The Colorado Rockies are going to have four new starting pitchers in the rotation in 2012, compared to the opening day rotation in 2011 and that is a good thing. Here is a look at how the Rockies’ starting rotation looks as of right now:
#1: Jhoulys Chacin: 24-year old righty Jhoulys Chacin will be the Rockies’ top starter in 2012. He pitched in 31 games (all starts) for the Rockies last year and he was 11-14 with a 3.62 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. Chacin has now pitched in 68 games (53 starts) in his first three years with the Rockies and he is 20-26 with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. I look for Chacin to have a breakout year in 2012 for the Rockies.
#2: Jeremy Guthrie: 32-year old righty Jeremy Guthrie will likely step right in as the Rockies’ #2 starter in 2012. He pitched in 34 games (32 starts) for the Orioles last year and he was 9-17 with a 4.33 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. Guthrie has pitched in 177 games (154 starts) in his first 8 years in the majors and he is 47-65 with a 4.19 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. When evaluating Guthrie, you have to remember that he played on some really lousy teams in Baltimore and it was the reason for his poor win/loss record. Guthrie has good stuff, and I look for him to gain confidence due to pitching on a better team in 2012.
#3, #4 and #5: Tyler Chatwood: 22-year old righty starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood came to the Rockies in a deal with the Angels over the winter. He pitched in 27 games (25 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 6-11 with a 4.75 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. If Chatwood improves his control, the Rockies are going to really benefit as Chatwood has a nice upside.
Guillermo Moscoso: 28-year old righty starting pitcher Guillermo Moscoso came to the Rockies in a deal with the A’s over the winter. He pitched in 23 games (21 starts) for the A’s last year and he was 8-10 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. Moscoso has now pitched in 34 games (21 starts) in his first three years in the majors and he is 8-10 with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. He is almost a lock to make the Rockies’ rotation in 2012.
Drew Pomeranz: 23-year old lefty Drew Pomeranz came to the Rockies in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal with the Indians last July. He pitched in 4 games (all starts) for the Rockies last year in his first taste of the majors and he was 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. Pomeranz also pitched in 20 games (all starts) in A+AA-ball last year and he was 4-3 with a 1.78 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. He likely has the inside track on winning the #5 job in the Rockies’ rotation this spring.
Jamie Moyer: 49-year old lefty Jamie Moyer is trying to make a comeback after missing last year due to Tommy John Surgery. Moyer last pitched in the majors in 2010 with the Phillies. Moyer has pitched in 686 games (628 starts) in his first 24 years in the majors and he is 267-204 with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. Scouts are reporting that Moyer is throwing the ball better than ever, so he’s going to have a good chance to winning a job in the Rockies’ rotation this spring. I have learned in the past to never count Moyer out.
Alex White: 23-year old righty Alex White was also part of the return (along with Drew Pomeranz) for Ubaldo Jimenez last July in the trade with the Indians. He pitched in 7 games (all starts) for the Rockies last year (his first taste of the majors) and he was 2-4 with a 8.42 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP. He pitched in 10 games (all starts) overall with the Rockies & Indians and he is 3-4 with a 7.01 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP. White also pitched in 8 games (all starts) in AA+AAA-ball last year and he was 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. White has a huge upside, but he will likely start the 2012 season in the minors unless he has a huge spring.
Jorge De La Rosa: 30-year old lefty Jorge De La Rosa is going to get off to a late start to 2012 as he continues to rehab from Tommy John Surgery. He is likely to return to action around June of 2012. De La Rosa pitched in 10 games (all starts) for the Rockies last year and he was 5-2 with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. He has now pitched in 91 games (85 starts) in his first four years with the Rockies and he is 39-26 with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. De La Rosa has now pitched in 188 games (126 starts) in his first 8 years in the majors and he is 54-49 with a 4.90 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. The Rockies need De La Rosa to be 100% when he returns to action, so they aren’t going to rush him.
Juan Nicasio: 25-year old righty Juan Nicasio pitched well for the Rockies in his first taste of the majors until he was hit in the neck with a line drive that ended his 2011 season. He pitched in 13 games (all starts) for the Rockies last year and he was 4-4 with a 4.14 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Nicasio also pitched in 9 games (all starts) in AA-ball last year and he was 5-1 with a 2.22 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. The Rockies are going to really watch Nicasio to make sure he’s 100% healthy before he gets another chance to pitch.
PROJECTED GRADE OF THE STARTING ROTATION IN 2012: B