Starting pitching has been a concern for the Colorado Rockies during their eight game losing streak that ended last night.
The starting pitching has only gone 37 innings and allowed 42 earned runs during the losing streak, or an ERA of an alarming 10.22 (and that was after two good starts by Jeff Hoffman and Kyle Freeland in which their ERA combined was 4.26). The streak showed that Colorado’s starting staff isn’t immortal. They will need to acquire a veteran starter before the July 31st trade deadline. Who are the most practical candidates to become a member of the Rockies rotation?
The St. Louis Cardinals are 38-41 in the first half of the season, good enough for 3rd place behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central by 3.5 games. When they sell, Lance Lynn will be one of the players that will be shopped. He’s 6-5 with a 3.90 ERA in 16 starts this season. In Coors Field, he has a 2.84 ERA in four starts and 25 1/3 innings pitched. The Rockies might not be as interested in Lynn, though, since he is a free-agent after this season. He would help the starting pitching staff, though, especially with his postseason experience.
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The San Francisco Giants have been, surprisingly, atrocious in 2017 with a 31-51 start to the season, the second worst record in the NL so they will shop Johnny Cueto at the deadline. He’s 6-7 with a 4.26 ERA this season, both of which are not as good as Cueto’s norm. He has also pitched well in Coors Field as he has a 3.43 in seven starts in Colorado. Cueto has an opt-out clause after this season but if he doesn’t exercise it, he would be signed through the 2021 season for a little over $80 million
The Chicago White Sox have shopped Quintana forever and since they are in last place, it will finally happen. He hasn’t pitched as well in 2017 with a 4.37 ERA (his career high is 3.76 in his rookie year, 2012). However, he has only allowed six earned runs in his past five starts (30 1/3 innings). He’s under control through next season but he has two team options for 2019 and 2020. With both options, the Rockies would have him for the next three seasons with a little over 30 million owed to him so they would have starting pitching help for years to come.
The Rockies will acquire a veteran to help their starting pitching before the trade deadline and none of these three would be bad acquisitions. However, Jose Quintana would be the best option for the Rockies to acquire at the trade deadline with the team friendly contract and his track-record.