Starting Pitching-enough already!
The consistent refrain from Rockies fans after the Cuddyer signing is that the Rockies now have to acquire (trade is by far the most likely as FA starting pitchers won’t sign on at Coors Field) more starting pitching to be successful in 2012. I am not so sure about that, although I do acknowledge the time tested and often used baseball adage that you can never have too much pitching.
As it stands today (and this could easily change), I think your 2012 Rockies Opening Day rotation looks like:
1. Chacin, 2. Pomeranz, 3. Slowey, 4. Nicasio, and 5. Hammel.
While there is no established ace in that group and each pitcher is a slot or two above where you would ideally like to see them in the starting rotation, they each have the ability and some history to perform adequately for at least a few months.
Now if you fast forward to July 31, 2012 (the trade deadline), by then the Rockies should have DLR, White, Chatwood and Gardner ready to seriously challenge Slowey, Nicasio and Hammel for their positions in the starting rotation. In addition Bettis, Cabrera and Friedrich could also be in a position by then to make the jump to the MLB – long shots yes but Nicasio proved last year that it can be done.
That leaves the G Reynolds, Mortensen, Scahill and Houston type pitchers to provide some organizational depth that MLB clubs need at various points during the year, however relying on those type of pitchers to take regular turns in the starting rotation is probably not ideal (see 2011).
So if all goes well and getting some positive injury and recovery luck, the starting rotation at the end of 2012 heading into 2013 should look like this:
1. DLR, 2. Chacin, 3. Pomeranz, 4. Nicasio, and 5. White – with Hammel, Slowey, Chatwood and the new rookies (Gardner, Bettis, Cabrera and Frierich) fighting like heck to break into that group. Not too bad at all, very young, talented and most importantly cost controlled.
For me the bott0m line is that I don’t want to see an older and expensive Pavano or Cook type pitcher taking innings away from these young pitchers that really need MLB experience to get better for 2013 and beyond (older and cheep like Millwood would probably be ok, however).
So maybe the Rockies have enough pitching already, if we can just be patient just a few months longer?