Rockies Demote Guthrie, Shift To 4-Man Rotation

DENVER, CO: Starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie #15 of the Colorado Rockies reacts after giving up a solo home run to Cliff Pennington #2 of the Oakland Athletics in the third inning during Interleague Play at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Jeremy Guthrie has been absolutely terrible this season as a starter for the Rockies. So the Rockies have bumped him to the bullpen and gone to a four-man starting rotation.

The Colorado Rockies had the right idea when they traded for Jeremy Guthrie. They wanted a veteran, someone consistent they could trust, and they wanted an Opening Day starter. In Guthrie, they got an Opening Day starter. They also apparently got a pile of crap, as Guthrie posted a 7.02 ERA through 11 starts. Guthrie's strikeouts have gone down, his walks have gone up, his home runs have gone way up, and he's just been the opposite of what the Rockies needed.

So Tuesday, the Rockies made a decision.

An unconventional decision.

Manager Jim Tracy says this is basically an experiment, and they're using a 75-pitch limit on account of the rotation's rookies. The rotation, for now, reads:

Josh Outman
Alex White
Jeff Francis
Christian Friedrich

Juan Nicasio is on the disabled list with a knee strain. Jhoulys Chacin is on the disabled list with a nerve entrapment. (I don't know.) Drew Pomeranz is in the minors. The lowest ERA out of all of these guys is 4.70, belonging to Pomeranz, and then 5.28, belonging to Nicasio. Basically, the rotation has been a catastrophe. Going to four men and limiting pitch counts might not fix that, but it's something different, and something different had to be attempted.

The Rockies have allowed the most runs in baseball by 24. Some of that's the park, and some of that's the defense, but a lot of that's the pitching. This experiment will most certainly be interesting to monitor, for however long it lasts.

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