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Saturday Rockpile: Brief Thoughts On Jon Garland

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On the day he makes his Rockies debut, some thoughts about the team's new No. 5 starter.

Jon Garland will make his first start in a Rockies uniform tonight against the San Diego Padres. Garland enters the game with a 4.05 career ERA at Coors Field.
Jon Garland will make his first start in a Rockies uniform tonight against the San Diego Padres. Garland enters the game with a 4.05 career ERA at Coors Field.
USA TODAY Sports

I wasn't around to react myself or read much of anyone else's reaction to the Rockies' signing of Jon Garland, so here are some of my brief views on him:

I actually really liked the addition of Garland to the roster, especially considering the price tag. At $500,000 for a base salary, Garland essentially presented the organization with a no-risk option if they felt Drew Pomeranz and Christian Friedrich would be best suited to a minor league role to start 2013.

Throughout his career, the 33-year-old has been right around a league-average pitcher fairly consistently, with his 4.32 career ERA being slightly better than his career FIP. He also -- unlike, say, Jeremy Guthrie -- comes to the Rockies with a fairly recent record of success at Coors Field. In three starts at Coors, all coming in 2009 and 2010. He has posted a 4.05 ERA in the Rockies' home park, walking five and striking out 14 in 20 innings. He has also put up good numbers against the Rockies' four NL West opponents, compiling a 3.86 ERA against them in 154 career innings.

The obvious caveat with Garland is injury. He had surgery to repair a torn labrum in 2011, but is apparently throwing pain free now. It remains to be seen whether he can recapture his pre-injury form, something that should be easier to do for a pitcher such as Garland, who relies more on good location and a mix of pitches than pure stuff.

I'm not expecting Garland to light the world on fire, I don't think anyone is, but the Rockies could do much worse than him at the back of their rotation.

Plenty of Opening Day reflection from the Denver Post in the links.

LINKS:

Kiszla: Blake Street ballpark has power back
Even Mark Kiszla couldn't find anything bad to say after yesterday's opener, so he wrote a fairly glowing review of the Rockies offense in 2013.

Rockies' Dexter Fowler off to slugging start with third home run
Here are some notes from the Post about Opening Day, starting with Dexter Fowler's early-season power surge.

Renck: Troy Tulowitzki picks Jay-Z for walk-up song; Here's list of Rockies' tunes
Ah, the annual list of walk-up songs, one of my favorite parts of a new baseball season. If you look up the first line of Tulo's selection, you'll see why he chose it for 2013.

Saunders: Young Sr. and Young Jr. at heart of Rockies' 20th anniversary
Finally, a piece from Patrick Saunders on the only father-son duo to ever wear a Rockies uniform.