After a 1-0 win for the Arizona Diamondbacks last night against the San Francisco Giants, Dbacks manager Chip Hale announced that opening day starter Josh Collmenter will be demoted from the rotation to the bullpen. In a corresponding move, former top pitching prospect Allen Webster would also be recalled from AAA Reno and take Josh’s scheduled start on Saturday. To make room for Allen Webster on the Diamondbacks roster, pitcher J.C. Ramirez was designated for assignment after posting a 4.11 ERA in 12 games. In a season where there isn’t any real hope of some type of postseason run, it seems the Dbacks are getting to the point where they just want to see what some of their prospects can do at the Major League level. As the off-season inches closer and closer each day, teams need to figure out how they’re going to improve their team for not only the present but the future as well. Giving the 25-year-old Allen Webster a chance to see what he can do at the Major League level once again is a smart choice. If he can finally put his game together, then he could be a huge piece in this rebuilding effort.
So far for Josh, 2015 has been nothing like his very successful 2014 campaign that saw him post a 3.46 ERA and earn a permanent job in the starting rotation. In 12 starts this year, Collmenter has registered an ugly 5.24 ERA with a 4.3 K/9 and 1.38 WHIP. Not to mention he has already given up 13 home runs this year while average over 11 hits per nine innings. Early in the season it was easy to say Josh would figure things out, but now almost half way through June a move needed to take place.
A move to the bullpen might be exactly what the doctor ordered for Collmenter in the long run, he has performed well as a reliever for the Dbacks in the past while being thrown in and out out of the rotation over the years. Getting a break from starting will give Josh some time to work out some kinks over shorter appearances, while maybe giving that arm of his a little bit of needed rest. It has been noted this season that Collmenter’s velocity is a tick down from where it was in 2014, so after a career high in innings last year he may be paying the price now.
Long term the Dbacks still see Josh as a starter. As long as he doesn’t completely collapse in the bullpen he should have his spot back in the rotation rather soon. It isn’t likely the Dbacks are going to rush Collmenter back into the rotation, though. Right now the best thing they could do is let him figure out what’s wrong and help him fix it. Often in baseball, pitchers need to adjust their mechanics to get back on track. The smallest thing can mean the difference between getting rocked or complete dominance for certain guys. Hopefully Collmenter can find his way again as a major league starter, because prior to this year he had filled whatever role the Diamondbacks asked him to without ever complaining once.