Good news for the first-place Astros, as rookie shortstop Carlos Correa is back in the starting lineup for tonight’s game against the Mariners after missing the past four games with a sore left hamstring. He’ll bat third against left-hander Vidal Nuno.
Correa hasn’t appeared in a game since last Tuesday. The Astros went 2-2 during his absence. While the team understandably played things safe with their young phenom, he told Chandler Rome of MLB.com this afternoon that he’s good to go.
“It feels great, really good,” Correa said. “I’m ready to go, so we’re going to be out there playing today. Really exciting.”
Correa, who turns 21 next month, is batting .278/.347/.510 with 15 home runs, 43 RBI, and 11 stolen bases over his first 68 major league games. His .856 OPS is highest among MLB shortstops with at least 250 plate appearances.
According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale announced today that right-handers Trevor Cahill and Chase Anderson have claimed the final two spots in the starting rotation. They’ll join Opening Day starter Josh Collmenter as well as offseason acquisitions Jeremy Hellickson and Rubby De La Rosa.
Daniel Hudson, who has missed much of the last three seasons with two Tommy John surgeries, was in the the mix for a rotation spot this spring and has compiled a 4.22 ERA and 8/4 K/BB ratio over 10 2/3 innings while showing good velocity. However, his workload would be limited as a starter and Hudson told Gilbert that the decision to move him to the bullpen was a “mutual” one.
Anderson, 27, posted a 4.01 ERA and 105/40 K/BB ratio in 114 1/3 innings across 21 starts as a rookie last season. Cahill had a rough 5.61 ERA across 17 starts and 14 relief appearances last season, but he’s still owed $12 million this season and has changed his mechanics in hopes of better results.
While this is the rotation the D-Backs will go with to begin the season, it should have a very different look as the year moves along. Arms like Randall Delgado, Allen Webster, and Vidal Nuno linger as alternatives. Archie Bradley is under consideration for the final bullpen spot with the big club, but he’s likely to head back to Triple-A to pitch as a starter in hopes of making an impact in the rotation this season. Patrick Corbin and Bronson Arroyo are in rehab mode from Tommy John surgery and could be ready to rejoin Arizona’s rotation around midseason.
Read more about the Diamondbacks in my 2015 season preview.
The Diamondbacks have a glaring need for a catcher as Tuffy Gosewich is slated to open the season as the everyday backstop. Oscar Hernandez, taken in the Rule 5 draft from the Rays, recently suffered a broken hamate bone and will miss six to eight weeks. As far as internal back-up options go, the D-Backs can choose from Gerald Laird, Peter O’Brien, and Blake Lalli.
GM Dave Stewart doesn’t sound like he’s going to make a deal to bring in a catcher. Per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Stewart said, “We’re not going to trade for a catcher. Some people think we are. We’re not.”
The D-Backs currently have a surfeit of starting pitching depth, as they’re auditioning Chase Anderson, Trevor Cahill, and Allen Webster for the final two spots (as well as Daniel Hudson, potentially). Vidal Nuno was also in the running until today. It would seem like an obvious strategy to trade from surplus (specifically Cahill, who can become a free agent after the season) to address their catching problem.
Pitcher Daniel Hudson was informed by Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale that he will make the 25-man roster, Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona reports. It’s still unknown how Hudson will contribute to the team, whether as a starter or as a reliever. The plan going in was to use Hudson as a starter in the spring before using him as a reliever during the regular season.
Hudson, 28, made only three appearances (all in September) after undergoing Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career in June 2013. He owns a career 3.75 ERA and a 306/98 K/BB ratio in 384 innings, but he has pitched a full season just once in five seasons.
Vidal Nuno, Chase Anderson, Trevor Cahill, and Allen Webster are competing for spots at the back of Arizona’s rotation. So far, Nuno and Webster have struggled while Anderson and Cahill have had decent early showings. Per AZcentral.com’s Nick Piecoro, Cahill threw well in a B-game and Hale said the right-hander is in a “good position” for a rotation spot. [Update, 9:15 PM EST: MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert reports that Nuno is no longer in the running for a rotation spot.]
Hudson has allowed three runs on three hits and two walks while striking out three in four innings. One can never have too much pitching depth, but adding Hudson back into the competition as a starter could also give the club the flexibility to explore trading Cahill.
After officially dealing left-hander Wade Miley to the Red Sox yesterday for Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, and infield prospect Raymel Flores, Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart addressed the state of his starting rotation. It looks, uh, pretty iffy going into 2015:
Collmenter is coming off a nice season in which he posted a 3.46 ERA over 28 starts and five relief appearances, but going into 2015 with him as your No. 1 starter doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. As for the fifth spot in the rotation, the Diamondbacks have a host of candidates, including Vidal Nuno, Robbie Ray, Randall Delgado, Andrew Chafin, Trevor Cahill, Chase Anderson, and Daniel Hudson. Patrick Corbin and Bronson Arroyo should be back from Tommy John surgery at some point during the year and top prospect Archie Bradley could make an impact at any time.