March 19, 2013
Diamondbacks in the Rough
Of the three pitchers who entered the spring in a competition for the final spot in the Diamondbacks rotation, Tyler Skaggs has the highest upside and likely the brightest future. Jason Parks ranked the lefty as the team’s number-one prospect and, since Justin Upton was shipped to the Braves after the list was published, Mark Anderson would have considered Skaggs its best under-25 talent. The 21-year-old shouldn’t need to wait long for his next major-league look, but after being optioned to Triple-A on Monday, he will need to pitch well in Reno to earn a trip back to Phoenix.
Diamondbacks’ rotation battle down to two
Corbin, who made 22 major-league appearances (17 starts) last year, is the presumptive favorite for the job, according to Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic. A command-oriented southpaw, Corbin lacks Skaggs’ upside and proved vulnerable to the home-run ball in 2012, serving up 14 of them in 107 innings. He has largely kept the ball in the yard this spring, allowing only one big fly in 14 2/3 frames, while maintaining his strong control to post a 15-to-4 K:BB. If Corbin can hold serve the rest of the way, he seems likely to open the year in the job that was once expected to go to either Skaggs or Trevor Bauer, who now finds himself in a similar battle for the fifth spot in the Indians rotation.
Delgado, though, is determined to not go down quietly. A higher-ceiling pitcher that ranked as the Braves’ second-best prospect entering the 2012 season, the 23-year-old right-hander was knocked around earlier this spring, but he has since settled in and delivered his best effort in yesterday’s win over the Dodgers. Delgado held Los Angeles (with most of its starters in the lineup) to two runs over five innings of work, and a scout that attended his previous outing told Nick Piecoro of AZ Central that his stuff had finally come around.
If that is the case, then Delgado—who came over from the Braves in the Upton deal—could give Corbin a run for his money over the next two weeks. The winner will join Ian Kennedy, Brandon McCarthy, Trevor Cahill, and Wade Miley in a rotation that could welcome back Daniel Hudson from Tommy John surgery around the All-Star break, if his recovery proceeds without a detour. Miley, who dealt with a “dead arm” earlier this month, appears to be on track for the start of the regular season.
Indians discussing extensions with Michael Brantley, Jason Kipnis