Thursday Rockpile: Jamie Moyer is old and crafty, Josh Outman's elbow feels young.

The Rockies have a slew of interesting candidates to fill up the bottom of their rotation, and a couple of them drew notice in news items yesterday:

Jamie Moyer has been teaching Tyler Chatwood and other Rockies pitchers how to operate the daguerreotype camera for team photos and the importance of getting three hands in an inning to keep aces off the board. Also apparently some archaic and rarely used baseball hitting style called "bunting". Hopefully Moyer has an ability to pass on his Jedi pitching tricks to the younger generation.

A pitcher who already heard the geezer's old stories half a decade ago when he was with the Phillies organization, Josh Outman says that he finally feels fully recovered from his Tommy John surgery over two years ago, and says he too is ready to compete for the Rockies rotation. The pitcher said he felt fully healthy in 2011 but wasn't able to regain his prior pitching effectiveness until the end of the season. You can look back one year ago to find articles about Outman feeling confident that he'd compete for the A's rotation with that full health, but pitching at the MLB level isn't quite like riding a bicycle and there's some re-training involved after a major surgery like that. Whether 2012 proves to be Outman's breakout or not, this will be an important lesson to be aware of in a few months when Jorge De La Rosa is ready to re-take the mound. Having a fully healthy elbow will only be the first step in the recovery process.


Rafael Betancourt says that last year he was pitching too quickly and would like to slow the game down a little as he takes the regular closer's role in 2012...

Okay, so he didn't say that. He'll instead not change anything. Joey Nowak has that note and one on Nolan Arenado's not rushing to the MLB. This is how I think it's going to play out with Arenado. First, based on his strong finish to 2011, including his performance in the Arizona Fall League, I strongly suspect that he's actually MLB ready right now. Any work in AA and AAA will only be useful to soothe doubters in the organization and save money, and not actually be of much benefit to Arenado developmentally, certainly not as much benefit as facing MLB pitching would be to him. Having him train on MLB pitchers sooner will hasten the arrival of his peak and allow it to last longer. Barring injury, I'm guessing 30 games in AA, about one month (plus whatever he shows in ST) will be all it will take to convince enough Rockies front office types of this.

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