Wednesday and Thursday featured the organizational debut of Drew Pomerantz, the key piece from the Cleveland Indians in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade. Thursday night, his counterpart from Cleveland Alex White went out and threw an absolute gem against the Midland Rockhounds. Both Pomeranz and White threw shutouts (with a little help from their pen). Ultimately, White allowed 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 hit batter, while striking out 4.
I'd say that's the kind of coming out party these two studs needed to get the fans on their side.
When you lose a pitcher like Ubaldo Jimenez, the players you get back need to perform, and fast, if the team wants to mitigate some of the PR damage from trading away the fan favorite.
Thus far, Pomeranz has held up his end of the bargain. 7 innings of 2-hit, shutout ball definitely makes for an impressive organizational debut.
White's debut was only an inning long, and he allowed 3 runs, but since then he has yet to let a runner cross the plate. 15 innings of 7-hit shutout ball. Word is that White is scheduled for one more rehab start, in Colorado Springs this time, but after watching him pitch against the Rockhounds, I see no point in wasting his or the organization's time in keeping him in the minors. White gave up some decent contact to the Midland bats, but for the majority of the game, White was just toying with this lineup.
Juggle the rotation a bit if need be, but let's get White up into the major league rotation. Demote Esmil Rogers to the bullpen, permanently. No, the current MLB pitching depth isn't the greatest, but continuing to go back-and-forth with Rogers isn't giving him any time to settle in a spot and stay there. We've heard from countless evaluations that Rogers doesn't conceal the ball well enough, that hitters pick up on his stuff too well, and that his repertoire just isn't good enough to get him by as a starter. So slate him in as the 6th/7th inning guy, and just go an inning at a time. Don't move him back to the rotation, period. If you need a spot start, use Reynolds or Mortensen, regardless of how inauspicious their recent work has been.
This sets the rotation (for now) up as Chacin, Cook, White, Hammel, Millwood. After a couple more starts in Tulsa for Pomeranz, give him a start or two in the Majors in September.
Should things go well, this has a rotation going forward of Chacin-White-Pomeranz-Hammel-Cook/Millwood/Other Veteran Starter. Move up to Mid-May 2012, and we can probably slot in Jorge De La Rosa. This is all, of course, discounting Juan Nicasio's recovery efforts. Can you imagine an unpolished rotation of Chacin-White-Pomeranz-Nicasio-Hammel with Christian Friedrich en route and promises of Tyler Anderson, Tyler Matzek, Chad Bettis, and who knows, maybe down the line someone like Johendi Jiminian? Folks, this is just the best the Rockies' pitching depth has ever been.
Rob Neyer of Baseball Nation has rediscovered what all of us have known since 1995. It's almost adorable, seeing baseball writers discover Coors Field for the first time or visit again for a refresher. The sights! The Mountain Views! The LoDo Decoration! The Tournadoughs! Ah, it makes me smile to read other people falling in love with the park that's captivated our hearts since Dante Bichette buried a 14th inning fastball in the bleachers.
So thank you, Rob, and welcome to the fold.
And that's another thing, people discovering the Rockpile. $4 a seat. That's right. Love it.
This is kind of interesting. Jason Giambi is still a trade candidate for August, meaning he'd have to clear waivers before he can be traded to another team. Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Rockies haven't even put him on waivers yet, suggesting that there's not really a trade in the works right now. Even if Giambi were to be traded, the door would more than likely remain open for him to return in 2012, regardless of whether or not it would be a smart roster decision.
My opinion? Keep Giambi for all eternity.
In the event that you missed it on Thursday, Mike Jacobs has been suspended for 50 games for testing positive for HGH in violation of MiLB's drug policy. The Rockies subsequently released him. Jacobs is the first failed HGH test in North American Sports - that is, MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA, etc.