04/15/12 3:57 PM ET
Struggling Collmenter to get one more start
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
Collmenter followed up a rough spring with a pair of sub-par starts, the most recent being Saturday night when he allowed five runs and five hits over four innings.
"He's going to start Thursday," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's done it in the past, we have confidence in him. He's had two starts and he didn't have a good spring, but we believe he can do it. He knows how to get guys out."
The struggles have begun to take their toll on Collmenter mentally. Rather than just let his muscle memory take over and relax, he's been too conscious about his mechanics.
"I'm just trying to think of too many things rather than just throwing the ball," Collmenter said. "Just from pitch to pitch, how I need to stay back or make this pitch here instead of just letting your body just do what it does naturally. It becomes clogged up with thoughts."
The bottom line for Collmenter is that he has to put his pitches where he wants to, because he does not have the overpowering, pure stuff that could make up for poor location.
"The biggest thing for me, and it's been the same theme all the way through Spring Training, is just lack of location," he said. "I rely on feel a lot as a pitcher, and guiding the ball where I want, and putting it where I want. My feel and rhythm and tempo from outing to outing and sometimes even inning to inning feels different or off."
Collmenter said that physically he feels fine, and it appears that he is better pitching out of the windup than out of the stretch when he feels like his body is going in different directions.
Coach Young proud to honor Jackie
DENVER -- D-backs first-base coach Eric Young jogged to his post in the first inning Sunday afternoon proudly wearing No. 42 on his back.
Young, like all others in Major League Baseball, wore No. 42 to honor the late Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball's color barrier 65 years ago with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
"It took a special man to go through what he went through, the trials and tribulations and the sufferings, but also the joy and the happiness," Young said. "When I reflect and think about what he did for society it sends chills through my body. Every time. For me to put on this uniform and wear this 42 jersey, it's an honor, it's a privilege, but more importantly we are honoring a very special man."
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Major League Baseball retired Robinson's number in 1997. The number was already off limits to Young when he broke into the big leagues in 1992 because he did so with the Dodgers, who had already retired it.
Young, though, wanted to find a way to honor Robinson so he chose No. 21, half of 42.
"I said that if I could be half the man and half the player that Jackie was, that I felt like my life would be fulfilled," Young said. "For him to endure and impact so many people. Not just giving us the opportunity to play Major League Baseball and wear this big league uniform, but how it changed a lot of people's thinking."
Miley saving D-backs 'pen from wear and tear
DENVER -- The statistics page will show that D-backs left-hander Wade Miley does not have any saves this year.
In reality, however, Miley has twice saved Arizona manager Kirk Gibson from wearing out the bullpen.
Last Sunday, when Josh Collmenter lasted just three innings against the Giants, Miley came in and threw four scoreless innings, which allowed the D-backs to rally and eventually win the game.
Then on Saturday, Miley once again came on in relief of Collmenter and threw three scoreless innings, which allowed the D-backs to rally although they eventually lost in the ninth.
"He's great," Gibson said of Miley. "He's got a good mentality, a good demeanor for doing that. The thing he did really well was he pounded the zone, he just kept coming after them. He had great results."
A starter throughout his Minor League career, Miley started seven games for the D-backs after being called up in August and made one relief appearance.
"As a starter or a reliever you're just trying to get guys out any way you can," Miley said when asked if he was better suited to one role or the other. "Whether it's 0-0 or 5-0 I'm still going to try and do the same thing. That's how I feel."
It's an attitude that his teammates appreciate.
"He just comes in, grabs the ball and loves to pitch," second baseman Aaron Hill said. "He pounds the zone. When he's been called upon he's done the job."
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.