With space on their 40-man roster, the Colorado Rockies have signed Jon Garland, a right-handed starting pitcher from Seattle. The Mariners announced that Garland would not have a spot on their starting lineup, so the Rockies decided to take him.
There is already controversy out there about signing Garland. Some say he is not suited to do well at Coors Field, a pitcher's nightmare. Others say that if he does well, he can be extremely effective and take the Rockies to a new level. Regardless of what people say, anything is worth a try, at this point. The Colorado Rockies have simply not had a strong pitching rotation for a few years now.
The 33-year old pitcher has been sitting out for the last year and a half, recovering from shoulder surgery on his pitching arm. So far this spring, Garland has started four times and holds a 1-0 record with a 2.25 ERA. Specifically, he has pitched 12 innings, gave away 10 hits and five walks, and struck out four opponents.
Based on these numbers, it is clear that Jon Garland is not a flashy strike-out pitcher, potentially making it difficult for him to succeed at Coors Field. With the number of gaps in the outfield, what the Colorado Rockies really need are strikeout pitchers. As David Shoenfield observed on his blog, SweetSpot at espn.go.com, the Mile High team does not need any more ground-ball pitchers, but could sure use some who throw strikes.
It looks like Jon Garland will be in the starting rotation, bumping Drew Pomeranz to Colorado Springs for some practice time. Garland will join starters Juan Nicasio, Jorge de la Rosa, Jeff Francis, and +Jhoulys Chacin in the Colorado Rockies' pitching lineup.
In the last 13 years since Garland debuted in 2000, he has played with the Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Seattle Mariners. He has only been with the Mariners for this spring's training before signing with the Colorado Rockies. We'll see what Jon Garland is able to bring to a young pitching team.
There are still a few days left before the regular season starts up. It will be interesting to see what happens between now and then. As it stands now, Jhoulys Chacin will open the season for the Colorado Rockies on April 1st in Milwaukee, and Jeff Francis will pitch at Coors Field on April 5th, the Rockies' home opener against the San Diego Padres.
'Tis the season to really start thinking about the Colorado Rockies and baseball.