In today’s look at NL Starting Pitchers, we focus on two youngsters in the NL West, including one starter who’s having problems in the minors.
Josh Collmenter | Arizona Diamondbacks
Thanks to an injury to Zach Duke and Barry Enright’s ineffectiveness, Collmenter was called up to the big leagues a month ago and made his first major league start this past weekend. In his first start, Collmenter went six innings, walking none while striking out three and allowing only two hits. The 25-year old starter was not one of the Diamondbacks top-10 prospects according to our very own Marc Hulet, and when you take a look at what he’s throwing, you’ll see why.
Collmenter throws a fastball that sits around 87-88 miles per hour, and he throws it relatively straight. Collmenter also throws a changeup as his secondary offering, along with a rare curveball. While these don’t look like anything special, he has been able to get hitters to swing and miss occasionally despite his sub-par stuff, and that’s what has made him successful in his eight appearances this year. He won’t have to strike out too many batters to be successful, however, as one advantage of throwing 75% fastballs is not walking many hitters.
It’s entirely possible that Collmenter will be sent back to the bullpen or the minors when Duke comes back off the DL, but it’s also entirely possible that they keep him in the rotation and move Armando Galarraga, who has been struggling this season. Collementer is certainly not a mixed league option right now, but he’s worth watching for spot starts in NL-only leagues.
Simon Castro | San Diego Padres
After plowing through Double-A hitting last year, Castro earned a late-season callup to Triple-A. In AAA, he struggled with strikeouts and walks, but some hoped it could simply be because it was his first time at a higher level. However, while I haven’t had a chance to see him for myself, it sounds like his biggest problem is a consistent delivery and command, and that isn’t going to get better with a change in levels. Castro still has good raw stuff, and his ballpark and competition will allow him to be successful when he figures things out and gets called up to the bigs. If you’re in a large league that allowed you the flexibility to keep him on the bench before the season began, he’s not worth giving up on quite yet. However, if you don’t own Castro, he’s not worth picking up right now unless you are in a league with a deep minor league system.