Vargas seeks fresh start with Rox
Uncertainty doesn’t compute with Rockies veteran right-handed pitcher Claudio Vargas, who is in camp on a Minor League contract.
In 2009, Vargas joined the Brewers in a deadline trade with the Dodgers and went 1-0 with a 1.78 ERA in 28 games as the primary right-handed setup man. Vargas parlayed that performance into a one-year, $900,000 contract with the Brewers.
Problem was the Brewers also signed LaTroy Hawkins to be the primary righty setup man. In a floating role, Vargas went 1-0 with a 7.32 ERA in 17 games before the Brewers released him on June 4. Vargas signed with the Dodgers and went to Triple-A Albuquerque, but went 2-6 with a 5.89 ERA in 10 starts and eventually was released.
“It was different for me,” said Vargas, who turns 32 on May 19. “Even when the season started, they never told me what role I was going to have. That’s hard when you don’t know when you’re going to pitch. It’s hard when one day you pitch when the game is one-run or tied, and the next day you pitch when the game is one-sided.
“This game is hard. You have to set up your mind like a computer.”
Realizing he’ll have to prove himself, Vargas went 4-1 with a 3.49 ERA in 16 games in the Dominican Winter League this past season. The performance earned him a shot with the Rockies.
Vargas said the Rockies were a good fit for him.
“They want to win, and they’re taking more veteran people,” he said. “I don’t say young guys can’t do the job. But they prefer somebody with experience on the mound. We’ll see what happens. I feel very good, and I know I’ll have a good spring.”
Commercial appeal for CarGo
This winter, Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was featured as part of Gillette’s “Young Guns.” Gonzalez spent the afternon and into the evening working through anotehr commercial shoot.