D-backs Prospects To Vie For Rotation Spot

PHOENIX—The Diamondbacks have decided to put their top pitching prospects into the mix for the final spot in the big league rotation.

After acquiring righthander Trevor Cahill from the Athletics and signing free agent outfielder Jason Kubel to spend most of the rest of the budget, general manager Kevin Towers said he will "probably stay in-house with the fifth spot."

It has worked before—righthander Josh Collmenter won 10 games last season after moving into the rotation in mid-May.

The Diamondbacks have no dearth of candidates, including lefthanders Wade Miley, Tyler Skaggs and Pat Corbin; and righthanders Trevor Bauer and Charles Brewer. Miley likely will enter spring training a tick ahead of the others, as he is the only one with major league experience after going 4-2, 4.50 in eight appearances down the stretch. The Diamondbacks also might prefer a lefty because their first four are all righthanders.

Skaggs, 20, started the Futures Game for the U.S. team last July and went 9-6, 2.96 in 27 starts between high Class A Visalia and Double-A Mobile. He was rated the top prospect in the California League and the No. 2 prospect in the Southern League.

Pitching for UCLA in the spring, Bauer broke Mark Prior's Pacific-12 Conference single-season record for strikeouts with 203 before becoming the third overall pick in the 2011 draft. The 21-year-old made a quick leap from Visalia to Mobile after signing. He struck out 43 in 26 innings with his variety of pitches, which starts with a mid-90s fastball and a changeup.

Corbin, a 22-year-old who like Skaggs was obtained from the Angels in the 2010 deadline deal for Dan Haren, went 9-8, 4.21 while spending the whole season at Mobile. He had a 3.5-to-1 ratio of strikeouts to walks in his 26 starts.

Brewer, a Scottsdale, Ariz., resident, missed parts of the season at Mobile because of a concussion and a broken right hand, but the 23-year-old succeeded in the only must-win game of Mobile's season—Game Five of the Southern Division semifinals—and also won the Arizona Fall League title game with Scottsdale.

Snake Bites

• Cuban lefthander Alexander Carreras, 22, signed for a $400,000 bonus. Carreras, who adds depth from the left side, last pitched in Cuba in 2010 before moving to the Dominican Republic.

• The Diamondbacks signed former big league outfielder Jason Lane to a minor league deal in early December. Lane, who was a two-way star at Southern California, is attempting to get back to the majors as a lefthanded pitcher. He logged six appearances with the Blue Jays' Triple-A Las Vegas affiliate in 2011.