Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Rockies Pick Up Jose Contreras For The Stretch Run

Just before the deadline to add players to a 40-man roster so that they can be eligible for the postseason, the Rockies struck a deal with the White Sox for pitcher Jose Contreras.

In return, the Rockies shipped Triple-A pitcher Brandon Hynick to the White Sox. Hynick had an ERA under 4.00 in Colorado Springs and made headlines with his June 30th perfect game, the first in Sky Sox history.

Contreras originally defected from Cuba to play with the New York Yankees, where he had a fair amount of success, going 7-2 as a rookie in 18 games. He has been with the White Sox since the middle of the 2004 season.

The righty has struggled this season, going 5-13 with a 5.42 ERA in 21 games, all starts.

The move gives the Rockies an experienced arm who can be used in the starting rotation while Aaron Cook recovers from his shoulder injury, which is anticipated to happen sometime around the middle of September.

While the move comes with scrutiny from fans, it is really not a bad pick up for the Rockies.

Although Hynick threw a perfect game in Triple-A, he projected more as a middle reliever at the Major League level. His fastball rarely touched 90 MPH and he depended on hitting location. In the minors he would be able to get away with missing location from time to time, but at the big league level he will need to refine his location in order to avoid being on the wrong end of a blow out.

While Contreras has struggled throughout '09, he gives the Rockies an alternative to starting Josh Fogg one more time, who struggled in his only start against the Dodgers on Wednesday. The other options besides Fogg were Russ Ortiz, signed to a Minor League deal, or a rookie from Colorado Springs.

Ortiz has had success in the big leagues, but has struggled since his 21 win season in 2003. In Colorado Springs he has had success, followed by failure. At this point, he is probably not a dependable option for what the Rockies are looking for.

If Contreras can give the Rockies three good outings, being good enough to keep them in the game long enough for the lineup to score some runs, the move will be a good one.

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