Acknowledging the risk of signing a pitcher who is coming off of multiple years missed because of injury, we know that Brandon Webb makes a lot of sense for the Rockies. His consistent success getting groundballs in his career make him a perfect low risk, high reward candidate for a rotation that needs help. The front office has been pretty clear that they will not make a splashy signing to improve the pitching, so it is going to be these types of pitchers who can then compete for a spot in Spring Training. Webb fits the bill.
Something is going to happen if the Rockies’ pursuit of Webb continues to get more serious; people are going to call it a disaster and criticize Webb for thinking he can salvage his career at altitude (gasp!).
Of course it is a more challenging setting in which to pitch successfully, but as people outside of Colorado continue to point to last year’s statistics as evidence that nobody should ever want to pitch for the Rockies ever again, they need to realize something that those of us who follow the team knew from the start: that pitching staff was fundamentally flawed. For some reason Dan O’Dowd thought that pitchers with a history of high fly ball rates (Jeremy Guthrie, Guillermo Moscoso, Jamie Moyer) could be the building blocks for a solid staff. Their struggles and their historically inept numbers need not apply to Webb.
Familiarity and expectations. Those are the two words that sum up why the Rockies would be a logical choice for Webb. While he is far enough removed that the lineups in the NL West will not necessarily be familiar, Webb still knows the teams and the parks from his time on the Arizona Diamondbacks. That ought to ease some of the difficulty of trying to crack back into the big leagues. As far as expectations, he will not find a lower bar anywhere in baseball. Any measure of effective pitching will have Rockies fans jumping for joy. Seriously. I kid a little, but if I was in Webb’s shoes I might be interested in that situation to take a bit of the pressure off.
Other than a potential desire to try and pitch his way onto a legitimate playoff contender, the Rockies make sense for Brandon Webb.