This is embarrassing, but I just put together the fact that Josh Roenicke and Ron Roenicke have the same last name. And they are, in fact, uncle and nephew. There’s an interesting tidbit for you.
As for the younger Roenicke, how do we feel about his performance for the Rockies in 2011? I, for one, was pleasantly surprised. For a guy who was taken off waivers in June and not really expected to do a whole lot, he did a whole lot. He appeared in 19 games for the Rockies in August and September, and he didn’t give up an earned run until September 5th. He did have a few rough outings, including one in which he gave up 3 runs in 2/3 inning, but overall I was very happy with Roenicke. He proved to be quite versatile, called in anytime between the 6th and 9th innings and handling them all well. He’s not a closer, and in fact he has zero career saves, but he’s a good righty specialist and middle reliever.
Roenicke really only has two pitches at his disposal, a fastball with some heat and good movement, and a cutter that moves even more. This repertoire makes him very well-suited for the role he played in late 2011. He’ll never be a starter, but he’s a quality choice out of the pen. Obviously, that month-long 0.00 ERA was never going to last, and we should not expect Roenicke to work magic. But you know what, I will take him over the most recent edition of Franklin Morales. Roenicke’s main worry going into camp this week is that there are so many random pitchers floating around on the roster right now, and most of the ones without assignments are righties. Roenicke could potentially be phased out to make room for some of the younger guys with higher ceilings coming in. I’d hate to see him DFA’d or something, but I don’t think his spot is guaranteed. The next few weeks will tell us a lot about where he fits.