DENVER, CO - JUNE 09: Starting pitcher Jeff Francis #26 of the Colorado Rockies delivers against the Los Angeles Angels during Interleague Play at Coors Field on June 9, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. Francis collected the loss as the Angels defeated the Rockies 11-5. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Troy Renck's right when he writes that the rotation only needs to be ordinary for the Rockies to win many more games. The question on many Rockies fans' minds is if the young pitching on the team has enough talent to get to ordinary. I'm somewhat firmly in the camp that it does, I see Christian Friedrich's emergence this season as an example of how patience will eventually pay off with a young core of pitchers. By 2013, more pitchers currently in the stable of arms ought to be ready to join Friedrich in effectiveness, but the team needs several to pop at once. One at a time will be too slow in development to get the Rockies back on track. So, what I'm looking for by the end of the summer is either Juan Nicasio or Alex White to get to that level. Friedrich isn't that great himself, but the team's 4-2 record in his starts this season is an indication of what Renck's talking about how ordinary should be all that's needed with a balanced offense.
Troy Tulowitzki is recovering and might be ready to return when he's eligible to come off the disabled list Friday, but I wouldn't count on it. While the shortstop will push himself, the Rockies are less likely to risk their prized player in a season that's already turned fairly ugly.
The Rockies' Esmil Rogers was designated for assignment to make room for Jeff Francis yesterday, albeit it's still unclear what the Rockies ultimately intend for the RHP. The move gives the team a week to decide whether to put Rogers on waivers to try and send him to AAA (he could get claimed by another club before then,) or ten days to decide between trading or releasing him outright.
More draft signing news after the jump
Rockies 11th round pick T.J. Oakes officially signed with the Rockies last night, according to his Twitter account. A Minnesota report indicates that he was to sign for $100,000 plus the cost of finishing his degree. Added to the news that Oregon outfielder Aaron Jones will likely also be signing with the Rockies, it indicates that the Rockies focused more on signability in 2012 than they did with the 2011 draft, albeit without sacrificing much in the level of talent targeted.
Oakes reaches 94 mph with his fastball and was the top rated collegiate prospect from the state of Minnesota according to Baseball America, second overall in the state to HS pitcher Mitch Brown. Oakes will report to the Rockies Tri-City affiliate in Pasco, where he'll join several other 2012 draftees:
RHP Justin Arrowood, a 28th-round draft pick out of Appalachian State; RHP Andrew Brown, a 23rd-round draft pick out of the University of Akron (Ohio); RHP Shane Broyles, a 14th-round pick out of Texas Tech; 2B Patrick Hutchison, a 29th-round pick out of Fresno State; and SS Alec Mehrten, a 25th-rounder out of Fresno Pacific (Calif.).
That link above mentions four members of the Tri-City rotation, Roberto Padilla, Peter Tago, Josh Slaats and Ben Hughes. I'm guessing that Oakes will now round it out.