Tyler Skaggs made his big-league debut for the Diamondbacks on August 22, but in the six starts since then the former first-round pick hasn’t looked like the guy who ranks among the elite pitching prospects in baseball.
He allowed 20 runs in 29 innings and showed decreased velocity, averaging just 89.4 miles per hour with his fastball.
And now the Diamondbacks have decided to shut him down. Skaggs has been scratched from tonight’s scheduled start, with Josh Collmenter taking his place against the Giants, and he won’t pitch again this season after totaling 152 innings in the majors and minors.
“Body feels fine, arm feels fine, it’s just a front-office decision,” Skaggs said, via Steve Gilbert of MLB.com “I wasn’t happy about it, but it is what it is.”
Skaggs not being thrilled about it isn’t surprising, but playing it safe with a 21-year-old rookie when you’re not in contention seems like the smart move.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the San Diego Padres have traded closer Brad Hand and reliever Adam Cimber to the Cleveland Indians. In return the Padres are getting top catching prospect Francisco Mejia.
Hand, the Padres’ All-Star closer, has a 3.05 ERA and 65/15 K/BB ratio and 24 saves over over 44.1 innings of work this season. In addition to helping an Indians bullpen which has struggled mightily this season, Hand will provide an insurance policy for the next two seasons given that both Andrew Miller and Cody Allen are due to hit free agency this winter. Hand, meanwhile, is under contract for this year and next for a total of $13.5 million, with a $10 million club option for 2021.
Cimber is another fine reliever who, along with Hand, suddenly transforms the Indians’ bullpen. He’s a 27-year-old rookie, but he’s been a very useful one this year, posting a 3.17 ERA in 42 games, with a K/BB ratio of 51/10 in 48.1 innings. He’s pitched even better than that of late and has been particularly hard on righties. He’s under team control through 2023.
In Mejia, the Padres are getting the Indians’ top hitting prospect. A catcher — though not necessarily a great defensive one — Mejia has struggled in brief stints in the big leagues thus far but is a .291/.344/.438 hitter in six minor league seasons and, at times, has shown star potential. He turns 23 in October.
A nice piece for the Padres in the long term and an immediate upgrade to the Indians’ bullpen in the short term. In short: a baseball trade.