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D-backs reach deep and call up SP Zack Godley for MLB Debut

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With Chase Anderson on the 15-day DL, the Arizona Diamondbacks tried to outhink everyone and promote a farm hand, who is not even considered to be in the top 30.

Zzch Godley with USA baseball in 2013.
Zzch Godley with USA baseball in 2013.
USA baseball

The Arizona Diamondbacks have been pulling at straws when it comes to starting pitching. In the 2015 season, the D-backs started the year with Josh Collmenter, Ruby De La Rosa, Jeremy Hellickson, Chase Anderson, and Archie Bradley, in that order. Only three of those pitchers still remain in the starting five, while only two are active participants.

Patrick Corbin's return to full health filled one of the spots, while Robbie Ray took over the other vacant spot. Chase Anderson was the latest starting pitcher to be bit by the injury bug however, the D-backs are trying to out think everyone with their latest move. The D-backs plan is to call up a RHP by the name of Zack Godley.

RHP Zack Godley is not on the Arizona Diamondbacks 40 man roster so the D-backs will have to make room for him which could be just as interesting of a move as the call up itself.

Godley has pitched all of three games above High-A ball. He was acquired along with RHP Jeferson Mejia from the Cubs in the C Miguel Montero trade.  This kid is not listed in any organizational top 30 by any respected baseball coverage source. The D-backs may just want to kick the tires on him and see if he has any value. The rotation spot itself appears that it will be vacant for at least two starts so it is possible that after Godley starts another top tier pitching prospect could get a look. However, if Godley does well he could be the next Robbie Ray and earn a spot in the already depleted rotation.

Godley is 25 years old and was drafted twice, once in 2009 where he was taken in the 50th round by the Mets and again in 2013, by the Cubs in the 10th round. Godley is from South Carolina and was a quarterback in high school. Godley did not start pitching until his junior year. Godley started his college career in JuCo, where he attended Spartanburg Methodist for a year. He then transferred to the University of Tennessee, where Godley was converted to a starting pitcher.

In two years at Tennessee, Godley has an ERA of 3.50 and struck out 150 batters in 177 IP.  After being drafted by the Cubs in 2013, Godley made a brief visit to the AZL before moving on to Short Season Boise. In 2013, Godley only pitched in 14 games and threw 16.2 innings. He was effective with a 2.02 ERA but, he was on average about 1.5 years older than the players he was facing. Godley was used solely as a reliever in 2013 professionally.

In 2014, the Cubs continued Godley down the reliever path and he performed well. Across two levels, Godley struck out 77 batters in 55.1 innings and collected 15 saves, with an ERA of 3.09.

Godley was traded in the 2014 off-season and was assigned to High-A Visalia. While in the California League, Godley has put up some of his best numbers in his career, shifting from reliever to starter. Godley made 14 appearances in Visalia, his ERA was a career best at 2.27 with a 78/19 K/BB.  Due to his performance Godley was awarded the starting job at the High-A All Star Game.

Subsequently promoted to Double-A Mobile, he posted a 5.14 ERA with an 8/6 K/BB in 14 innings, considerably worse ratios than what he posted in A-ball. Stuff-wise, he features a low-90s fastball and an average curve.

Zack Godley is now tasked with trying to be a reliable starting pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  This is at a point when the D-backs are trying to identify as buyers or sellers before the trade deadline. A few more wins, and they are buyers, a few more losses they are sellers. If Godley proves to be worthwhile, it may open the door for others to see their way out.