On Sunday the Colorado Rockies brought clarity to their pitching situation. They signed veteran right handed starter Jon Garland, who will presumably be inserted into the back of the rotation (although manager Walt Weiss says he needs to see him pitch first). They then sent a number of young rotation candidates to the minor leagues as part of a series of roster moves.
When he was healthy last season, Christian Friedrich looked like he was ready for a Major League rotation. He did struggle mightily at home, but one still cannot help but wonder if a healthy spring would have equaled a spot in the rotation for the lefty. In the minor leagues Friedrich needs to continue to develop and show he can still healthy. Joining him will be Tyler Chatwood and Josh Outman, two pitchers acquired in trades one year ago. For Chatwood this seems to be a concession that he was not ready last year. The Rockies traded for him to be a starter and he needs to keep refining himself into one. Finally there is Outman, who seemed to be penciled into a spot in the bullpen from the start this spring. It will be interesting to see if his minor league time is in the interest of developing him as a starter or as a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen. With the carnival that is maintaining a pitching staff, Outman will make an appearance with the Rockies sooner rather than later once the season starts.
The Rockies also sent outfielder Charlie Blackmon down, despite a productive spring. The problem, once again, was Blackmon’s health. He is also the victim of circumstance, as the Rockies are already struggling to find playing time for a 5th outfielder with Eric Young Jr.; there simply isn’t a spot for Blackmon. For now the man they call ChuckNazty will have to wait once again for an opportunity with the big league club.
Here are the rest of the players sent down Sunday: Charlie Culberson, Rob Scahill, Ben Paulsen, Gustavo Molina, and Corey Dickerson. Of that group, Culberson probably joins Blackmon as the players most likely to see a call-up this year. For either of them to be up right away would take an injury, so in that sense, here is hoping we do not see them in the purple pinstripes for a little while.
One long week left until Opening Day 2013…