What if the Colorado Rockies have three solid #2 starters? Will that be enough to get by with this offense?
In their finest moments Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa, and Juan Nicasio all have top-end stuff. In the last couple of days De La Rosa and Nicasio have shown promise. For De La Rosa that meant commanding the strike zone; for Nicasio that meant throwing competent off-speed stuff to complement his plus-plus-plus fastball. Both faced the #1 lineup for the opposing team (the Reds and Royals, respectively). For both it provided a glimmer of hope that they are ready to be effective pitchers this season.
When it comes to raw stuff, visions of a staff ace floated through our heads for all three of these guys at one point or another. De La Rosa was darn close to one in his best Rockies seasons. Perhaps Chacin and Nicasio will still get there eventually. For now, each enters 2013 coming off of a distinct combination of ineffectiveness and injuries. None of them is ready to be an ace. But can’t all three of them pitch at the level of a solid #2 starter?
Is there any way that would be enough for a team that is loaded offensively?
Probably not, and the odds of all three enjoying healthy and productive seasons are quite slim. But consider how horrible the pitching was last year…having these guys get close to returning to form is a huge improvement. And yes, there is some hope to be gleaned from the fact that those steps in the right direction are coming in the final weeks of spring.