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Skaggs to get called up to give Kennedy time to heal

Skaggs to get called up to give Kennedy time to heal play video for Skaggs to get called up to give Kennedy time to heal

PHOENIX -- D-backs right-hander Ian Kennedy has a laceration on his right index finger and his next start will be pushed back from Monday to Friday. In his place, the D-backs will call up Tyler Skaggs from Triple-A Reno to start the first game of the split doubleheader with the Rangers while Trevor Cahill will take the mound for the nightcap.

Skaggs, ranked by MLB.com as the club's No. 1 prospect, will be designated as the D-backs' 26th man. Teams are allowed to add a 26th player for doubleheaders, with the stipulation that the player must be returned to the Minors following the second game.

"We considered having [Kennedy] go out and pitch, but the healing probably wasn't where we wanted it," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We didn't want to interrupt the healing process. If he broke [the wound] it open again, we'd really be in a bind. We get an extra guy for Monday -- we don't for his next start -- so we decided to take the conservative approach."

By giving Kennedy the extra rest, the D-backs hope he'll be able to avoid a disabled list stint. The 28-year-old suffered the injury on Thursday while performing the seemingly ordinary task of washing dishes at his home.

"There's no cool story to it, it's kind of embarrassing," said Kennedy with a smile. "I was cleaning a knife, doing a nice thing for my wife, and it slipped. It stinks because it's something I usually can control. It doesn't sound really tough that you cut your hand and you can't do your job."

Kennedy actually threw a bullpen session wearing a bandage on Saturday thinking team trainers would super glue the cut together so he could pitch normally Monday, but the club opted to let the wound heal by itself.

"They want to be extra careful because if it does break open again, it might affect the next start and the next start after that," Kennedy said. "So we'll take advantage of doubleheader, call up an extra guy and let me start a little later. It kinda stinks but can't really do anything about it."

As for Skaggs, he began the year competing for the final spot in the D-backs' rotation in Spring Training, but eventually lost out to Patrick Corbin after allowing 16 runs (11 earned) in nine Cactus League innings.

The southpaw continued his struggles at the beginning of the regular season in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, but lately Skaggs has been much better. In his last three starts, the 21-year-old allowed a combined six runs over 20 1/3 innings, good enough for a 2.66 ERA. Overall, Skaggs has a 5.23 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings this season.

"He's throwing the ball better," Gibson said. "I can't tell you exactly what the deciding factor was for picking him, but we made the decision as an organization."

Other prospects in contention to get called up included Zeke Spruill, who was pulled from his outing in Reno on Friday after just 40 pitches, and Charles Brewer, who is scheduled to start Sunday for the Aces.

Perhaps working in Skaggs' favor is the fact that he started six games for the D-backs last season, working 29 1/3 big league innings and finishing with a 5.83 ERA. The lefty made his Major League debut on Aug. 22 against the Marlins, the last time Arizona played a doubleheader.

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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