D-backs plan to shuffle rotation after break

D-backs plan to shuffle rotation after break

PHOENIX -- The D-backs will shuffle their rotation coming out of the All-Star break beginning Friday, when Ian Kennedy will take the mound in San Francisco after last starting Sunday.

After that, it will be Wade Miley, then Randall Delgado finishing off the series against the Giants before the D-backs come home to face the Cubs. While it is certain that All-Star Patrick Corbin will pitch fifth Tuesday, the D-backs are not ready to name a starter for Monday, although Tyler Skaggs is the lead nominee.

"It's possible," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said when asked about Skaggs. "He's a likely candidate, but it's not firm."

Ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the D-backs' farm system and the No. 8 prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com entering the season, Skaggs was optioned to Class A Visalia on Thursday so he could stay on his regular rotation turn. With the Triple-A and Double-A All-Star Games taking place this week, Visalia was the only place the southpaw could pitch.

Skaggs has made five starts this year for the D-backs, compiling a 4.03 ERA over 29 innings while striking out 25 batters.

Even though Corbin has been the ace of the Arizona staff in 2013, Gibson opted to slot him fifth so the 23-year-old, who is in his first full Major League season and has already thrown 130 1/3 innings, could get a bit of rest.

"It kind of skips a start for him," Gibson said. "We're hoping he only pitches one inning in the All-Star game as well."

Asked if Corbin would be on an innings limit at the end of the season, Gibson said, "No, he's full go."

The new rotation order also helps split up the D-backs' left-handed starters better. The club finished the first half of the season with its three southpaws -- Miley, Skaggs and Corbin -- all pitching in consecutive days.

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