D-backs turn to Skaggs for Wednesday start
PHOENIX – The Diamondbacks’ future is now. Again. Left-hander Tyler Skaggs will become the third Diamondbacks’ top pitching prospect to arrive in the present Wednesday.
Skaggs, who has posted strong numbers at two minor league stops this year, is to make his major league debut in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday against Miami, the D-backs announced Tuesday.
He will be promoted from Class AAA Reno for one day as the 26th player on the D-backs’ roster, a tweak adopted by the players association this season for split doubleheaders that have been scheduled for at least 48 hours. The D-backs added reliever Sam Demel on Tuesday to fill Stephen Drew’s roster spot.
Skaggs joins Patrick Corbin and Trevor Bauer as young D-backs’ starters who have broken into the majors this season, a threesome that figures heavily in the D-backs’ future plans. Skaggs earned the promotion after giving up four runs in 40 2/3 innings in a recent stretch of seven starts, an 0.89 ERA. He was touched for eight runs in five innings in his most recent Reno start, an outing that is an outlier in what has been a season of growth.
“He has just kind of put it all together,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.
“Can throw any pitch at any time. Pretty efficient. Not afraid to let them put the ball in play, yet he has strikeout stuff. Worked hard on all the stuff we asked him to work on.”
Skaggs is 9-6 with a 2.87 ERA in 22 starts at Reno and Class AA Mobile, opening the season at Mobile before being promoted when Bauer went from Reno to the major leagues in late June. Skaggs has 116 strikeouts in 122 1/3 innings while giving up 112 hits and 37 walks.
Wade Miley, a top candidate for NL Rookie of the Year award, will start the second game.
Skaggs, who turned 21 in July, was the No. 13 rated prospect by Baseball America before the start of the season, and he made his second straight Futures Game appearance this year. His first major league will not be his first start at Chase Field – he started the Futures Game here in 2011.
Scouts have called Skaggs’ curveball his best pitch, and Gibson said movement is what makes it so good.
“I like the angle with his breaking ball. I like angles. I like to see something going the other way and going down with different variations. You want to have different pitches to disrupt (a hitter’s) timing. You are going to have more success against them, and get away with more mistakes, as well, as long as they are not timing it up.
“He possesses that weapon.”
Skaggs is part of the 2010 Dan Haren trade that keeps on giving. The D-backs got Joe Saunders, Corbin, Skaggs and reliever Rafael Rodriguez. Saunders has 21 victories and Corbin has five since the deal, with Skaggs set to debut. Haren has 29 wins.
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