Oh, Esmil Rogers. Where do we start with this guy? So much promise, so little execution. Is he even a starting pitcher? No one seems to have figured out the answer to this question yet.
Rogers was signed by the Rockies as a free agent in 2003 and has never played for anyone else. He has yet to play a full major league season because he keeps on losing control of his pitches and getting sent back down. Sometimes he starts a game and gives up 5 runs in 4 innings. Often, in fact. Other times he starts a game and gives up 1 run in 6 innings. Will the real Esmil please stand up?
At this point, I would like to cast my vote in favor of never letting this man come to the mound as a starter ever again. He doesn’t have the mental faculties required of a starting pitcher; when the game gets away from him, it gets all the way away. Guys like Jhoulys Chacin struggle with this on occasion as well, but he is showing signs that he’s learning to overcome it, and anyway, Chacin mixes tough starts with truly brilliant starts. Rogers mixes terrible ones with passable ones. His best last season was also his first: April 7th in Pittsburgh, when he lasted 7 1/3 innings and allowed 1 run on 4 hits. He also made a killer relief appearance in San Diego on July 30th, the day Ubaldo Jimenez was traded. After a disastrous first inning in which Ubaldo allowed 4 runs, Rogers pitched 5 innings and allowed just 1 hit.
These outings still happen too infrequently to be counted on, though. And I don’t think Rogers is going to get a whole lot better. We needed him in the rotation last season because there were so many injuries and other unexpected occurrences, but we don’t need him in 2012. I haven’t heard one person mention his name as a possible candidate to start. At best, he will wind up in the bullpen. At worst, he’ll hit the streets. I don’t mind him much as a long reliever, but I also think we have some other good possibilities there, most notably Matt Belisle and Edgmer Escalona. I’d really rather trust the ball to one of those two than to Rogers. Now that I’ve said that, watch him go have a brilliant spring and get the #3 spot in the rotation. Stranger things have happened.