Colorado Rockies Move to Four-Man Rotation, 75 Pitch Limit

By Derek Kessinger

Colorado Rockies Manager Jim Tracy called his number one starting pitcher into his office in the Philadelphia Phillies park and told him he would no longer be in the rotation and was to report to the bullpen. That pitcher, Jeremy Guthrie, is on the trading block without a proper suitor. He was the Rockies’ Opening Day pitcher, but was the last man standing on a team with an ERA for starting pitchers higher than any in history.

The unorthodox rotation of a 25-41 team with a sub-400 winning percentage is not about to win a World Series, but will it cut down a starting rotation that has been a travesty? The Rockies starters’ ERA is 6.37, which is much higher than the highest starter ERA of all time, the 1930 Philadelphia Phillies. The second highest team ERA this year belongs to the Minnesota Twins. Rockies pitchers also have only 13 wins, the lowest in the majors.

The Colorado Rockies have rolled out ten different starters this season, but Guthrie represented the last of the Opening Day starters. The Rockies lost Juan Nicasio, Drew Pomeranz and Jhoulys Chacin to injury. They lost Jamie Moyer to age. Their four-man rotation now includes Alex White, Christian Fredrich and Josh Outman, who are all effectively rookies, with Jeff Francis rounding out the rotation. Guthrie’s move to the bullpen is until they can find an effective trade for the man they traded Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom for, a disastrous trade.

Through two games of the Rockies’ experiment, the Rockies have lost both, moving the mark to losing 11 out of 12 games. Josh Outman pitched only 73 pitches in four and a third innings giving up four runs. In his start last night, Alex White made it three and two thirds innings, giving up four runs. He was pulled at 75 pitches and the lead. Matt Reynolds came in and gave up a run. New reliever Jeremy Guthrie did pitch three hitless innings, but the Rockies didn’t recover.

A desperate team will try anything. The Colorado Rockies are 16 games out of first place and on pace for 102 losses as of now. They are a desperate team, but the new rotation will not win the Rockies more games. It will wear out a bullpen that has been a highlight for a team without a shot. Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki are both hurt and the Rockies are sinking in altitude.

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