DENVER -- When he looks at Josh Collmenter's struggles so far this spring, D-backs GM Kevin Towers said it is a matter of the right-hander not locating his pitches.
"He's not going to be able to overpower hitters," Towers said. "He's got to be able to get ahead in the count, he's got to be able to keep the ball out of the middle of the plate."
Collmenter struggled in Spring Training and lasted just three innings in his first regular-season start. He is slated to start Saturday against the Rockies at Coors Field.
"It's early in the season, we certainly understand one bad outing," Towers said. "It shouldn't be we're going to send this guy back because he's had a bad outing."
Towers was asked if the fact that Collmenter had a poor spring would make the team less likely to give him multiple starts during the regular season if he continues to struggle.
"A lot depends on where do we go," Towers said. "Is it [Wade] Miley? Is it somebody in Triple-A? Is it one of the kids in Double-A? Do we give him another start? Another couple starts? As of right now he's one of our five and I'm hoping he's going to go out and put together a good start [Saturday], and we don't have to answer questions like what do you think about him?"
Collmenter earned a lot of leeway in manager Kirk Gibson's book with the way he pitched in 2011. Collmenter was 10-10 with a 3.38 ERA in 21 games (24 starts) for the D-backs last year and came up big for the club when he won Game 3 of the National League Division Series with the D-backs facing elimination.
"Just look back to the third game of the playoffs," Gibson said earlier this spring. "Here we are scrambling just trying to keep our heads above water, down two games and Collmenter just comes and shoves it. There's more than physical ability to what he did there."
Saito solid in extended throwing session
DENVER -- Injured D-backs reliever Takashi Saito threw a 10-pitch inning in an extended spring training game on Friday.
Saito, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list just prior to the regular season with a strained right calf, struck out two and was 88 to 90 mph on the radar gun, according to GM Kevin Towers.
Saito may throw one more time Monday before the club decides to activate him.
When Saito is ready to come off the DL, the D-backs will face a tough decision in making room for him on the roster.
"That's a good position to be in because everyone is kind of throwing the ball fairly well up here," Towers said. "Ultimately when he comes back there will be an odd man out, and maybe that person is not deserving of going down."
Manager Kirk Gibson is known to have at least one reliever capable of throwing multiple innings in his bullpen, and that's why the club kept left-hander Wade Miley. That move played dividends last Sunday, when Miley tossed four shutout innings of relief after Josh Collmenter got roughed up.
"A lot could still happen in the next three to five days too," Towers said. "We're evaluating all these guys on a nightly basis and a lot depends on how deep our starters, if they start getting their pitch counts up to 100 and they're into the seventh inning, maybe not as big a need for the real long guy. If not, you need that guy."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.