It is entirely possible that other Rockies fans were more onto Josh Outman‘s chances at making the team out of spring training than I was. Manager Jim Tracy announced yesterday that he will be in the bullpen to start the season. Outman’s appeal lies in his versatility, because he can be used both as a long reliever and a match-up guy for left handed hitters. And not just any left handed hitter…just ask Tracy…
…”a pretty damn good left-handed hitter in the middle of somebody’s order.”
This decision combined with the news that Jamie Moyer will pitch the second game of the season in Houston crystallized where certain key names will be to start the season:
- Matt Reynolds, who continues to struggle to get left handed hitters out, may have become disposable. He still has a chance to make the team, but the team’s patience with him seems to be running short.
- Guillermo Moscoso will start the season in AAA. I suppose that means that he is the “other guy from the Seth Smith trade” now. At least for the time being…
- Because of the way the off days line up, the Rockies will not need a 5th starter until April 15th. So while Drew Pomeranz has effectively made the team, he will initially be sent to the minor leagues and make one start there before appearing in the purple pinstripes.
- Tyler Chatwood and Alex White, both of whom did not crack the rotation, remain in contention for a bullpen spot. They will be competing with Edgmer Escalona, Esmil Rogers, and Josh Roenicke.
The biggest takeaway from these recent developments is the striking impermanence which will characterize the pitching staff all season. Outman’s eventual success this spring is an appropriate illustration of this fluidity. He struggled statistically and missed two appearances because of injuries, eliminating himself from the starting rotation derby early on. Yet he showed the coaching staff enough that he will play an important role out of the bullpen, especially if he nudges Reynolds off the team.
One last thing…Jamie Moyer is pitching the second freaking game of the season! (Yes, that was exclamation mark worthy).