The Coors Effect

July 7, 2009 9:22 AM

Morales back; Flores optioned out

With the bullpen being generally bad, it was generally accepted that it wouldn't be long before the Rockies would make a move.  That move came after last night's game (a masterful performance by All-Star and MLB wins leader Jason Marquis), when the Rockies recalled Franklin Morales from AAA and sent out Randy Flores.

We assume that Morales will be used in relief for now, though Jorge de la Rosa has to be looking over his shoulder.  De la Rosa has gone 5-1 since the start of June, albeit with a 4.67 ERA -- largely the result of a horrific outing against Tampa Bay on June 16; ignore the obligatory Bad Jorge appearance and he's got a 3.06 ERA.  The generally good performance has held Morales back in AAA, but with the bullpen scuffling, the Rockies needed a pitcher wherever they could get one.

With his big fastball, Morales profiles pretty well for the 'pen, but it's a matter of time before he's back in the rotation.  No opening has presented itself, though, as Jorge continues to pitch just well enough to keep his rotation spot and the two Jasons have been surprisingly good.

Still, the Rockies have too many holes in the bullpen, and assuming that Morales takes on a swingman role, this means Alan Embree remains the lefty specialist despite the fact that lefties are hitting .350 against him.  The Rockies have three live-armed pitchers in AA -- Esmil Rogers, Samuel Deduno, and Jhoulys Chacin -- who could get a shot in the bullpen sooner or later.  The Rockies have high hopes for Chacin as a starter, and he's not on the 40-man, so the Rockies are unlikely to convert him to relief; but Rogers and Deduno, who are already on the 40-man roster, could be realistic options if the Rockies don't want to trade away a bat for relief help.  Ryan Mattheus, currently in AAA, is another option the Rockies might consider.

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