Since there aren't any trends in college baseball after a week, and because I like my draft prep article half-done before games start, I'm going to talk about Starling Peralta, a right-handed pitcher the Arizona Diamondbacks selected from the Cubs in December's Rule 5 Draft. The Cubs have a not-so-secret hope he has a less-than-stellar spring training. If Peralta fails to make the Diamondbacks bullpen, the likelihood is strong that he'll be returned; in that case he'll likely start the season in Daytona in the Cubs system. Here's a glance at Arizona's pitching, to guess whether Peralta makes the cut.
My chief bit of research data is the Arizona 40-man roster. I'm checking the data on all the pitchers, which doesn't include option data. If it sounds less extensive that Tom Tango's stuff, it is. Simply, I was an idea short, and hadn't seen this researched.
Before I leap, I know some people have a different take on the Rule 5 process than I do. If not for the draft, Peralta wouldn't be added to the Cubs roster, ever, until he had proven himself worthy of a big league call-up. Either way, he won't belong in the majors until probably 2014. The Rule 5 draft exists to push teams into adding players they might not want to add to the 40-man. It happens to every team. Fortunately, the Cubs now have about 40 that actually belong there-- and that number should grow. Here's the Diamondbacks' 40-man roster. Below is a list of all the pitchers listed on the roster, in alphabetical order, and my take on each one.
Chase Anderson: doubtful to make the team; he was in Double-A last season.
Heath Bell: 60+ MLB appearances in each of the last six seasons.
Charles Brewer: a Double-A/Triple-A starter. Doubtful.
Trevor Cahill: 30+ MLB starts each of the last two seasons.
Josh Collmenter: a swingman-starter type with 59 outings the last two MLB campaigns.
Patrick Corbin: a 50-50 type, with options left. Doubtful.
Eury de la Rosa: represents a Double-A closer type. Doubtful
Randall Delgado: key acquisition in the Justin Upton trade (and almost-Cub last summer had Ryan Dempster awakened from his nap earlier). I'll mark Delgado as a probable opening day call.
David Hernandez: 70+ outings for the D'backs the last two seasons.
Daniel Hudson: on the 60 Day DL and will not count against the 40-man limit.
Ian Kennedy: 98 starts in the majors the last three seasons.
Brandon McCarthy: should be on the roster and in the Arizona rotation if healthy.
Wade Miley: made 29 starts for Arizona last season.
Joe Paterson: after a good 2011, he sported a 6.75 WHIP (really) last year in six outings.
Starling Peralta: the pitcher this article revolves around.
J.J. Putz: 77 saves over the last two MLB seasons.
Matt Reynolds: relieved 70 or more games in the last two seasons for the Rockies.
Tony Sipp: 60 or more games each of the last three seasons as a spot lefty reliever.
Tyler Skaggs: very good prospect with options remaining.
Eric Smith: a Double-A reliever type. Doubtful.
Zeke Spruill: a Double-A starter last season. Doubtful.
Brad Ziegler: over 60 MLB appearances each of the last four seasons.
Summing this all up, it looks like Kennedy, Miley, McCarthy, Cahill, and Delgado should be the D'backs rotation. Skaggs will get optioned.
Collmenter or Corbin will probably hang around as a fire extinguisher-type (Please use in case of emergency.)
The bullpen figures to be deep, and specialized. Putz, Bell, Ziegler, Sipp, Reynolds, and Hernandez look like cinches.
That's the top 12, the most likely Opening Day staff for Arizona. In case of injuries to starters, Collmenter, Skaggs, and Corbin move up. I see Peralta as 15th at best. He needs a monster preseason to push the front office to trade a reliever and keep him on the major-league roster. A spate of month-long injuries would keep him around, but with Hudson due back at some point, spots will be tighter later than earlier. I don't think there's much to worry about, on a team with designs on proving the Upton trade wasn't a punt, regarding Peralta sticking.
This week's college review will start out west. Far west, in Hawaii. Ausin Kubitza is in line for the 2.2 selection, but his performance on Friday paled in comparison to the game itself. Kubitza went seven scoreless. three relievers combined to go ten more innings. Scoreless. Rice won 2-0 on a safety, or something.
Vanderbilt's Kevin Ziomek must hate being included here. He's trying to play his way into the top 30 picks. Ziomek went seven innings in a 5-1 win over Monmouth. Ziomek fanned 10 of the next 12 hitters after giving up his only run. Yeah, Monmouth, but still.
Ryne Stanek only went three innings in his start for Arkansas. The Razorbacks won 10-4, but seeing the starter only last three innings is never a good sign. Stanek surrendered two runs.
Mark Appel fanned 11 in a complete-game, 3-1 home win over Fresno State. Heads says his coach overworked him. Tails says he's a horse.
Sean Manaea fanned ten in six innings and just under a hundred pitches. While Indiana State defeated the College of Charleston 3-1, Manaea wasn't involved in the decision.
J.D. Underwood's father Tom used to play in the major leagues. Here is the story on the draft-eligible sophomore.
ESPN has been showing quite a bit of Georgia Tech the last couple of years. This is fine with me. Buck Farmer is fun to watch, though he'll never survive until the Cubs' second pick. Their center fielder Brandon Thomas went unsigned after the Pirates drafted him last season in the fourth round. On the flipside, St. John's center fielder Martin Kelly made three diving catches, and is worth watch the next time the Red Storm are playing.
Carlos Rodon, favored to be the top pick in 2014, pitched the first seven innings of a no-hitter on Saturday. He walked one and fanned 14 for North Carolina State in a 5-0 win over LaSalle.
In unfortunate minor league news, Cubs prospect catcher Carlos Escobar is flying to Chicago for surgery on Tuesday. No idea, but that never sounds good.