The Colorado Rockies signed starting pitcher Jon Garland to a one-year, $500,000 contract for the 2013 Major League Baseball season. This is certainly a legitimate gamble on a veteran who is capable of leading a baseball team.
Colorado desperately needed a veteran presence in the starting rotation considering most of the pitching candidates do not have much playing time under their belts as a starter. Garland should be able to take care of that, as the 12-year player will help bring the young talent up to speed.
“He profiles for us and the things we’re trying to do,” manager Walt Weiss told Rockies.com. “He’s a veteran and he’s got some stripes on his shoulder from his experiences in the game. There is some youth to our club, so he helps us from a stability standpoint. We’ll see how it goes.”
Garland has not appeared in the big leagues since 2011 when he posted a 1-5 record with a 4.33 earned run average and 28 strikeouts in nine starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers. A nagging shoulder injury was the main culprit for the meager numbers, and it was also the reason he was unable to pitch last season.
The 33-year old is known for getting ground balls consistently, which is something most managers like to see from their starting pitchers. Considering Garland will not be able to throw the heater as effectively as he used to, ground balls will have to be his best friend if he wants to be successful this year.
There is a decent chance Garland will not pan out, but the Rockies had to take a chance on improving their rotation anyway they could. The fact that the right-hander posted a 1-0 record with a 2.25 ERA and four strikeouts in four starts with the Seattle Mariners this spring should give the organization confidence in their decision.