PHOENIX -- As a member of the Boston Red Sox in July, D-backs relief pitcher Matt Albers allowed just one earned run in the entire month over 12 appearances.
But somehow in the three weeks since being traded to Arizona for Craig Breslow at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, the 29-year-old has managed to surpass his career month with an even better August so far.
In seven appearances with the D-backs, Albers has surrendered just two hits and one unearned run while striking out eight over 6 2/3 innings.
"It's been more about keeping things the same and just trying to improve every day," Albers said. "I've been lucky enough to fall into a good position with this team. I've just been trying to keep my pitches down and get some ground balls and I've been fortunate enough to do that so far."
His most dominant outing with the club came Sunday, when he struck out the side against the Astros by only throwing 14 pitches.
"That was the best he's thrown it," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He threw a very hard sinker, you can ask Miggy [D-backs catcher Miguel Montero] how his thumb feels. He pounds it and keeps the ball down. He's been what we envisioned when we got him and he's very important to us."
Since Albers has played with four teams over his six-year career, making the move and adjustments to Arizona hasn't been too difficult for him.
"I know what it's like to have to work with new guys," he said. "It's more about still throwing your pitches and not changing anything. It's been really smooth here. Guys like Montero have made things even easier."
Collmenter recounts harrowing discovery of ulcer
PHOENIX -- D-backs relief pitcher Josh Collmenter figured he just had to throw up. He thought he could get whatever was making him feel sick out of his system fairly quickly and return to his normal self.
But what initially started as a feeling of uneasiness eventually turned into a serious three-day trip to the hospital and a procedure to remove an ulcer from his body.
The unexpected illness that landed Collmenter on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 10 began when the D-backs flew home from a trip in Pittsburgh.
"I just felt sick," he said. "I never experienced anything like it before. There was no warning. It just came out of nowhere."
When the 26-year-old returned to his home, he spit up blood and became worried. That's when he knew a hospital trip was imminent.
Doctors ended up finding the ulcer with a tube and cauterizing it. The procedure forced Collmenter to rest up for three days before returning home.
Now a week later, the pitcher is returning to baseball activities. He threw a bullpen session on Saturday and is scheduled to throw an inning at Salt River Fields on Tuesday.
"I took a little time off, then I started throwing last week and now I'm feeling like myself again," he said. "I was weak when it first happened, but now I feel good."
On the season in nine starts and 13 relief outings, Collmenter is 3-3 with a 4.24 ERA and 69 strikeouts.
Skaggs or Bauer could get call for upcoming twin bill
PHOENIX -- With a day-night doubleheader scheduled for Wednesday against the Marlins, it's clear the D-backs will call up a pitcher to start one of the two games to make sure no one in the rotation has to pitch on short rest. The question remaining though is, who it will be?
"We don't have anything finalized," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said, adding he will talk with general manager Kevin Towers again after Monday night's game. "We have a couple options available."
The decision seems to be to either bring up Tyler Skaggs or Trevor Bauer, both top prospects in the organization. Skaggs was a healthy scratch from his start on Sunday at Triple-A Reno while Bauer, who also is in Reno, would already be on regular rest on Wednesday.
In nine Triple-A starts, Skaggs boasts a 2.91 ERA and 45 strikeouts. Before his last outing, in which he gave up eight runs, the lefty had not allowed more than one run for seven straight starts.
Bauer, on the other hand, made four starts for the D-backs earlier this season, serving up 11 earned runs over 16 1/3 innings. He threw a complete game his last time out for Reno, allowing two runs and striking out 12.
The D-backs are waiting to make sure nothing else unexpected happens that would alter the club's situation.
"Anything could happen, if someone gets hurt, it changes the whole thing," Gibson said. "That's why you wait and see what your need is."
More than just who will make the start, Gibson isn't even sure which game of the two the young pitcher will begin. Wade Miley is slated to start one of the two games for sure.
"There are so many intricacies. There's timing to everything," Gibson said. "You work your way through it. There's no reason to make that decision now. There are several angles. We'll go through them."
On the 15-day disabled list with a back injury since Aug. 11, D-backs infielder Willie Bloomquist hasn't played in any rehab games yet, but that should change soon.
"He'll probably play this week," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "I think he's good, the reports are good."
Bloomquist will likely begin in the Arizona League first before returning to the big league club or moving on to a Minor League assignment.
Olympic silver medalist and Glendale, Ariz., native Brady Ellison shot an arrow as the ceremonial first pitch Monday from the pitcher's mound to home plate. Ellison was part of the U.S. Olympic archery team that took second place in London last month.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.