Projecting Arizona Diamondbacks' 5 Man Rotation for 2013
With the Arizona Diamondbacks bolstering their ex-Oakland pitching faction and pitting a veteran mound presence with the farm's younger set this winter, the Diamondbacks have ensured themselves of plentiful options when it comes to selecting a five-man rotation in 2013.
From Daniel Hudson, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, to All-Star Wade Miley, the following comprises an overview of D-Backs pitching probables and those who might only reach the first inning mound mid-season.
Not April Ready: Tyler Skaggs, Daniel Hudson
After posting a 1-3 record with a 5.83 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in his debut MLB season, the D-Backs scratched Tyler Skaggs from his final scheduled start of the season. This followed two consecutive September starts lasting five or less innings and featuring at least four runs surrendered.
Skaggs' inaugural average against surpassed .300 in the month of September, sending Skaggs to a likely return to minor league baseball before getting the chance to return to the big league mound.
As for Daniel Hudson, his return from Tommy John surgery was most recently highlighted with a game of long toss in December. He is expected back in July at which point he may very well find a place in the rotation.
No. 5: Patrick Corbin
Though Corbin made headlines with a bases loaded triple in mid-September, the Clay, New York native is more regularly featured because of his arm, which guided the former Mobile BayBear to three Southern League Pitcher of the Week nods in 2011.
As for 2012, Corbin finished with a 4.54 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 17 starts, winning six while losing eight.
Expect a fifth-man slot during Daniel Hudson's absence in early 2013.
No. 4: Trevor Cahill
When Trevor Cahill threw nine innings against the Chicago Cubs on September 29, allowing the Cubs' only two runs thanks to a ninth-inning walk and home run, he confirmed an AL-to-NL journey's success. He lowered his 2011 ERA of 4.16—in the pitcher friendly Oakland Coliseum nonetheless—to 3.78 in 2012 and decreased his WHIP from 1.43 to 1.29.
The former AL All-Star will be back in 2012, though he may very well find himself competing with the pitcher listed at No. 3 for the powerful mid-point of Arizona's starting rotation.
No. 3: Wade Miley
Following a 16-11, 3.33 ERA and 1.18 WHIP rookie season (he also pitched eight games in 2011), Wade Miley finished second to Bryce Harper in the NL Rookie of the Year Award race and found himself on the 2012 NL All-Star squad.
Miley's 16 wins in 29 starts ranked sixth in the National League, while his propensity to carry a heavy workload and put up impressive numbers (194.2 innings pitched) suggests Miley can only improve in 2013.
No. 2: Brandon McCarthy
The D-Backs continued the Oakland-Arizona pipeline with the acquisition of Brandon McCarthy this offseason.
After confirming his physical readiness to play, McCarthy will climb to the top-half of the rotation, carrying his aggregate 3.29 ERA since his return from injury in 2011 into the desert, along with a sub-1.20 WHIP.
In 2011, McCarthy hurled five complete games for Oakland—including one shutout—which suggests McCarthy stands a strong chance of giving the bullpen a night off from time to time.
No. 1: Ian Kennedy... And?
Though Ian Kennedy's stellar 21-4, 2.88 ERA campaign in 2011 fell to a 15-12, 4.02 ERA effort in 2012, Kennedy stands a solid chance of ascending to the No. 1 spot in Arizona's rotation early in 2013.
Kennedy recovered his ace-like form thanks in part to a strong second half that featured several quality starts, including a four-start stretch that showcased a 1.98 ERA and 24-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
As for that question mark, CBSSports' Chris Cwik has reported Arizona's interest in Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello. Though Porcello likely would not capture the rotation's top spot if the D-Backs acquire him, he will certainly threaten to unseat one of the aforementioned projected D-Backs starters.