The Colorado Rockies designated Jon Garland for assignment on Saturday, giving the team ten days to either trade, release or demote him. As it turns out, it didn’t take them nearly that long to reach a decision. This tweet came from the Rockies official account just a few hours ago.
The move does not come as a huge shock. Garland was not very effective in his brief 68 inning stint with Colorado, putting up an ERA of 5.82 with a K/9 ratio of just 4.2. While the move wasn’t finalized until today, the writing has been on the wall for Garland for the last few weeks.
As was discussed in this post explaining Garland’s DFA on Saturday, it was an injury to Jeff Francis that opened up a spot in the starting rotation. That spot was filled by Tyler Chatwood, who has surprisingly become one of the best pitchers on the team since his call-up. With Francis coming off the disabled list on Saturday, the team decided Garland was the one who had to go.
It’s an encouraging sign for Rockies fans. Perhaps the lowest of all the lowlights during the 2012 season was the inexplicable decision to let Jamie Moyer make ten starts for the team at 49 years old. Make no mistake about it; Garland was a far better pitcher this year than Moyer was last year. But the fact that the Rockies were willing to let go of Garland indicates that the team may (finally) be trusting their young, in-house pitching options.
There’s a pretty good chance that Colorado’s rotation will change again before this season ends, either by choice or necessity. Francis hasn’t exactly pitched well this season, and both Jhoulys Chacin and Juan Nicasio have been maddeningly inconsistent.
But the mere fact that the team is more willing to use their young pitchers instead of trying to milk every last sour drop out of another pitcher on his way out is an indication of a pitching staff on the rise.