Today the Rockies acquired Kevin Slowey from the Minnesota Twins for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Here are the pitchers, who could start, as listed on the 40-man roster page on the Colorado Rockies website as of December 6th: Jhoulys Chacin, Tyler Chatwood, Jorge De La Rosa, Christian Friedrich, Jason Hammel, Clayton Mortensen, Juan Nicasio, Drew Pomeranz, Esmil Rogers, Alex White and Slowey.
Who is Kevin Slowey
Slowey is a right hand pitcher who has started 90 big league baseball games, all for the Minnesota Twins. He has never thrown more than 161 innings in any season and has a career WHIP close to 1.3. His career ERA+ (90), ERA (4.66) and FIP (4.24) suggest he is, at best, an average pitcher. About 30% of his batted balls result in ground balls and his best K/9 rate was 7.4 in 2009. He doesn’t profile as the kind of pitcher you want at Coors Field (ground balls and strikeouts).
It is hard to find a pitcher who is ideal for Coors Field, however, because any pitcher who generates a lot of ground balls and strikes out a lot of batters is ideal for any ballpark. Just that at Coors Field the ground balls are even more important because of the vast outfield and the tendency of the light air in Denver to allow more home runs.
Minnesota obviously doesn’t think too highly of Slowey if they were willing to deal him for some player yet to be determined. They were too picky who they got in return.
Who starts for the Rockies
First, they are not done dealing. I am sure there will be a few more arms added to their roster before Spring Training. But with the current group listed above, who starts?
It is safe to rule out Mortensen. While he did make a few appearances as a starter in 2011 they were due to serious injury issues on the Rockies staff.
Chacin and Hammel are probably the only two slam dunk starters for the Rockies in April of 2012.
De La Rosa will certainly start for the team in 2012 but might not be ready until June.
Friedrich, White and Pomeranz are the young group and Pomeranz is probably the most likely “lock” out of this trio for the rotation in 2012 based on his pedigree and the fact that he was the top get in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade.
Nicasio is making unbelievable progress after the horrific scene last year in which he was hit in the head by a line drive. He is already close to pitching to live batters and by all indications he could easily be ready to pitch come March. If so, it looks like he will be in the rotation to start the year.
That leaves Rogers and Slowey, both capable of starting and both capable of allowing four or five runs per start.
I think the rotation, as of right now, would have to be: Chacin, Hammel, Slowey, Nicasio and Pomeranz. And talk about fluid situations; I could easily see Rogers grab a spot in the rotation and White, too. I believe Friedrich will get another year of AA ball.
Depending on how the season plays out, when DLR returns maybe we see Hammel take a seat in the bullpen permanently? With the way his season started and ended in 2011 I don’t think he is a lock for the rotation all year.
There are still plenty of rumors swirling around Huston Street and Ian Stewart and both could be swapped for a pitcher, so more to come.