In the not-so-distant past, I have mentioned Kevin Correia‘s name many times. During the days when I thought the Rockies were, you know, a good baseball team, I had this notion that they should not lose to him. Irrational? Sure. Based in fact or statistics? Hardly.
I would just say it to myself: “They should not lose to a guy named Kevin Correia.”
It turns out that he might be the type of pitcher the Rockies need. Consider the possibility of his signing with them a more thoughtful version of the Jeremy Guthrie acquisition last offseason. That is, he would fill all of the following starting pitcher cliches: gritty, durable, an “innings eater,” a competitive starter who pounds the strike zone and “always keeps his team in the game.” By the way, all of these compliments are actually a way to say that this guy is not that good, but darn it if we aren’t going to talk ourselves into him.
Raise your hand if you thought Guthrie fit that bill when the team traded Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom for him last year. Am I the only one with my hand in the air? Am I the only one who ignored the whole “he gives up tons of flyballs” thing? It would seem that the characteristics of Correia’s style of pitching and his history suggest that it is much more logical to think he can fit that bill than it ever was to think that about Guthrie.
Correia went 12-11 last season as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Perhaps more noteworthy is his success in Coors Field over the years, where he has posted a sub-4.00 ERA and absolutely miffed me time and again by defeating the Rockies. Do we dare call Jeremy Guthrie a poor man’s Kevin Correia? In order to do so, you have to create a bizarre little tunnel of the baseball universe where everything else, including Guthrie’s recent contract with the Royals, is completely disregarded. Whether it makes sense or not, whether it is useful or not, you evacuate the conversation of every factor except the pitcher’s ability to enjoy moderate success at Coors Field. But that’s what I’m going to do, right here, right now.
Hopefully the Rockies sign the real Kevin Correia this offseason after trading for the poor man’s Kevin Correia last year.