Throughout this depressing Arizona Diamondbacks season, there have not been many bright or positive spots.
Amid a troubled and lost landscape, pitcher Josh Collmenter stands as one beacon
With his victory Monday night against the Twins, Collmenter raised his record to 11-8 with a 3.57 ERA for 27 starts. By the end of the season, he will be the only Diamondbacks’ pitcher with double-digit wins and, if he wants, can be positioned for a spot in the 2015 rotation.
A consummate team player, Collmenter is willing to assume any role, including in the rotation or among the legion in the bullpen as a long reliever.
Going back to early April, his slot in the rotation was not the case.
Collmenter started the season in the bullpen and the spot he now holds was occupied by Randall Delgado. After Delgado faltered in his initial starters, Collmenter, who started the season as the Diamondbacks’ long reliever, was pulled from the pen.
Beginning with a 5-4 win over the Phillies on April 25, Collmenter has since compiled a 9-6 record with nine no-decisions. In starts between Aug. 22 and Sept. 10, he went 2-0 and 0.65 ERA, and that ERA was the best in baseball for that period.
“I’m locating my fast ball better and in better spots,” Collmenter said during the Diamondbacks last home stand. “Plus, my change has been as good as it has been all season. Also, I have to credit to (catcher Miguel) Montero. He always calls a great game and it’s so easy to throw to throw to him.”
Going forward, Collmenter’s position in the 2015 rotation, at this point, is uncertain.
Three reasons remain at the center.
First, Collmenter’s slot will be determine by the manager. If Kirk Gibson is retained, which appears unlikely, chances are Collmenter remains among the five starters. As well, he could figure in any post-season deal and traded to some distant team.
Plus, he could wind up back in the bullpen as the long reliever. That might result of one or several starting pitchers obtained in the up-coming off-season.
As things stand now, Collmenter’s production remains one of the more encouraging stories.
“As the season wore on, (Collmenter’s) location has improved,” said Gibson. “He trusts his stuff and he’s always had great deception.”
Including the Wednesday series finale against the Twins, Arizona has four games remaining and Collmenter gets one more start. That would be this Sunday afternoon in Chase Field against the St. Louis Cardinals.
A closer look at numbers helps to explain Collmenter’s value.
With Monday’s win in Minnesota, Collmenter has six quality starts in succession. Plus, he addressed the durability question.
For his 27 starts this season and 32 appearances, the native of Homer, Mich. has thrown 171.1 innings, the most in his professional career. Previously, his benchmark was 151.1 innings during the 2011 season for Arizona. Tops for his minor league years was accomplished twice, set at 145.1 innings for South Bend in 2008 and equaled in 2009 at Visalia.
Now his name heavy with 2015 ramifications, Colmenter’s season stands as clear triumph for a player selected by Arizona during the 15th round of the 2007 draft.