Saturday Rockpile: Who starts Sunday?

Tyler Chatwood has been scratched from his start Sunday, creating quite the conundrum for the Rockies. - Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Searching for a starting pitcher in the Rockies' final game of the season.

With Tyler Chatwood scratched from his Sunday start, the identity of the starting pitcher for the Rockies' final game of the 2013 season remains a mystery.

We know three starters that won't pitch, as Jhoulys Chacin, Collin McHugh and Juan Nicasio will not be on sufficient rest. Also, Jorge De La Rosa has been shut down for the season, so he is not a possibility, either, which makes four possible candidates out of the discussion before it even begins.

There is always the possibility of calling up a promising young pitcher such as Eddie Butler or Tyler Matzek to make the start, a la Ubaldo Jimenez in 2006, but I don't think the club wants to be that aggressive with its prospects and anyone in that mold may not have pitched in a while anyway, so that option is likely a no go.

That brings us to the (mostly) veteran options that have been pitching out of the bullpen, specifically Chad Bettis, Jeff Francis, Jeff Manship and Roy Oswalt, though Manship likely removed himself from the conversation by throwing 52 pitches last night.

Bettis has had the most success of the three, but has already thrown 106 innings between the majors and minors this season and is likely on an innings limit coming back from an injury that kept him out of action in 2012. Add that to the fact that he hasn't thrown more than 48 pitches in an outing since September 2, and he's likely out of the mix. Francis likely won't start for a similar reason, not having started in the majors since June 18.

That leaves Roy Oswalt, who can have one last hurrah before he calls it a career and started as recently as last Thursday. Whether or not he would be effective is somewhat beside the point as the game will be essentially meaningless, so my bet is that Oswalt gets the start tomorrow afternoon in the season finale.

LINKS

Minor League Ball Top 75 Prospects: End of Season Update - Minor League Ball
Three Rockies farmhands appear on Minor League Ball's end-of-season prospects list.

Renck: Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez likely to return - Denver Post
Worry not, Rockies fans, Troy Renck says both Tulo and CarGo are likely to return to the Rockies in 2014, despite rumors to the contrary.

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