Troy Scribner will make his debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks this afternoon at Chase Field against the Washington Nationals. It’s a move forced on the team by necessity. He was likely the team’s #9 starter on Opening Day, but injuries to Taijuan Walker, then Robbie Ray, and most recently, Braden Shipley have forced the team to dig deeper than they’d want into their pitching depth - especially considering we aren’t even through one-quarter of the regular schedule. He takes the spot of Kris Medlen, and “not being Kris Medlen” is certainly a mark in Scribner’s favor.
He went undrafted at the end of his time in college, but was signed by the Astros in 2013. They sold him on to the Angels before the 2016 season, and made his major-league debut for them in relief (coincidentally, in a game started by former D-back Yusmeiro Petit) on July 29 last year. He won his first appearance, courtesy of a Los Angeles rally, and played nine more times for them. Scribner finished the year with a 2-1 record and 4.18 ERA, though was fortunate it was that low, given a K:BB of 18:10 in 23.2 innings of work. The Angels designated him for assignment on April 3, and the Diamondbacks picked Scribner up on waivers three days later, DFA’ing Jeremy Hazelbaker to make room for the right-hander.
Scribner has been part of the Reno Aces rotation since, going 2-1 there too, with a 5.68 ERA and 24:11 K:BB in 25.1 innings. Troy isn’t the first member of the family to be part of the Arizona organization. Older brother Evan was drafted by the Diamondbacks in 2007, though was traded to the Padres the following year for Tony Clark; he appeared in 145 relief appearances between 2011-17 for the Padres, A’s and Mariners. At the beginning of last season, our siblings over on Halos Heaven covered the younger Scribner thus:
Troy Scribner is all about command, and command is all about him. If he were a Janet Jackson song, he wouldn’t be “Nasty”, because he doesn’t really have nasty stuff...he’d be “Control”. If Troy Scribner were a living real estate cliche, he’d be “Location, location, location”. Are you beginning to understand what Scribner’s #1 asset is on the mound? Yep. It’s his command and control.
Actually, at the risk of repeating myself, I’d say his #1 asset is probably “not being Kris Medlen.” It’s fair to imagine that the bar has been set low, after Medlen’s outing gave him the highest ERA in franchise history for any pitcher with 4+ innings of work for Arizona. It seems likely he will pitch to (hopefully, weak) contact and let his defense make the plays behind him, with what Nick Piecoro described as a “High-80s fastball, big, slow overhand curve, cutter and changeup.” It’ll certainly be a contrast in styles between him and Stephen Strasburg at Chase Field today. Since it’s the first trip for myself and Mrs. SnakePit this season, we’re hoping for the best. But just in case, there’s always ice-cream...