Drew Pomeranz And The Dreaded Eye Test


Drew Pomeranz got shelled Saturday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Some of it was self-imposed, as Pomeranz issued five walks. The rest of the punishment was administered by the Arizona lineup. The result was an ugly line for Pomeranz: four innings, five earned runs and 93 pitches to get there. After two bad starts his ERA sits at 9.72. As for the game, he set the Rockies on their way to an 11-1 loss.

Pomeranz. Image: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

At the moment Pomeranz joins Juan Nicasio, Roy Oswalt, and Jeff Francis as the starting pitchers who have taken the ugliest beatings for the Rockies this season. Still, of that entire group, I have the highest hopes for Pomeranz.

Why? The dreaded eye test.

I know, I know. To say something like, “he just looks like a stud starting pitcher” is to subject one’s self to derision and other forms of abuse. That kind of talk is not allowed, lest you be associated with the scene in Moneyball where the scouts shoot down a prospect because he doesn’t look like a ball player or has an ugly girlfriend.

Knowing that, I cannot shake the visual of a Drew Pomeranz fastball on the outside corner. Granted, last night that was a rare sight as Pomeranz labored through his outing. But when Pomeranz, a tall, imposing left-handed pitcher, reaches back and throws one 94 mph and it goes where it is supposed to go, you understand why he was a first round pick and why he makes baseball fans and coaches alike salivate.

Pomeranz looks like a stud pitcher. He has not pitched like one yet; as such I imagine there is little to no statistical support at this point to support the argument that he is anywhere near being a competent starting pitcher, let alone an ace. So yes, it’s the eye test, but when you see a well-executed fastball or snappy curve ball from Pomeranz, you can imagine that the Rockies’ coaches are going to give him a lot of chances to get it right.

There are moments when you see why, even on a night like this. Even on a really, really ugly night like last night’s blowout loss there are those moments. Let’s just hope that the Rockies, in desperate need of help in the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation, see more consistent signs of Pomeranz’s talent soon.