It has already been 19 days since Ubaldo Jimenez was traded to the Cleveland Indians. Just recently the “Player to be Named Later” that everyone knew to be Drew Pomeranz was made official on Monday and he is now in the Colorado Rockies organization. Alex White was the other prospect dealt to Colorado from Cleveland in the trade (along with two others) and he is expected to make his debut with the Rockies in the near future.
First, for those that are curious, Ubaldo has pitched pretty much the same in Cleveland as he had in 2011 with the Rockies. In his first start with the Tribe he lasted five innings and gave up five runs on seven hits against the baseball pounding Texas Rangers. In his next start he faced the Detroit Tigers and lasted eight innings, didn’t allow a single earned run (three unearned) while striking out six and walking only one. In that start against Detroit Ubaldo earned his first win in the American League. In his most recent outing against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday Ubaldo was lit up for five runs (four earned) in 4 2/3 innings of work. It took him 105 pitches to get through those 4 2/3 innings as he allowed nine hits and one walk.
Ubaldo now has 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings of work with the Cleveland Indians. His ERA was 4.46 when the Rockies made the trade. Who knows, maybe Rockies fans will look back on this trade in a few years and see it as a win. Three starts with the Indians is about 30 too few to make a call like that yet, but so far it doesn’t appear Ubaldo will get back to the Ubaldo from the first half of 2010.
As for the newly acquired Rockies farmhands Pomeranz made his debut with the Tulsa Drillers last night. The Drillers are the AA franchise for the Colorado Rockies and they played the Midland Rockhounds in Tulsa last night. It was Pomeranz’s first game since being traded on July 30th (he has been throwing side sessions but had not appeared in a game as he was officially, unofficially traded).
Pomeranz came out dealing as he had a perfect game through six innings. No walks and no hits for the Rockhounds in 19 plate appearances. In the seventh inning the Rockhounds recorded two hits after the first out was recorded but neither scored. It only took Pomeranz 78 pitches to get through his seven innings of work; really good considering most pitchers want to toss between 12-15 pitches per inning, tops. After his four strikeout no walk performance Pomeranz now has 116 strikeouts versus only 38 walks in A+ and AA ball with the Indians and Rockies. Exactly the kind of performance the Rockies were hoping for. Even though it is only AA ball that sort of dominance and efficiency is what made Pomeranz the fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft.
The other arm the Rockies received in return, and expect a lot out of in the very near future, is White. White already has three big league appearances with the Indians and was on the DL recently and is rehabbing in the minor leagues for the Rockies. White is also in Tulsa and will make the start for the Drillers tonight. Depending on how his start looks tonight and how his arm responds will determine if he joins the Rockies after tonight’s start or makes one more before heading to Coors Field.
In three starts with the Drillers White has tossed 8 2/3 innings with a 3.12 ERA. His inning count is low because he has been on strict pitch counts. His first game was limited to 30 pitches
and the Rockies slowly increased that limit with each successive outing. It is not entirely clear how the Rockies will use White when he does arrive with the team. Ideally he develops a really good pitch to go with his fastball and sinker and ends up in the Rockies rotation. Initially Rockies fans should expect to see him come out of the bullpen with a chance to earn a rotation spot in 2012.
Neither of these guys will save the Rockies in 2011 but both are part of big plans for the Rockies in 2012 and beyond.