And then there were two. The battle for the fifth starter spot comes down to Patrick Corbin vs. Randall Delgado, after the news this morning that Tyler Skaggs has been sent to Reno. This was just one of the morning's moves.
Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) March 18, 2013
It's probably not too much of a shock, as Skaggs seems largely to have struggled all spring, from his very first start, where he allowed four runs in 1.2 innings of work. There were comments from Kirk Gibson that Skaggs might have been putting too much pressure on himself, and simply trying too hard: this could be a case where Gibson's favorite pastime, having players competing for spots, could have backfired as a result. Here's what he had to say after Tyler's last outing, where he walked four batters in 2.2 innings, including three consecutively to start his third inning:
"He's got a lot on his mind so we've got to try and free his mind up. We try to be positive with him. I know he's being really hard on himself and I know he was trying to correct some stuff out there today. You live and you learn. I think he probably feels pretty bad about what's going on right now. I told him when I went out there that this is as bad as it gets, you'll be fine. You'll live and learn. You've got to go through it, nobody enjoys it, but it will make him a better pitcher and probably a better person."
Control definitely seemed to be a major concern, with eight walks in nine spring innings, compared to five strikeouts. He also allowed 14 hits, leading to 16 runs, 11 earned, leading tn easily-calculated 11.00 ERA. I'm sure Skaggs is disappointed, but seems to be taking it in the right spirit.
Just a small bump in the road! But not hanging my head back to @aceball to defend the title— Tyler Skaggs (@TylerSkaggs37) March 18, 2013
Patrick Corbin would still appear to be the front-runner, for the fifth spot, but Randall Delgado's last appearance was certainly very impressive, and if he can string a couple more of those together, it could push the decision in to next week. I imagine the team will want to have everything sorted with a week or so to go: I suspect starting requires a little bit more mental prep than coming out of the back end of the bullpen.
Of the other moves, Kila Ka`aihue had hit pretty well, batting .370 (10-for-27) with a home-run, but remains quite a distance down the depth chart. After a couple of decent outings, Rommie Lewis shot himself in the foot with a horrible appearance in Tucson yesterday, and leaves with a spring ERA of 7.94. Rossmel Perez had seen very limited playing-time, getting only six at-bats, and Brad Snyder had struggled, going 5-for-35 with an OPS of just .382.