The Ubaldo Jimenez trade did not work out for anyone. Drew Pomeranz and Alex White never panned out for the Rockies, and Jimenez was not the ace the Indians thought he was going to be. The former Rockies ace’s struggles in Cleveland made it easy for the Rockies to trade Pomeranz this week.
Give the Rockies front office triumvirate of Dick Monfort, Bill Geivett and Dan O’Dowd credit for getting value out of their struggling pitcher. It was surprising to find out the Rockies received Brett Anderson in return for Pomeranz.
Anderson did a good job for the Athletics. He posted a 3.81 ERA in 81 games he pitched in his career, and he had a 2.57 ERA in 2012. He won 11 games in 2009 for the A’s, and he was the A’s Opening Day starter this past season. His record does not stand out, but let’s remember he also pitched with no run support with the A’s.
The Athletics starter gets hitters out by throwing sliders, fastballs and curveballs, and he’s also a sinkerball pitcher. There’s no question he is the Rockies’ third best starter. He provides depth for the Rockies’ starting rotation, and Juan Nicasio can be the fifth starter rather than be a fourth starter.
Of course, there’s a catch with Anderson. He hasn’t pitched more than 112 innings since 2009, and he has been injury-prone in recent years with arm problems. He is coming off an injury last season, which he suffered a stress fracture in his right foot.
Beggars can’t be choosers, though. This was the best the Rockies could do in getting something in return for Pomeranz. There were no teams willing to take a chance on the Rockies’ struggling starter. That itself is remarkable the Rockies found a suitor to take an unwanted player from their roster.
It would have been interesting if the Rockies would trade Pomeranz if Jimenez flourished in Cleveland. Odds are good they wouldn’t since they need to validate that Jimenez trade by exercising patience with the struggling starter.
Pomeranz had to be traded. He was a headcase in which he let his struggles and Coors Field get the best of him. He had a hard time throwing strikes, and he was constantly behind the count. He did not have the body language of wanting to be on the mound when he was out there. He was beaten down.
There comes a time a baseball team should say “No Mas!” on a player. That was the case with Pomeranz. It wasn’t going to happen for him.
The Rockies did not help their cause by having too many pitching coaches telling Pomeranz how to pitch. It’s called overcoaching. It got to the point he was worn down by so many advices. Also, there was probably lack of trust and understand with him and the coaches.
Deep down, the Rockies knew this was not going to work. They did the smart thing rather than compounding the problem by keeping Pomeranz around. If he does well in Oakland, so be it.
Pomeranz has to be happy that he is out of Colorado. He wanted a change of scenery for his own sanity. He will get a chance to show he is not a bad pitcher by pitching at a pitcher’s park. A new start is what he needs to jumpstart a career.
There won’t be guarantees he will make the major league roster. Considering the Athletics have enough depth of starters, he will be hard-pressed to start. He is going to have to reinvent himself as a reliever. That might be the best thing for him when one realizes he can’t go deep in games.
There’s no question the failed Rockies starter should be fortunate someone wants him after being a flop as a Rockie. It will be interesting how he pans out in Oakland. One thing about the A’s is they get results out of their pitchers, so maybe they know something about him that they can fix. For his sake, he has to hope that’s the case.
This closes the chapter of a failed trade by the Rockies, and there’s no doubt critics will hold this against O’Dowd when they evaluate his
Thankfully for O’Dowd and his staff, they can say no harm no foul.
Contact or follow Leslie Monteiro at @LightRodWriter