9/21/2013 8:19 P.M. ET
D-backs still have high hopes for Skaggs
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
DENVER -- When they decided not to promote him in September, the D-backs told left-hander Tyler Skaggs to take the month off to clear his head after a frustrating season.
Skaggs lost the competition for the No. 5 spot in the rotation during Spring Training to Patrick Corbin and compiled a 4.59 ERA in 19 games for Triple-A Reno. In between, he was called up to the big leagues for short stints and had a 5.12 ERA in seven starts.
"His velocity has regressed," D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said. "I think a lot of that is mechanics, just a little out of whack right now. Still has the good breaking ball and changeup. It's just his fastball has backed up, doesn't have confidence in his fastball command, a little gun shy."
The D-backs still have high hopes for Skaggs, who came into the year ranked among the top pitching prospects in the game.
At the end of the big league season, the D-backs will have Skaggs come back to Arizona where he can work with the organization's pitching coaches on getting his mechanics back in order.
"He's a real key guy for us, so we're going to try and get our arms around him here in the offseason, look at video and get him right," Towers said. "I know I've seen some things just on still video and he's not the same guy."
One of the things Towers noticed is that mechanically Skaggs is now standing more upright in his delivery something that could be affecting his velocity.
Barrett and Stites to get close look in Spring Training
DENVER -- D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said he expects top prospect Archie Bradley to compete for spot in the starting rotation next spring, but Bradley won't be the only prospect with a chance to make the roster.
Right-handers Jake Barrett and Matt Stites also figure to get looks in the bullpen.
"Pitching should be competitive next year," Towers said. "I'm hoping that guys like Stites and Jake Barrett push some of the guys in our bullpen next year too."
Barrett was the team's third-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Arizona State University.
The 22-year-old compiled a 0.36 ERA (one earned run in 24 2/3 innings) after being promoted from Class A Visalia to Double-A Mobile. Barrett will get a chance to improve his stock even more in the Arizona Fall League this year.
So will Stites, who was acquired from the Padres in the Ian Kennedy deal. The 23-year-old has not pitched in the Arizona system since the trade due to an appendectomy.
D-backs set rotation plan through end of season
DENVER -- As of right now, the D-backs plan to stay in rotation through the end of the regular season.
That means that Trevor Cahill, Patrick Corbin, Brandon McCarthy and Wade Miley will each get two starts apiece -- starting with Cahill's outing Saturday night against the Rockies.
Right-hander Randall Delgado, who started Friday, will make one more start.
"As of right now that's the way we're going to go," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We just kind of watch how everybody is throwing. There's no red flags on anybody right now."
The D-backs toyed with the idea of shutting down Corbin early given his workload, but after watching him of late they feel he still has plenty left in the tank.
"He's excited to have his last two starts, he wants to have his two starts," Gibson said. "He's not thinking, 'You know I can just tell him I'm dragging and get out of here and chill out.' No, he wants it."
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.