The Rockies have made a big shift to the starting rotation, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The Rockies will call up former All Star Roy Oswalt to start on Thursday, June 20th against the Washington Nationals. In a corresponding move, Jeff Francis will be removed from the roster, although whether he’ll be released, DFA’d, or traded is yet to be known.
Francis, 32, has been nothing short of terrible this season. The soft-tossing lefty has posted a bloated 6.58 ERA on the season to go along with a 2-5 record and a 43/17 K/BB rate in 11 starts spanning 52 innings. While the lefty has posted an unusually high strikeout rate (7.44 K/9 compared to a career 5.95 mark) he has posted a far worse innings per start number (4.72) than his career mark (5.75) and has been worth -0.7 Wins Above Replacement this season.
His replacement, Oswalt, struggled in Texas last year, his first season in the American League. The 35 year old posted a career-worst 5.80 ERA (compared to his career mark of 3.28) to go along with a record of 4-3. He started his tenure with the Rangers as a starter, starting 9 games for them, but was used as a reliever for his final 8 appearances of the season. So far in the Rockies’ AA affiliate, he has gone 3-2 with a 2.16 ERA in 5 starts. It will be interesting to see how he handles himself in hitter-friendly Coors Field.
If Oswalt can resemble the 3 time All Star that he once was, he will be a big help to the Rockies’ rotation, which is 20th in baseball with a 4.11 cumulative ERA.