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Josh Collmenter named Opening Day starter for Arizona Diamondbacks

It's not much of a surprise, but Josh Collmenter will start for Arizona on Opening Day, April 6, against the Giants at Chase.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

I would imagine he's likely the only 2015 Opening Day starter, who was working long-relief out of the bullpen on Opening Day 2014. Probably not many 15th-round picks among that list either: as some measure, only one other player from that round of the 2007 draft has even reached the majors, C.J. Fick, who threw 24.2 innings out of the Houston and St. Louis bullpens three years ago. But that is basically Collmenter for you: always under-appreciated and over-achieving. Guess who said this, in February 2012?

"Josh Collmenter is a novelty act whose deception won't cover his lack of stuff for much longer."

If you said it was our favorite ESPN pundit, you'd be spot on. Though, as Nick Piecoro pointed out, "Throw a dart into the scout section and you'll hit someone who said that." I'll have to dig into the archives and see: I know there was a general perception he'd be better as a reliever, due to his deceptive action. For now, here's a link to our post-2011 report card on Josh, which is fascinating to look back on now.

Of course, since then, Collmenter has thrown 361.2 major-league innings, with an ERA+ solidly better than major-league average every year, at 112. I wouldn't have it any other way, because I think fans always love a plucky underdog story - probably more so than a top prospect from whom greatness always is expected. He'll become our eighth Opening Day starter, following Randy Johnson (six times), Brandon Webb (four), Ian Kennedy (three), Javier Vazquez, Wade Miley, Dan Haren and Andy Benes (once each). Between them, the list Collmenter now joins has 19 All-Star appearances, plus six Cy Youngs and a dozen top three finishes.

Well done, Josh: well done. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.