At first, it seemed as if the D-backs might be able to cope with the 14-inning marathon yesterday. Thanks largely to T.J. McFarland’s sterling work, throwing three innings in relief, combined with Robbie Ray’s complete game on Tuesday, the bullpen didn’t appear in too bad shape. Andrew Chafin and Tom Wilhelmsen weren’t used at all, while Jorge De La Rosa and J.J. Hoover tossed 15 pitches each, so could also have been available tonight in Miami. But the team decided reinforcements were needed. The surprising move was who they chose to send down - yesterday’s starter, Zack Godley.
For Godley had been excellent as a replacement for Shelby Miller, posting a 2.39 ERA over his six starts, with a K:BB ratio of 32:12. His FIP was below three too (2.99), so the low ERA was not just smoke and mirrors. But as Nick Piecoro, who broke the news, suggests, it probably comes down simply to a question of who has options. With Taijuan Walker apparently on his way back, and an off-day Monday, the team would appear to have six starters for five rotation spots. However...
Taijuan Walker's bullpen has been pushed back to tomorrow. His status still up in the air for Sunday start.— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) June 1, 2017
I would still presume Walker will be able to go next turn, because if not, then getting rid of a starter doesn’t make much sense. But the scheduled day off on Monday gives the team a bit of flexibility, lifting the need for a fifth starter. They could go the next few days as follows, with everyone on regular rest:
- Thursday: Zack Greinke
- Friday: Patrick Corbin
- Saturday: Randall Delgado
- Sunday: Robbie Ray
- Monday: OFF
- Tuesday Greinke
- Wednesday: Corbin
- Thursday: Delgado
- Friday: Ray
- Saturday: ??? Maybe Walker? Godley won’t quite have been down in the minors for the necessary 10 days at that point, so would not eligible to be recalled.
We’ll see what happens.