Josh Collmenter to open season in Diamondbacks’ starting rotation

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2011 first-round pick Trevor Bauer has stolen the show in Diamondbacks’ camp, posting a 2.57 ERA and 7/1 K/BB ratio over seven innings during Cactus League action. We’ve heard multiple reports recently that the 21-year-old right-hander was being seriously considered for a spot in the starting rotation, but it appears his major league debut will have to wait.

Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com reports that Josh Collmenter will begin the season in the rotation. This comes on the heels of Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM reporting yesterday that the D-Backs are discussing moving Collmenter to the bullpen once one of their young starters is ready.

Collmenter had a 3.38 ERA and 100/28 K/BB ratio over 154 1/3 innings last season as a rookie. While his control was excellent throughout, the 26-year-old right-hander had a 4.42 ERA over his final 18 starts. And while it was deemed minor, he was scratched from a scheduled appearance last week to forearm tightness. His spot appears safe for now, but Bauer and fellow top prospect Tyler Skaggs will be nipping at his heels if he gets off to a slow start.

Justin Verlander named ALCS MVP

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Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.

“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”

Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.

The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.