Evaluating the Talent: Alex White
Poor Alex White. It’s been a long time since anyone has been so very destroyed by Coors Field immediately upon arrival. It really wasn’t fair, either, because he had a ton of pressure on him. He was the first of the four players acquired in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade to debut in a Rockies uniform, so fans were expecting brilliance.
What we got, instead, was 7 starts with an average of less than 6 innings each. His 34 earned runs led to an ERA of nearly 9. He threw 5 wild pitches. His BB?9 rate was 4.0 And he gave up 12 home runs, an average of one every three innings. Ouch.
So what happened to White? Well, some speculate his injured finger wasn’t entirely rehabilitated before he came up to the big league club. Certainly the front office was eager to get him there, since the other marquee name in the trade, Drew Pomeranz, had substantially less minor league service time and certainly wasn’t ready. It was important to the Rockies to put White on the mound and show what he could do. But he showed that he really does need more time and development before he can be expected to start regularly.
It’s no secret that the Rockies’ rotation was basically depleted by mid-season, so a lot more was resting on White back then. Now, however, we’ve got pitchers coming out our ears, so the pressure’s come off a little bit. White will compete in camp for a rotation spot, but I think he’s unlikely to earn one. If he makes the squad, I see him being used primarily out of the bullpen to start. He will work his way back up and has great potential to be an excellent pitcher. I still think he and Pomeranz together will make the Ubaldo trade worth it. White needs some time, but the outlook is good.