The Colorado Rockies are in search for a new member of the rotation after the unexpected release of veteran right-hander Jhoulys Chacin. New general manager Jeff Bridich essentially payed Chacin roughly $1.35 million to drop him from the team. Now the question arises: should the Colorado Rockies consider Jon Gray to fill the void left by Chacin? My response: No, at least not for right now.
Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait for Jon Gray to take the hill at Coors Field, or any other field for that matter, donning the Rockies jersey. However, I don’t feel they need to rush the 23-year-old flame-thrower just yet. Mike Klis of The Denver Post issued his column the other day in favor of Colorado throwing the former University of Oklahoma ace onto the teams roster for Opening Day. Here is a little of what Klis said:
"Would the Rockies send Gray down to the minor leagues, not only for more seasoning in Triple-A, but as an economic decision to delay the start of his clock ticking toward free agency five years down the road? That is a move Colorado makes only if the franchise doesn’t give a hoot about Gonzalez and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, whose window of opportunity to bring the playoffs back to Coors Field is quickly closing."
He makes an interesting point regarding Gray’s ETA. Personally, I believe Gray should make a couple of starts in Triple-A just to get into the rhythm of things. On the other hand, Gray has been impressive thus far in Cactus League play. In five games (two starts), Gray has given up just three earned runs on 11 hits through 13.0 innings pitched. Gray is currently 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA, with hitters hitting just .224 against him.
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If Gray makes the Major League roster come Opening Day, so be it. I will be thrilled nonetheless but I hope it doesn’t come back to bite Colorado. Gray has all of the tools necessiary to be a top pitcher in today’s game, something Colorado definitely needs.
Tyler Matzek provided a glimmer of hope last season during his rookie campaign while Eddie Butler made his first Major League start. Not to mention the stellar pitching from veteran Jorge De La Rosa. Colorado has some good pieces, including veterans Kyle Kendrick and Jordan Lyles, but they should look to give Gray a little seasoning in Triple-A before making his first Major League start.