The Colorado Rockies shook up their pitching rotation yesterday, sending Juan Nicasio down to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Nicasio has not pitched well this season, especially as of late. Starting with his start on May 30, Nicasio has had an ERA of 7.39 and a 0-3 record since. Unfortunately, he has simply not been as effective since suffering his horrific injury in August of 2011 when he was struck in the head by a line drive. Nicasio’s ERA since that time has been more than a full run higher than it was in the time before his injury.
In his place, the Colorado Rockies have summoned Drew Pomeranz. If you have read my articles in the past, then you already know that I’m all for giving Pomeranz another shot at the major league level. He will be getting the start on Sunday against the San Francisco Giants. The Rockies gave up a lot to get Pomeranz, and it’s about time to find out what they have in him. It’s not as if Pomeranz hasn’t earned his shot at the big leagues. He was 8-1 at Colorado Springs and is averaging 10.09 strikeouts per nine innings.
However, the Rockies may not have made the smartest move in sending Nicasio down to Triple-A. The team has seemed more and more committed recently to developing their own young pitching talent, and it seems to be working. Tyler Chatwood has become one of the better pitchers on the team this season and Jhoulys Chacin gets more reliable with each start. The future seems to be bright as well, with pitching prospects like Jonathan Gray, Eddie Butler and Tyler Matzek due to come up over the next few seasons.
While Nicasio is struggling, his career is not finished by any means. He is just 26 years old, and he still has the potential to be a key cog of the rotation in the future if he can get back to the form he showed as a rookie.
You know whose career is finished though? Roy Oswalt, that’s who. Oswalt has not pitched any better than Nicasio (technically, he’s been worse; his 7.36 ERA proves it) and he most definitely is not a piece of the puzzle long-term. The Rockies would have been better served releasing or trading Oswalt instead of sending down Nicasio.
The team is heading in the right direction by calling up Pomeranz. But they should have committed fully to the youth movement in their pitching staff rather than hanging on to the aging Oswalt.