There's not doubt that this last month has been a very bad one for starting pitching. No wins since the 7th of June. 20 consecutive starts without a win. The combined starters ERA for the month of June is 5.36 and no one was under 3.00. Of course Cahill accounts for a bunch of that with his 9.85 for June.
Here is all the starting Pitchers ERA for the month of June:
Tyler Skaggs: 8.44
Randal Delgado: 4.05
Ian Kennedy: 6.83
Trevor Cahill: 9.85
Wade Miley: 3.56
Patrick Corbin: 3.05
Other than Corbin and Miley there isnt a lot to hang your hat on. The team likes to say "it's all part of the process" and yes, teams go up and down during the season. The team still holds a 2 game lead in the division which is remarkable considering it was 2.5 at the start of June. It's beginning to look like the expert commentary that the Diamondbacks have the division lead only through smoke and mirrors is somewhat accurate.
Is it time for a change in the starting rotation? If so, who do you replace for who? Do you acquire someone in a trade or just go with the guys you have?
Here are some possible changes I think we might see.
First, some names floating out there that are up for possible trades.
The one that really sticks out at me is Jake Peavy because of the Kevin Towers link. I don't think there is any doubt Jake could probably help this roster. Even with his 4.30 ERA he knows how to pitch in the NL West division. Right now Jake is still rehabbing from a broken rib, but is expected to be returning to the mound very shortly. His higher ERA can also be attributed to the less-than-stellar defense of the White Sox. Put him in with the BEST team in fielding percentage and I think you see that ERA go down.
Of course Nolasco is the one most people are talking about right now. Everyone is expecting a Marlins fire sale any day now and Nolasco is the pitcher most likely to be moved. His 3.93 ERA is a tick better than Jake Peavy's but again the Marlins are a team with a better fielding percentage than the White Sox.
Bud Norris has the best ERA of all of them with a 3.35. Garza has a 3.83.
My sense is though that Bud isn't going anywhere since Houston is still looking to build. Solid starting pitching is usually the first thing a team builds around. However, good young starting pitchers is something we have plenty of in Triple-A. Not that I'm advocating such a move, but Spruill and Brewer packaged to get Norris isn't that far flung of an idea. Personally I'd like to see Spruill in our starting rotation sometime in the near future, possibly as early as next year.
Garza has been such a fixture in that Cubs rotation that I think it would be hard to justify to the Chicago fans, but who knows. They're pretty used to disappointment. He would certainly add some stability to the rotation and could probably be considered our #2 starter behind Corbin.
Now, all of that is possible. But other than Peavy I just don't see it. Especially with KT at the helm. He's not exactly known for his big time in-season trades (Upton and Bauer were off-season trades). Not with the depth of pitching the DBacks have in the farm system. Skaggs, Delgado, Spruill, and Bradley are all dominant in their respective leagues. It might be a bit early to bring Bradley up, but right now I think the DBacks have to start taking some bigger risks if they want to run away with this division. It would be hard to see who you either let go of, or send down. I'm not really sure of all the options each player has, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Cahill, Miley, or even Ian Kennedy off this roster by the end of the year.
As for what I would do?
My starting rotation would look like this:
You may be wondering, where is Miley? Where is Cahill? Why aren't you dealing Kennedy?
Cahill is either gone in a deal, or he's optioned down to Reno. I'm tired of watching him struggle to find his release point in the big leagues. Let him struggle to find it against the west coast league. When he's got it back then maybe we'll look at him again but right now, they're in a race for the pennant. It's not the time or place for someone to "find themselves".
Miley is back in the bullpen. We need some help in there right now and Miley has been there before. If any of the rookies struggle, then Miley can get his starting job back (although Collmenter might have something to say about that). I still think he is a starting pitcher in this league, but right now we need someone to help shore up the bullpen. Miley is the perfect fit for that.
I think Kennedy stays. He may not be having the best year so far, but he has consistently kept the DBacks in the game. Not many blow outs. You can't expect much more than that.
McCarthy is on a very short leash for me. Yes he had 3 good outings, but other than that he's been bombarded. Flashes of brilliance aren't going to cut it in a pennant race.
Well there it is. I'd roll the dice much more that KT and Gibby seem to. They like to stick with their guys through thick and thin. I don't think that's necessarily a bad quality to have as the leader of the ballclub, but it shouldn't be a blinder. Sometimes change and a shakeup are necessary. Right now, even with a 2 game lead, it's tenuous at best. Something needs to be done to address the problems both in the rotation, and bullpen. It needs to happen soon or else I fear even the Dodgers could take this division away from them.
Tell me your thoughts. What would you do if you were Kevin Towers?