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Thoughts on Greg Reynolds and Why I'm Glad He Got the Call

Ubaldo Jimenez hits the DL. Everyone's immediate reaction is "crappppppppp" - and well deserved, too. After his Opening Day shelling, fan confidence took a quick shot, despite reports that it was a small, temporary issue.

Greg Reynolds gets the call to take Ubaldo's place. The immediate reaction is still "crapppppppp" - but this time, I don't think it's as much deserved.

Reynolds himself is an interesting illustration of how the Rockies' depth has improved since 2008, when Reynolds gave up 4 runs (2HR) over 5.2IP while striking out 1 and walking 2 in his major league debut.

Reynolds' debut came because All-Star Mark Redman had just been demoted to Colorado Springs after being entirely terrible in the 2008 rotation. If you forgot, this is the rotation that included Aaron Cook, Ubaldo Jimenez, Jorge De La Rosa, Franklin Morales, and some semblance of Jeff Francis. Morales was demoted after 5 starts for being terrible. Francis was hurt. Cook and Jimenez actually had good seasons, and DLR began his ascent to being "good", but overall, pitching was something the Rockies were NOT proud of.

You see, the REASON Reynolds got the call is because they had absolutely nobody viable to come up and make a passable major league start. Seriously, nobody. If you forgot, this is the team that had Valerio de los Santos of Sultanes de Monterrey fame make 2 starts. Zero viable depth. 

So the Rockies rushed Reynolds' stunted development and threw him in the majors for 62 ill-fated innings. There's some who might say that it wouldn't have made a difference had they NOT called him up, he'd still have been as ineffective, but there's no denying that Reynolds wasn't ready. I don't BLAME the organization, per se, but it did show a certain level of unpreparedness.

But here's why I'm glad Reynolds is getting the call: Christian Friedrich is not ready either. He's close, sure, but so was Reynolds. The team has the depth right now in the forms of Reynolds, Maine (sort of), Eric Stults, Clayton Mortensen, and Billy Buckner. Your immediate reaction is "Well those guys all suck" - well, sure they do, but these guys have pitched in the majors. They know what to expect, and if they get shelled, frankly, I wouldn't care all that much (outside of the obvious frustration coming from a loss). That's what they're there for - taking innings from injured MLB pitchers so that A. the MLB pitcher doesn't further hurt himself working through it; B. So a top prospect isn't called up way before he's ready and get his head screwed with if he doesn't dominate.

Look at it this way: It sucks that Ubaldo is hitting the DL, but I'd rather him rest and get that finger healthy than pitch ineffectively through it (even further destroying fan confidence); It sucks that Greg Reynolds is being forced back into the rotation, but I'd rather it be him than Juan Nicasio or Christian Friedrich.

Another way to put it: Greg Reynolds is getting the call so that the organization doesn't have to screw up Christian Friedrich like they did Greg Reynolds.