Watching Jeff Francis pitch so solidly against AZ makes me happy, if he can finish the season on a hot streak it should give him a needed boost of confidence headed into 2006. Right now our rotation looks to be very solid and quite affordable for next year with far fewer question marks than we faced going into this season, the end of 2005 on the other hand is a little more tricky. Zach Day's season ending thumb injury gives Rox Girl fave Mike Esposito his first crack at starting in the bigs plus the slow recovery for BK forces Jamey Wright back into the rotation for one more time this season.
Esposito takes control of his big-league future Wednesday.
Obviously with the way we've touted him here we're hoping Esposito does well in his tryout, but objectively I have to admit that there isn't a lot of evidence to support this hope. For one, Espy didn't have the strong second half in the Springs we expected, and in fact faltered a little down the stretch of the Sky Sox' season leaving some doubt as to whether or not he's ready for primetime. His changeup is still developing and he's going to have to rely on that as an out pitch at the big league level. Change-up oriented pitchers have had mixed success as Rockies, and without the nasty sinker some of our current pitchers have, Esposito has to find other ways to keep his pitches from going deep the other way at Coors. In his minor league career he has been generally effective at preventing the homerun ball, and at keeping his walks down, but his last few starts in the Springs showed a little regression in those two stats. Hopefully the time off from the end of the Sky Sox' season has served him well and he can give us reason to be optimistic about filling the fifth starter's spot from within for '06.
Clint Hurdle, from the above linked Notes article by Daniel Blank on the official Rockies site:
Jamey Wright, on the other hand, appears to have only a couple of weeks left in stay number two as a Rockie. Hurdle's statements and a couple from earlier in the season by Dan O' Dowd make it fairly clear the team doesn't see itself pursuing Jamey in the offseason, it's only a matter of how we part with him that's in doubt, and whether the team will take a chance by offering arbitration to get some sort of compensation should he sign elsewhere. Knowing other teams -such as the Giants- do have interest in Wright makes me think we should extend an arbitration offer to him, particularly if he qualifies as a Type A free agent. A good start will help pad his stats to make this happen, so let's root for a complete game shutout with 20 or so K's for Jamey on Tuesday.