Friday Rockpile: Esmil Rogers Officially Named Fifth Starter, Depth Putting Pressure on Jose Lopez?

Esmil Rogers, who had been considered the leader for the spot for some time, was told yesterday that he will be beginning the season as the fifth starter for the Rockies this year. The move pushed John Maine to his projected AAA rotation spot as expected, while the organization appears to intend to give fellow competitor Greg Reynolds the final week of Spring to make a case for a bullpen spot. With the bullpen already crowded with both guaranteed and fringe candidates, a sudden conversion for Reynolds doesn't seem likely. I still fully expect him to join Maine in the Sky Sox rotation.

The Rockies will not need an official fifth starter until their first away series at Pittsburgh, making Rogers potentially available as a long relief option during the first two home series. Troy Renck's article below suggests that Rogers may get in one start with AAA before being called up, with Matt Daley or someone else filling in the bullpen during that timeframe.

Coverage of Rogers' selection:
Steve Foster of Inside the Rockies
Troy Renck of The Denver Post
Thomas Harding of MLB.com

Also check out the Harding link for some details on Jhoulys Chacin's inefficient but "impressive" start yesterday, and the ear infection that kept Jason Giambi out of yesterday's lineup.

Notes on Jose Lopez and some more links after the jump.

Off-Topic

Ken Rosenthal tweeted yesterday that the Rockies are open to trading Jose Lopez, as Jonathan Herrera and Ty Wigginton may provide enough depth at the position without him. So far, no serious ties to Lopez from outside have been established, but there could be a market for him at second base. Troy Renck responded with his own tweet explaining that the Rockies are open to the idea, but there is no urgency. Any Lopez move would open an extra 25 man roster spot for fringe candidates such as Eric Young Jr. or Willy Taveras.

Steve Foster comments on this story here.

Other bits of news:

Bob Nightengale of USA Today takes a look at Jorge De La Rosa

Jeff Zimmerman of Fangraphs takes a look at umpiring projections

Thomas Harding of MLB.com takes a look at Huston Street's health so far this Spring

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