The Arizona Diamondbacks currently sit five games back of the San Francisco Giants in the National League West and are five games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for the final wild card spot. When you look back to last year’s September collapse of both the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox that took both teams out of playoff contention, you can’t quite write the snakes off just yet. The team did trade Stephen Drew to the Athletics Monday, but let’s be honest here, that move really will have no impact on the success of the team going forward.
What the D’Backs have done thus far in 2012 is stay in contention. What they have also done is showcase one of their best pitching talents in right-hander Trevor Bauer. Bauer struggled in the majors though, compiling a 6.06 ERA and 5.18 FIP, walking 13 batters in the 16 1/3 innings. He was sent back to Triple-A after only four starts. Now with a day-night doubleheader scheduled for Wednesday, the team will need to make a call to the minors for a pitcher to start the second game, enter the name, Tyler Skaggs.
Skaggs, who was acquired by Arizona in the trade that sent pitcher Dan Haren to the Angels in July of 2010 will reportedly get the call from Triple-A Reno and make his major league debut. The left-hander was ranked as the 13th best prospect in 2012 according to Baseball America.
On the season, Skaggs has posted a 2.84 ERA, 3.60 FIP and 9.17 K/9 in 13 starts in Double-A and a 2.91 ERA, 3.45 FIP and 7.69 K/9 in nine Triple-A starts.
And the rest from around MLB:
The St. Louis Cardinals and pitcher Jake Westbrook have agreed on a contract extension. [twitter]
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowtizki could begin a rehab assignment this weekend. [Denver Post]
Could the Tampa Bay Rays be considering a trade that would send David Price to the Texas Rangers? [Ken Rosenthal]
If there was ever more evidence of why the Marlins should extend the contract to Giancarlo Stanton, Watch here. [Getting Blanked]
The Athletics will cover all of the remaining money for Stephen Drew (almost $3.3 million) [twitter]
Pending free agent Nick Swisher may be looking for a contract similar to that of Jayson Werth ($126 million) [CBSSports.com]
The Baltimore Orioles may have Jim Thome back in their lineup sooner than expected. [Baltimore Sun]
Roger Clemens was asked if he’s in shape to pitch in the majors, his response “I’m not even close” [twitter]
The Chicago White Sox have placed outfielder Alejandro De Aza on the 15-day Disabled List with bruised ribs. [twitter]
New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana may not be making his scheduled start on Thursday after all. [twitter]
Tigers starter Doug Fister is questionable to make his next start due to a groin injury. [twitter]
The Minnesota Twins have shut down pitcher Carl Pavano for the season [Pioneerpress.com]
Looking ahead to tonight:
The Atlanta Braves lost a heart breaker in 13 innings last night to the Washington Nationals and now sit six games behind the Nats. Things don’t get any easier tonight as the Nationals send Stephen Strasburg to the hill against newly acquired Paul Maholm. In his career, Strasburg has recorded three losses against the Braves, the most he’s had against any team in his young career.
The Giants and Dodgers continue their battle out West tonight in L.A. as Tim Lincecum and Joe Blanton take the mound for their respective teams. The Giants took the opener last night by a 2-1 decision.
Other things to watch tonight:
Roberto Hernandez (formerly Fausto Carmona) makes his second start of the 2012 season against Felix Hernandez and the Mariners. This will be King Felix first start since his perfect game against the Rays.
Brett Anderson will make his 2012 debut for the Oakland Athletics after missing more than a year after Tommy John surgery last June.