Jim Tracy: Colorado Rockies Will Move to a Four-Man, 75-Pitch Limit Rotation
To no one’s surprise, the Colorado Rockies’ pitching staff is pretty terrible. Their 6.28 starter’s ERA is something that will turn any manager’s hair gray. Jim Tracy – Colorado’s manager – is fed up with the bad outings, and decided to implement a bizarre alternative. Jim Tracy is going old school (sorta) with a four-man rotation. Four-man rotations went out with denim vests, the pet rock, and George Michael CDs, so it’s surprising a manager would stoop this low to fix a struggling rotation.
Although the Rockies will only use four starting pitchers, they will be limited to 75 pitches.
The fantastic four will consist of Christian Friedrich (5.60 ERA), Jeff Francis (12.46 ERA), Alex White (5.56 ERA), and Josh Outman (8.44 ERA), with Jeremy Guthrie (7.02 ERA) moving to the bullpen. The only Rockies’ starter with a sub-five ERA was one of the pitchers acquired in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade – Drew Pomeranz – who had a 4.70 ERA in five starts before getting sent down to Triple-A.
It’s funny the Rockies are making this move because just a week ago I was talking to a friend about something very similar. I’ve always wanted to see how a team would perform pitching backwards. For example, start the game with your best reliever, and then manage the game accordingly from there on out.
That strategy would only work with a lights out bullpen, which is something the Rockies have. Well, in comparison to their starting rotation it’s lights out. Matt Belisle, Adam Ottavino, Rex Brothers, and Rafael Betancourt have all pitched well out of the Rockies’ bullpen. So why not stick with the four-man rotation, don’t limit the pitch counts, and use that fifth game to experiment with my radical theory?
Start Betancourt for two innings, use Ottavino for two more, then use Belisle and Brothers accordingly. Both Belisle and Brothers have starting experience, so they can handle the workload. If the Rockies use their best two pitchers to get four quality innings, the momentum might carry over throughout the game, giving them more victories.
Am I crazy? Probably. But if there was ever a chance for my insane theory to come into play, the 2012 Colorado Rockies would be the ones to use it.
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