27-year old lefty stepped up last season for the Rockies and he became the ace they thought he would. He started 34 games for the Rockies last season and he was 17-9 with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. Look for Francis to build off his success of last season as he will have another solid year in 2008.
29-year old righty Aaron Cook will be the #2 starter for the Rockies this season and they need him to stay healthy. He started 25 games for the Rockies last season and he was 8-7 with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. He has the potential to win 12-15 games if he can just make all of his starts in 2008.
24-year old righty Ubaldo Jimenez has big time potential as he has pure nasty stuff. He started 15 games for the Rockies last season and he was 4-4 with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. Jimenez has not had a lot of success in his minor league career so the Rockies will have to be careful with him.
22-year old, flame throwing lefty Franklin Morales won the #4 starting job in spring training. He probably has the most upside on this pitching staff. He started 8 games down the stretch for the Rockies last season and he was 3-2 with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. As long as he throws strikes he will be really effective in 2008.
34-year old lefty Mark Redman won the #5 starting job in spring training. He pitched in 11 games (8 starts) last season for the Braves & Rockies and he was 2-4 with a 7.62 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP. But, he was much better with the Rockies at the end of last season as he pitched in 5 games (3 starts) for them and he was 2-0 with a 3.20 ERA.
31-year old righty Kip Wells will be the first pitcher from the bullpen to join the starting rotation if the Rockies have some trouble. He pitched in 34 games (26 starts) for the Cardinals last season and he was 7-17 with a 5.70 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. He has much better stuff than his record indicated.
26-year old righty Taylor Buchholz will start the season in the bullpen but he has been a starting pitcher his whole career so he may move into the rotation at some point in the season. He pitched in 41 games (8 starts) for the Rockies last season and he was 6-5 with a 4.23 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.
26-year old righty Jason Hirsh will start the season in the minors but he will be up at some point this season for the Rockies. He started 19 games for the Rockies last season and he was 5-7 with a 4.81 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C