Diamondbacks' Collmenter Thrives On Being Different
PHOENIX—Josh Collmenter figured he was pitching like everyone else until his mother took some footage of his straight-over-the-top delivery to include in a graduation video.
"I looked at it for the first time and saw exactly how unusual it was," Collmenter said.
"He always was a funky, funky dude," said teammate Barry Enright, who attended a Stanford pitching camp with Collmenter in high school. "But he gets outs."
The ball seems to come from behind the righthander's head and always seems to land in a teammate's glove. Collmenter, 25, led the minor leagues with 34 wins from 2008-10, and his success continued into his major league debut when he retired all six batters in two innings of relief to get a victory in the Diamondbacks' 6-5, 12-inning victory over San Francisco on April 17, three days after he was recalled from Triple-A Reno.
The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Collmenter struck out two Giants and did not permit a ball out of the infield while relying mainly on a fastball/changeup mix that seems difficult for hitters to pick up because of his unorthodox delivery. The ball comes from an arm slot "higher than Iron Mike," the pitching machine, Arizona broadcaster and former major league reliever Mike Fetters said.
"His fastball looks like its 100 because of the angle. You can't see it," catcher Miguel Montero said. "He's pretty tall, and when you finally see it you are already beat up. Then he throws the changeup 20 mph less."
Collmenter, a 15th-round draft choice in 2007 out of Central Michigan, was 14-6, 3.38 at three levels last season, opening at high Class A Visalia and spending time at Double-A Mobile and Reno. A strike-thrower throughout his career, Collmenter had 133 strikeouts and 51 walks in 152 innings.
"That's my big thing, throwing strikes and making them hit my pitches, not the other way around," Collmenter said. "That give-and-take game is how I try to work the hitters to get them as uncomfortable as I can in the box."
• Mobile lefthander Wade Miley strained a rotator cuff in his first start of the season at Carolina and missed his next scheduled start after being placed on the seven-day disabled list.
• Reno veteran Wily Mo Pena had a season-long nine-game hitting streak and was tied for the minor league lead with six home runs through the first 10 days of the season.