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D-backs seek answers after Godley's start

@SteveGilbertMLB
May 19, 2019

PHOENIX -- The D-backs dropped an 8-5 decision to the Giants on Saturday night and the loss raises the question of what the team will do with Zack Godley’s spot in the rotation going forward. The right-hander took the loss, allowing four runs in 3 1/3 innings, and his spot

PHOENIX -- The D-backs dropped an 8-5 decision to the Giants on Saturday night and the loss raises the question of what the team will do with Zack Godley’s spot in the rotation going forward.

The right-hander took the loss, allowing four runs in 3 1/3 innings, and his spot in the rotation has been a question mark for much of the season.

Godley (1-4) struggled in four of his first six starts of the year and was removed from the rotation in favor of Taylor Clarke.

Box score

While Godley made three relief appearances, Clarke started in his place on May 7 and pitched well despite losing the game. However, the D-backs played an extra-inning game the day after Clarke’s start and needed an extra arm for the bullpen, so he was optioned back to Triple-A Reno.

With prospect Jon Duplantier not stretched out enough to start, Clarke stuck in the Minors for the minimum 10 days. The D-backs turned to Godley as an “opener” last week and he took the loss when he allowed a run in two innings.

Saying they were pleased with the improvements he had shown, the D-backs decided to go with Godley on Saturday night.

Now, the question is where do the D-backs go from here?

Duplantier is still not stretched out enough, but Clarke is eligible to return to the big leagues. They could also feel Godley has made enough progress to where he deserves to stay in the rotation.

Despite the numbers, Godley found the positives in his outing.

“I felt like tonight I was back to where I needed to be,” said Godley. “I felt like I was throwing the ball where I wanted with intent and I think the biggest thing is just working on the 0-2 and 1-2 pitches and being able to put guys away. Other than that, felt great.”

The D-backs could have juggled the rotation a bit so that they could push this spot until the upcoming series in San Diego, but D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said he did not want to rearrange the entire rotation. Also, he wanted to give Godley a chance.

“I felt like it was a good opportunity for Zack to go out and perform,” Lovullo said. “I thought he had been throwing the ball efficiently -- not as good as he has, [but] I thought I would be a good situation for him to get into.”

Godley, who won 15 games last year and had an ERA+ of 139 in 2017, has a 7.90 ERA this year, and Lovullo was not ready to commit to who would get the start the next time this spot in the rotation rolls around.

“I don’t know yet,” Lovullo said. “We’ll try to turn the page as quickly as we possibly can tonight on the day and come back maybe tomorrow with a little less emotion and sleep on it and try to get the guys together and go over what some of their thoughts are and make the best decision moving forward. I don’t know that answer. But we’re going to talk about it.”

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.