D-backs sticking with Miley in rotation
Lefty thrived in place of Hudson, will start again Sunday
MIAMI -- In what seemed like a foregone conclusion, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said that left-hander Wade Miley will stay in the rotation and start Sunday against the Marlins.
Miley had pitched out of the bullpen for his first three appearances of the season before getting the start against the Phillies on Monday. In that game, he tossed six shutout innings to lower his ERA to 1.84.
"It's self-explanatory," Gibson said of the move.
Gibson was then asked if it was so self-explanatory, why did he wait until Friday to make the decision? Part of it was because the D-backs wanted to see if they needed to use their bullpen a lot the rest of the series against the Phillies.
"Again, just see how we got through it," Gibson said. "We pretty much were sure we were going to do it that way. I can't share all the reasons with you, but it will become clear as the season goes, I guess."
Miley's start on Monday came in place of Daniel Hudson, who was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder impingement.
"It's whatever, but I'm pumped about it in the same sense," Miley said. "I'm hoping Huddy gets healthy. I'll do what I can until then."
The laid-back Miley said the only difference for him between starting and relieving is the routine he follows. That being said, he does not have a preference as to which role he fills.
"Pretty sure it's better to be in the big leagues than anywhere else," Miley said with a smile. "It doesn't matter what your role is as long as you can help the team."
Collmenter might be moving to bullpen
MIAMI -- Josh Collmenter's time in the D-backs' rotation may be coming to an end.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said the team was considering options for Monday, which is Collmenter's day to pitch.
"We may move him to the bullpen," Gibson said. "We're considering it. He may not start Monday. We're considering other options. We'll probably make a decision by [Saturday]."
Collmenter was outstanding for the D-backs in 2011, going 10-10 with a 3.38 ERA in 31 games (24 starts) and won a big game for the club in the National League Division Series against the Brewers.
This year, though, it's been a different story.
Collmenter struggled during Spring Training and then into the regular season. In his first four starts, he went 0-2 with a 9.82 ERA.
If the team chooses to dip into the Minor Leagues for a replacement for Collmenter, Double-A left-hander Patrick Corbin would seem to be the leading candidate given that his last start was the same day as Collmenter's -- Tuesday.
Fellow Mobile left-hander Tyler Skaggs would also be a candidate. His last start was Wednesday, which would mean he would be pitching on regular rest.
Corbin is 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA in his first four starts, while Skaggs is 0-2 with a 4.24 ERA in his first four.
D-backs get first look at Marlins Park
MIAMI -- The D-backs hitters were out for early batting practice Friday afternoon to get a feel for Marlins Park, which opened earlier this month.
The consensus? It's nice, but it's more friendly for pitchers than hitters.
So far, that's the way the ballpark has played, and D-backs players said it reminded them of Petco Park in San Diego, which is also a large ballpark where the ball does not carry.
"It's got a big outfield," Arizona infielder Ryan Roberts said. "I didn't really hit anything that could possibly be a homer. I was definitely trying to get the ball on the ground. There's a couple of guys that hit it out, so I'm sure it will go like any other park, but for the most part, it's kind of like Petco. You've got to play it like that. You've got to play to hit one base at a time and not try to drive the ball out of the yard."
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson was more focused on some of the nooks and crannies of the wall where balls seemed to bounce off at odd angles, which means outfielders will have to back each other up when the ball hits off the wall in case it caroms different than expected.
"Balls can hit off the wall and go anywhere," Gibson said. "It looks like it's pretty large. We're going to have to hustle, everyone is going to have to back up. If you hit the ball, you need to run hard because the alleys are big."
One of the many unique features of the ballpark is a large sculpture in left-center that features leaping marlins when the home team hits a homer. A couple of the D-backs left-handed hitters said the sculpture was distracting when they were in the batter's box.
Gibson asked about the sculpture, and when told it only lights up and goes off on Marlins homers, he smiled.
"I don't want to see that," he said.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.