all spring long. Collmenter was the heavy favorite to win the job with Jeremy Hellickson as the only other likely option with most of the other rotation spots still up for grabs.
Collmenter’s journey to his new role is remarkable considering all of the different roles he has held. In the beginning of his career, “The Tomahawk” was for the most part used as a starter, but that changed in 2013.
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That season, the right-hander had 49 appearances, all out of the bullpen. One of Arizona’s most effective members of the bullpen, Colly in a long relief role had a 5-3 record with a very solid 3.13 ERA over the course of 92 innings.
Last season, the 29-year-old was mostly used as a starter thanks to injuries and ineffectiveness of other guys in the rotation. Despite having a few hiccups here and there, Collmenter still had a solid year, posting a 3.46 ERA in the most innings pitched of his career.
For really the first time since he has come up to the big leagues, Collmenter should be locked into one role all year long. Unless he’s completely awful or of course gets hurt, he should remain in the rotation for the entire season.
Collmenter is not going to overpower anyone with his stuff or put up eye-popping numbers, but on most days, he’s going to get the job done and give you a chance to win. He’s also a quality leader and can help mentor some of the young pitchers that this team has in camp.
Obviously, Collmenter is not a true ace and a lot of fans are longing for the days when the D-Backs opened up seasons with studs like Randy Johnson and Brandon Webb, but he’s the best they have at the very moment.
If things go the way they are supposed to, one of this organization’s young prized arms will pitch in the season opener come 2016.