There are not many other ways to put this, and I’m going to be straight forward with it. The Colorado Rockies rotation heading into 2013 looks pretty terrible.
I’m sorry, but they might have the worst starting rotation in the league. Jhoulys Chacin is possibly the ace of the rotation, and has yet to post a winning record in his four years in the Major Leagues. Following him is Jorge De La Rosa, who I can honestly say is a mystery to me. We get to the veteran Jeff Francis, whose days are completely past him. The final two guys are two youngsters, in Juan Nicasio and Drew Pomeranz, who are too young to judge.
Jhoulys Chacin has a little bit of upside to him, and Rockies.com has him listed as the number one pitcher in the rotation. He is at a young age of 25, and has a good bit of experience underneath him already. He holds a mediocre career record of 23-31, but his career ERA of 3.68 is pretty decent.
The Opening Day starter hasn’t been announced yet, but I’m 99% sure it will be either Chacin or De La Rosa.
Jorge De La Rosa was injured for the majority of 2012, and only pitched three games in the Major Leagues. He posted an ERA around ten in those three games, and lost two of the three games he started. He could be a decent backend starter in a lot of rotations, but when it comes to him pitching out of the second spot, or being the ace for that matter, something is wrong. He did win 16 games in 2009 and posted an average ERA of 4.38. He’s starting to get up there in age as a 31 year old, but you still have to look at him as one of the Rockies best starting pitchers heading into 2013, which is kind of embarrassing.
Jeff Francis was a stud for the Rockies a little over five seasons ago, but his days as a good starting pitcher are just about over. From 2005-2007, he won 44 games, but that was at the prime of his career and he’s aging big time. He hasn’t posted a winning record since 2007, and lost 16 games in 2011. He won’t be horrible in 2013, but if your a Rockies fan who gets excited when you see him on the mound at any point, you are being way too generous.
Juan Nicasio has had trouble staying healthy over the past couple seasons, and health is a big issue heading into 2013. If he can stay healthy, the 26-year old doesn’t have the stuff to be a dominate pitcher, but could stand his ground at the backend of the rotation. He’s nothing special, but at the end of the year Rockies fans might like him more than Francis and De La Rosa.
The fifth and final starter in the rotation, Drew Pomeranz, has the build to be a power pitcher. I see a potential future ahead of him, and at the age of 24 he has a chance to be the teams ace one day. He did go 2-9 last season, which is why he’s slated in the fifth spot, but at the build of 6’5″, 240 pounds, Pomeranz could become a powerful guy to face on the mound.
I was hoping the Rockies would pick up the phone and make a call on a couple of free agents, or trade candidates, but it doesn’t look like they’re going to. I wrote an article a week and a half ago about the possibility they pick up a starting pitcher, for those who would like to take a look at it. Kyle Lohse is one of the few decent starting pitchers still available in free agency, and that would be a dream come true for a lot of Rockies fans. He’s most likely out of the Rockies reach, which is why I mentioned in that article that the Rockies should look into either Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, or Ted Lilly of the Los Angeles Dodgers. They would have to be acquired via trade, and I think the Rockies have the proper pieces to get something together.
I sound negative judging all of these guys, but the Rockies rotation is looking pretty poor going into 2013. The offense could be very good, with a healthy Troy Tulowitzki, but with a starting rotation like this you can’t expect too much from the team as a whole. None of these guys would break the 1-2-3 spot in a lot of the leagues rotations. It’s a big disadvantage to be a pitcher in Coors Field, but all of these guys are looking at average to below average seasons ahead of them.
The Opening Day starter, as I mentioned, hasn’t been released yet, but expect it to be either Chacin or De La Rosa. If there’s one thing Rockies fans should be excited about in 2013 though, it’s that they don’t have to deal with Jeremy Guthrie anymore.