Josh Collmenter Called Up from Reno, Heilman Placed on DL

Josh Collmenter has boarded a plane to Phoenix (he may have already landed) and will be officially called up later today. Aaron Heilman has been placed on the disabled list with right shoulder tendonitis, so Collmenter will be working out of the bullpen for now. This is the first time in Heilman's career 9-year that he's been on the DL.

In his first start for the Reno Aces, Josh allowed two runs (one earned) in six innings with seven strikeouts and two walks. He was drafted in the 15th round of the 2007 draft, and shot up through the minors last season, beginning in High A Visalia and finishing the year with the AAA Reno Aces. He also pitched for the champion Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League and compiled four wins and 30 strikeouts, earning him a spot on the Diamondbacks' 40-man roster.

His hometown paper Battle Creek Enquirer initially reported Josh's promotion.

 

[edit by IHateSouthBend]

The largest piece I wrote as an intern with the D-backs last summer was about none other than Josh Collmenter, so I felt like chipping in a few thoughts about the newest D-back pitcher.  He's as interesting of a prospect as one can find in the minor leagues, a superb interview, and seems like a good guy.

The most obvious thing to point out is his delivery - if you've never seen the guy throw, get ready for a treat.  The first second or two looks completely normal, then body parts start flying in all sorts of directions as he miraculously maintains balance despite leaning back enough for his arm to follow through almost directly over his head.  It gives hitters a really tough time spotting the ball before it appears from behind his skull.  Although his fastball is slow and straight and his curveball could use some extra refining, this delivery lets him stay on top of the ball consistently and completely, making his change-up a weapon.

I've gotten a few opinions about Collmenter from whatever scouting people the general public can access. Keith Law referred to him as a "gimmick guy" during last year's AFL, but I don't think that's necessarily negative.  That gimmick is exactly what makes his best pitch a legitimate weapon - a change-up is all about keeping hitters off-balance, and if it comes out from behind the pitcher's head, that's all the better for inducing hitter awkwardness. John Sickels - who is a little more stat-oriented than Law (IMO) - mentions that Collmenter is the type of pitcher who could make for a good reliever or even a number 5 starter, possibly having a good "year or three before the league adjusts to him."

Should Collmenter make a big-league appearance within the next couple of days, he would be the first player from the 15th round of the 2007 draft to make a big-league appearance.  Additionally, Collmenter was just one of eleven players picked in that round to still be in the minors in 2010, and one of three players picked from that round to have even reached Triple-A in 2010 (alongside RHPs Matt Klinker (Reds) and Chuckie Fick (Cardinals)).

Here's hoping he can also be the first to stick in the big leagues.

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