The Colorado Rockies were 16 games under .500 and had given up the most runs in baseball, by a lot, so they tried something different.
The experiment: A four-man starting rotation with each starter on a 75 pitch limit. After the pitch limit is reached, the Rockies turn the ball over to a set of longer relievers to ease the strain on a bullpen and rotation that’s been affected by injury. In the final innings they go to their set-up men and closer.
“I felt we had to do something non-conventional,” Tracy told the Denver Post. “I was given the opportunity to tweak this. We are going to see what transpires as we move forward.”
Though it wasn’t announced until Wednesday, the plan essentially began on Tuesday when Josh Outman was lifted after 72 pitches.
Last night, the first official night of the experiment, starting pitcher Alex White was taken out after exactly 75 pitches and Jeremy Guthrie, now in the bullpen, pitched three scoreless innings of relief. They also plan on using former starter Guillermo Moscoso in relief and will turn Josh Roenicke, a reliever, into a starter.
The Rockies still lost 7-6, but it’s refreshing to see a new approach for a team that’s struggling so mightily anyway.
Will any other team adopt this? Probably not. But it’ll sure be fun to watch while the team tries it.
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