Diamondbacks Announce: Josh Collmenter FTW

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 04: Relief pitcher Josh Collmenter #55 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Colorado Rockies during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on May 4, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Not really much of a surprise, but the Diamondbacks confirmed today that Josh Collmenter will be taking over from Barry Enright in the rotation, and will be starting against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Chavez Ravine on Saturday night. Collmenter will be making his major-league debut as a starter, but has worked in seven games out of the bullpen since his promotion from Reno in the middle of April. Working mostly in long-relief - five of the outings have been two or more innings - he has allowed just two earned runs in 14 innings, on eight hits and a walk.

Collmenter last worked on May 6th, so should be well-rested by the time Saturday comes around. He has been a starter for his entire minor-league career, since the Diamondbacks picked him in the 15th round of the 2007 draft - the only member of that round to have reached the majors to date. 92 of his 94 appearances in the minors have been as a starter, those two relief outings coming in his first year, when with Yakima in Low-A ball. All told, he posted a 3.50 ERA over 515 minor-league innings, with a K-rate of 8.2 per nine frames, and a walk-rate of 3.1 per nine.


Collmenter is most well-known for his delivery (above), which has often been described as tomahawk-like, coming straight over the top, and may be a legacy of his childhood. He told the Republic in spring, ""We would throw tomahawks, do some competitions. I don't know if it developed from that, but that's the way my arm naturally works. I know it's different from everybody in this room, but it's still been effective." That funky style has helped him succeed despite a fastball which has averaged only 87.3 mph since his promotion - his change-up is also regarded as plus-plus, and averaged only 75.6 mph. He also has a curve, but has barely thrown that to date.

He probably will need it on Saturday, as it's one thing to have a funky delivery, and another to be facing the same batters three or four times in a game - they'll get used to the style. He'll be facing Dodgers' right-hander Chad Billingsley, who is 2-2 with a 3.91 ERA to date, and it should be an interesting exercise. I will be happy if Collmenter keeps the Diamondbacks in the game: five innings, three runs or less will be fine

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