Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 3/25/12
PEORIA, Ariz. Josh Collmenter looked and felt like himself Sunday, justifying manager Kirk Gibsons earlier decision to assure him a spot in the starting rotation while seeming to allay Gibsons fears about lingering health issues. Collmenter gave up two runs in five innings in the Diamondbacks 4-3 loss to San Diego at the Peoria Sports Complex, both his most effective and longest spring outing. He showed the fastball command that helped him go 10-10 with a 3.38 ERA last year after working exclusively on fastball location in his last bullpen session. With a fastball that tops out at 87, it is a must. Im not going to blow people away and just throw it wherever I want. I have to make sure I add and subtract, go in and out, up and down, said Collmenter, who threw 77 pitches. If I can consistently keep my fastball down, it makes the curve ball and changeup a lot better. I was happy for being able to do that for the most part. I want to make sure going forward that I dont have to worry about having to find that.Collmenter gave upruns in the first and fifth innings, but both times prevented bigger inningsby stranding runners on second base, in the fifth with no out. He dropped his ERA to 9.75.Collmenter missed a start because of forearm tightness early in the spring, and Gibson has said Collmenter will be his fifth starter, health permitting. Gibson was pleased by what he saw Sunday. The ball was coming out of his hand much better. Locating down. Locating up when he wanted to. His secondary stuff was better. He threw good, Gibson said. The D-backs have said they considering pushing back their No. 5 starter presumably Collmenter until April 15, the first time they must use a fifth. While Collmenters outing may have alleviated health and command concerns, there are other factors at play. Left-handed reliever Mike Zagurski is out options and Rule 5 right-handed reliever Brett Lorin must be offered back to Pittsburgh if he does not make the 25-man roster. Zagurski probably would not make it through waivers if he does not make the roster. We havent made a decision on our rotation, whether we will use four or five starters to start out the season. I prefer to use five. Whether well be able to, Im not sure. There are other things about roster composition that could affect whether we do that or not, Gibson said before the game.KUBEL RETURNS Jason Kubel was back in the lineup Sunday after missing four games with a tight quadriceps that he first felt a week ago and cropped up again Tuesday. He played five innings and was 0 for 2 as the cleanup hitter. No pain. No tightness. I never dealt with any quad issues, but there was period where it was pretty painful. For a couple of days it wouldnt away, Kubel said. Gibson was glad to have him back, the spring luxury of being cautious about injuries mitigated by the fact that the D-backs open the regular season in 10 days. They have to start playing more, Gibson said. We are going to have some guys playing eight innings pretty soon, nine innings. They have to play nine innings before the start of the season. I will give them all one more day off, but they have to play virtually every day. OPENING DAY LINEUP? The D-backs opening day lineup could look a lot like the one Kirk Gibson started against Seattle on Sunday SS Willie Boomquist, 2B Aaron Hill, RF Justin Upton, LF Jason Kubel, CF Chris Young, C Miguel Montero, 1B Paul Goldschmidt and 3B Ryan Roberts. The middle of the order features alternating right- and left-handed hitters, which Gibson likes. Montero hit cleanup most of the final two months of 2011, although the D-backs have said Kubel was signed to a middle-of-the-order bat. I hadnt thought about it. Things could change from the course of where we start, Gibson said.LOOKS TO A MINIMUM Right-hander Daniel Hudson is expected to pitch in a minor league game Tuesday, with rookie left-hander Patrick Corbin scheduled to start against Colorado in the major league game at Salt River Fields. That will give the Rockies one less look at Hudson before the regular season, a tack many teams like to take against division foes. Hudson, who is 1-2 with a low 2.73 ERA against Colorado in his career, would start the first game of a three-game series at Colorado on April 13 if the D-backs do not skip their fifth starter the first time through the rotation. The D-backs did the same on Ian Kennedys previous turn, when he pitched against San Francisco minor leaguers instead of facing the Giants at Salt River Fields. MONDAY PROBABLES Ian Kennedy (1-2, 5.40 ERA) will make his fifth start of the spring, his fourth in a major league game, when the D-backs play the Chicago Cubs at 1:10 pm at Salt River Fields. Kennedy will probably be allowed to throw 80 to 90 pitches as he stretches out for his opening day start against San Francisco against April 6. Brett Lorin, Joe Paterson, Bryan Shaw and J.J. Putz also are scheduled to pitch against the Cubs, who are to start Ray Jackson. Lorin is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in six appearances and has given up four hits and no walks in seven innings. If he does not make the D-backs roster, he must be offered back to the Pirates for 25,000, half of the price the D-backs paid to select him. Follow Jack Magruder on Twitter
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Paul George extremely critical of Pacers following trade deadline

Chris Bosh joining TNT as analyst

Cameron Payne will have chance to shine with Bulls

Danny Ainge opens up about why Celtics didn’t make a trade before deadline

Kevin Durant wants to be NBA GM or owner after playing career

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Mavericks discussing buyout with Deron Williams

T-Wolves reportedly backed away from Ricky Rubio-Derrick Rose trade

DeMarcus Cousins calls duo with Anthony Davis ‘Fire and Ice’

Reasons why 76ers got so little for Nerlens Noel emerge

John Lynch: 49ers ‘absolutely’ need to improve at QB position

Report: Raptors trade Jared Sullinger, two future picks to Suns for P.J. Tucker

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/23: Gillon's buzzer-beater blast for the win

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker