Moscoso Pitches Into the Mix in 5th Starter Sweepstakes
This is Owen Perkins, blogging in place of Thomas Harding from March 12-16.
On a night when fifth starter candidate Alex White‘s stock was roughed up by a four-inning four-run outing, Guillermo Moscoso made sure he remained a vital part of the mix of legitimate candidates for the Rockies rotation.
Moscoso pitched three scoreless relief innings of one-hit ball while striking out three as the Rockies fell to the Reds 4-3 Friday night. He was the bright light on a night when little went the Rockies way.
“He was very impressive,” manager Jim Tracy said. “He pounded the strike zone with all his pitches. His arm angle was tremendous, and he drove the ball down in the strike zone and commanded his breaking stuff. When you do that, the swings are different. I’ll obviously be wanting to see more of Guillermo Moscoso, for sure.”
Among the positives in Moscoso’s resume are his big league experience (34 appearances over parts of three seaons), his age (28), and his versatility having pithced out of the ‘pen in nearly 1/3 of his games in the Majors. He was 8-10 with Oakland last year, posting a 3.38 ERA in 23 games spanning 128 innings.
“As far as I’m concerned, it goes beyond just what you see in Spring Training,” Tracy pointed out. “This guy pitched succesffuly for the Oakland A’s last year, and you have to take that into consideration from the standpoint that when the bright lights come on, this guy’s not fazed by that. He has some history behind him pitching in Major League games.”
Tracy has made no secret of his desire to leave Spring Training with a bullpen arm capable of starting, and that dynamic could play heavily into who ends up landing the last spot in the rotation and who is seen as a pitcher who can help the club in relief while having the ability to make spot starts or plug into the starting staff should a need arise.
“How do we look from a starting rotation standpoint?” Tracy asked himself as fireworks boomed over Goodyear Park. “Those [candidates] that aren’t [ultimately in the rotation], how does that fit the mold of our bullpen? Can they fit in our bullpen?”
The first four spots in the rotaton should be filled by Jeremy Guthrie, Jhoulys Chacin, Drew Pomeranz, and Juan Nicascio, barring setbacks.
Here’s a quick glance at the top candidates for the 5th slot:
- Tyler Chatwood, 22, Cactus: 3.86, 2 games/7 innings; 2011: 6-11, 4.75, 142 innings with Angels
- Guillermo Moscos0,28, Cactus: 4.50, 3 games/8 innings; 2011: 8-10, 3.38, 128 innings with A’s
- Jamie Moyer, 49, Cactus: 1.80, 2 games/5 innings; 2011: injured; 2010: 9-9, 4.84, 111 2/3 innings with Phillies
- Alex White,23, Cactus: 6.00, 3 games/9 innings; 2011: 3-4, 7.01, 51 1/3 innings with Indians and Rockies
Thomas Harding will be back on the beat Saturday, March 17th. Welcome back to the Cactus League!