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.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.