Deduno has Rockies considering the possibilities

Righty prospect Samuel Deduno, the Texas League Pitcher of the Year at Double-A Tulsa, held the D-backs to one unearned run and one hit in two innings, and struck out three, in Sunday’s 4-1 Rockies victory.

Having seen Deduno in an intrasquad game and now against the D-backs, facing mostly Major League regulars, Tracy is considering Deduno’s future.

Deduno has what has been called the best curveball of anyone in the Rockies’ organizations, Major Leagues included. But Sunday he showed more Sunday.

“I saw some bad swings at his fastball,” pitching coach Bob Apodaca noted.

Deduno also showed a changeup for a couple pitches, but right now it’s his No. 3 pitch.

Tracy mused Sunday that it’s possible Deduno’s future could be in relief, where he can use the fastball and curve and not have as much need for the changeup. Of course, it all depends on command — a career-long issue for Deduno, who missed 2008 because of elbow surgery but came back dominant.

Deduno is slated for the Triple-A Colorado Springs starting rotation to start the season, but at his age (27 on July 2) it’s hard to believe the Rockies won’t take the earliest opportunity to see what he can do. Tracy said maybe the bullpen is the best opportunity, given the nastiness of his pitches and the depth the Rockies have in their rotation.

“Where does he end up being best suited, and what is the most sensible thing for the young man as far as his career and where it is that he fits the best for the Colorado Rockies?” Tracy said. “It’s a combination of the two, because he has electric stuff.

“You have to allow this to grow and see how it goes. Is it later-in-the-game-type stuff if it ends up being in the bullpen? Absolutely. But the reliability comes into play. Are yout going to throw it over? If you’re going to walk them with nine outs or less to go in the game and we’re going to set the stage for the other team to beat us, that won’t work.”

Tracy said no decisions have been made, since the Rockies are waiting to see how Deduno completes his development.

“I like relieving, I like starting, anything — it doesn’t matter,” Deduno said.


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