Eddie Butler making his case for the Rockies starting rotation


Flashback to June 6th, 2014: Eddie Butler makes his Major League debut for the Colorado Rockies. It was a rough one, might I add. Butler gave up a lead-off triple to Dee Gordon, who would come around to score on an RBI ground out via Hanley Ramirez. The very next inning, Butler gave up a single to Andre Either, followed by an RBI double by Drew Butera to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. Butler finished his evening giving up 10 hits, six runs-six earned, three walks, and two strikeouts over 5.1 innings pitched.

Fast-forward to March 26, 2015: Eddie Butler is making a strong case for the Rockies rotation. Butler has been effective in getting the key double-play thus far in Spring Training. On March 20th against the Oakland Athletics, Butler showed poise with Brett Lawrie at the dish. On a 2-1 pitch, Butler induced a 6-3 double-play, getting Lawrie to roll over on a two-seam fastball on the outside corner.

Now, skip ahead to top half of the fourth inning with a runner on first with one out. Butler finds himself ahead in the count against Joey Wendle, throwing him a 0-1 fastball. Wendle, like Lawrie, rolled over on a two-seam fastball which resulted in an inning ending double-play. D.J. LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki make that look pretty, don’t they?

Back to Butler. The Radford product is likely pitching himself into the Rockies rotation. With Colorado releasing veteran pitcher Jhoulys Chacin and Jorge De La Rosa likely to land on the disabled-list with a nagging groin, Colorado is in need of two players to fill the void.

Butler has appeared in four Spring Training games thus far, starting just two of them. The 6’2″, 180 pound righty currently supports a record of 1-2, with an ERA of 2.63. Over 13.2 innings, Butler has surrendered 13 hits, four runs-four earned, walking three, and striking out eight. Earned run average isn’t something to worry about during Spring Training, unless it is egregious. Butler has made key pitches to get batters out in tough situations, which is deserving of landing a spot in the rotation.

Colorado has other candidates as well, such as top prospect Jon Gray, David Hale (currently battling an oblique injury), and Christian Bergman. I would advise Rockies fans not to get to upset if Gray doesn’t crack the Opening Day roster, simply due to the fact Colorado would like to have another year of service from Gray. Bergman is a guy who I believe Colorado will have featured in the starting rotation to start the season.

Weigh-in Rockies fans, do you want to see Eddie Butler crack Colorado’s opening day roster?