Note: the rankings that follow are only in regard to the players concerned making the 2015 rotation. Clear? Okay. Read on...
- Josh Collmenter
Officially anointed our Opening Day pitcher, much to a certain ESPN pundit's chagrin. Which is good enough reason alone for the choice. He said, "It's an incredible honor to be the guy who takes the ball the first day. You hopefully set the tone for the season. Hopefully we can get some momentum early on."
- Jeremy Hellickson
The first guy for whom the new front-office traded, he could pitch like Elmer Fudd in a Looney Tunes cartoon this spring, and he'd still have a spot. Which is good, because so far, the results have been uninspiring: 3.2 IP, 8 H, 2 BB, 3 K, and he struggled to throw strikes last time out, saying, "I just fell behind to too many guys that second inning. Just couldn't get the fastball down."
- Trevor Cahill
Given he is being paid $12 million this year, you know the team will give him every chance as a starting pitcher. Certainly, he is throwing better than last spring, where his first two outings resulted in 10 hits and seven earned runs. Insert obvious caveat about spring training here. Keep an eye on the K:BB ratio going forward.
- Chase Anderson
Received a strong vote of confidence from Chip Hale today, the manager saying, "I think if we were to break right now, he’d be one of our five, for sure." Has allowed two runs in 8.2 innings of work this spring, on ten hits and two walks, with six strikeouts. Has added a two-seamer: "It's just another weapon I can use to add to the arsenal. Hopefully I can get the ball on the ground more this year."
- Rubby de la Rosa
Another of the organization shiny new toys, who will therefore have to pitch himself out of a job this spring. The main concern I see, looking at his stats, is six walks in eight innings: four of those (plus a hit batter) came in one frame his last start, which could indicate a tendency to let things snowball.
- Randall Delgado
The expected long-man in the bullpen has forced his way back into the mix, with some solid spring outings: he has allowed three hits over eight innings, with two walks and nine strikeouts. When you fan Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and David Freese in order, people will pay attention. Hale enthused, "facing good hitters and he looked fantastic, so that was really a big step forward for him."
- Daniel Hudson
The team has made it clear Hudson will be on the roster: but in what role? A decision needs to be made soon, as if he's to start, they need to begin stretching his arm out, towards a goal of 90-100 pitches. If his arm suffers no reaction, Arizona may begin lengthening his outings, but this will be territory Hudson hasn't visited for getting on toward three years now, so it's a huge question-mark?
- Archie Bradley
Has certainly had a better spring this year than last. In 2014, he threw 8.1 innings and walked six batters; in 2015, only two over 7.1 innings. It wouldn't surprise me if the lack of pressure - he's not "expected" to be the team's savior in 2015 - is probably helping the young pitcher. However, may be part of the next round of cuts, as the pool of available innings continues to shrink.
- Robbie Ray
After a couple of wobbly outings, walking more batters than he K'd, Ray seemed to get back on track this afternoon, striking out six over his four innings of work, and touching 96 mph more than once. It's a question of sustaining and harnessing that stuff for Ray, though as the youngest pitcher currently on the Diamondbacks' 40-man roster, time is on his side.
- Allen Webster
The results haven't been there for Webster, who has let almost half the batters he has faced get on base this spring (12 of 25, on ten hits and a pair of walks). Maybe he was shaken by all the hoopla surrounding Will Ferrell day? That's the charitable explanation. He'll follow Collmenter to the mound tomorrow in Scottsdale, and another poor performance could seal his fate.
- Yoan Lopez
His two outings so far were poles apart: four earned runs in 1.2 innings for his debut, than two hitless innings the next time out. It really doesn't matter: Lopez basically has no chance of making the Opening Day rotation, but I've no problem with him hanging around camp, soaking up the atmosphere and learning what it's like to be a big-league ball-player in the United States.
- Vidal Nuno, Andrew Chafin, Braden Shipley and Aaron Blair
These four have all been taken out of the competition. Shipley and Blair have left spring training camp for the minor-league version, and Hale said Nuño and Chafin are now candidates only for the bullpen, presumably in the long-rotation spot. However, it wouldn't surprise me if we end up seeing all of them starting for Arizona at some point in the 2015 campaign.