The Colorado Rockies’ Search For Starting Pitching: Now What?


As the Minnesota Twins continue to add pitchers that the Rockies might have maybe had interest in at one point or another, the underwhelming list of pitchers who might ride into the Mile High City to save the rotation help keep the rotation afloat shrinks by the day. Kevin Correia? Gone (to the Twins). Mike Pelfrey? Gone (to the Twins). Vance “the Vanimal” Worley? Gone (to the Twins).

Hochevar might be a trade target for a number of teams. Image: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not just me and the fact that I moved back and forth between Colorado and Minnesota the last 8 years. There’s some weird connection happening between these two franchises. I still believe that at one point the Twins had a model the Rockies could have followed to success, and that they tried as recently as last season with the signing of Michael Cuddyer to do things that worked for the Twins. Now both teams are in dire need of starting pitching. The Twins have been hyper-proactive in their efforts to rebuild their rotation; the Rockies have, to this point, sat on their hands and pushed their hopes that “young pitchers will develop.” As of now, it remains to be seen which path will be better.

So now what for the Rockies? The phase where they could have been proactive has passed, but that does not mean they cannot add some help. As of now any starting pitching would seemingly come in the form of a trade. Two names are worth mentioning at this point.

The Detroit Tigers will make Rick Porcello available now that they delivered truckloads of money to Anibal Sanchez. Super beat writer Troy Renck notes that the Rockies have what would perhaps best be described as a passing interest in Porcello. Would he be a good fit? At age 23, he is a kid. He would bring a measure of experience to the other youth on the Rockies staff as he just completed his 4th season in the big leagues. He has won double digit games the last three seasons and he did so in the American League. I like his 53.2% groundball percentage. Put him in the National League West, even with Coors Field, and he is probably a nice upgrade. But he would cost the Rockies in terms of a trade package and in arbitration…therefore, it probably is not realistic.

The other name would be the former number one pick on the Kansas City Royals: Luke Hochevar.

Please note the verbage there: the Royals called the Rockies. The Rockies…who had an almost-historically-bad starting rotation this past season, as they presumably explore every single possible venue for upgrades this offseason, with white erase boards packed with names of possible targets, lists of names strewn about every corner of their office, spreadsheets and databases of options through which to carefully sift…did not call the Royals. The Royals called them. So besides Hochevar’s enigmatic career and frightening tendency to give up the long ball, let’s just stop our pursuit of him at that, eh?

The search continues.