DENVER, CO - AUGUST 14: Starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood #32 of the Colorado Rockies delivers against the Milwaukee Brewers at Coors Field on August 14, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. Chatwood earned the win as the Rockies defeated the Brewers 8-6. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The evolution of the Rockies "four" man rotation:
June 24: Alex White, Jeff Francis, Christian Friedrich, Edwar Cabrera, Josh Outman
June 29: Jeff Francis, Christian Friedrich, Drew Pomeranz, Josh Outman
July 3: Jeff Francis, Jeremy Guthrie, Christian Friedrich, Drew Pomeranz
July 21: Jeff Francis, Christian Friedrich, Jonathan Sanchez, Edwar Cabrera
July 25: Jeff Francis, Drew Pomeranz, Christian Friedrich, Jonathan Sanchez
July 31: Jeff Francis, Drew Pomeranz, Alex White, Jonathan Sanchez
*August 4: Jeff Francis, Tyler Chatwood, Drew Pomeranz, Alex White
August 13: Jeff Francis, Tyler Chatwood, Guillermo Moscoso, Alex White
August 17: Jeff Francis, Tyler Chatwood, Drew Pomeranz, Alex White, Jhoulys Chacin
ERA's as Rockies starters
Pitchers in italics above who are no longer a part of the rotation:
- Christian Friedrich 6.17
- Jeremy Guthrie 6.66
- Josh Outman 8.89
- Jonathan Sanchez 9.53
- Guillermo Moscoso 10.80
- Edwar Cabrera 11.12
vs. those that are:
- Tyler Chatwood 3.42
- Jhoulys Chacin 4.85
- Drew Pomeranz 5.13
- Jeff Francis 5.44
- Alex White 5.58
So the basic points this morning would be 1) that Tyler Chatwood really needs to be part of this rotation next season, and 2) the reason the Rockies vomited monkey chunks earlier in the four man rotation experiment was that they had some really, really vomit worthy pitchers in the rotation at the time. But like the day after a night spent at a toilet spewing bad seafood, we're feeling marginally better about things this morning.
I have a star by August 4th as I'd point to that date, the morning after Jonathan Sanchez, and the beginning of the first cycle that would include Chatwood as the day the Rockies rotation got better. The pitching staff has had a 4.16 ERA since excising themselves of Sanchez, with only the one blip of Moscosoitis since to show that they were ever sick in the first place. For comparison, between June 20 and August 3, the Rockies team ERA was 5.56. In fact, since the Rockies adjusted to a five man "four man rotation" on the 17th of August by adding Chacin, the ERA is even better at 3.25. I really don't know if that's saying anything more than having the one two punch of Chatwood and Chacin has given the team a solid pitching top for the rotation, with Pomeranz, Francis and White being the stable floor.
Unfortunately, the talk from the press has been to move Chatwood to the pen as one of the team's piggyback pitchers next season, but I think that would be a mistake. Let Pomeranz, White and Juan Nicasio duke it out for the last four man slot, but right now, I would think Chatwood's solid performance in a starting role to date should give him a leg up those three for next year's staff.
Denver Post links:
Troy Renck writes that the Rockies need to be up front with position players about the four man - I'm not sure that they haven't been. This has been a pretty public switch as far as I can tell.
Bill Geivett has a complicated role in a complicated organization.