While all signs point to Roy Oswalt joining the team this week, most likely Thursday against the Nationals, the question remains: whose place will he take. The guesses range from Corpas to Scahill, Nicasio to Francis. While there is no shortage of pitchers needing a “refresher course”, few can help themselves as much as those on the bubble. Both Francis and Nicasio are barely hanging on to their starting jobs and each will pitch over the next two nights.
Tonight Francis will take the mound against previous Rockies starter Esmil Rogers. When Rogers pitched at Coors he seemed better suited for the bullpen with his effectiveness deteriorating as the game went on. He quit fooling hitters and started feeding them right around the third time through the lineup. Hopefully tonight will adhere to the same game-plan for young Mr. Rogers, now that the Rockies are on the receiving end of some nice batting practice fast balls right around the fifth inning.
Francis, on the other hand, has been pretty much hittable regardless of the inning. One can only hope his return to his native country of Canada will spark some sort of pitching pride in him and give that extra push he needs to get back on track. If he can find the excellent command he showed in Spring Training, and the Home Opener, then he might be safe. Tonight could be his last chance to prove himself, but it would be unlikely the team would dismiss him outright should he perform horribly. Given the Rockies absolute loyalty (to a fault) with players and management in the past, the “Francis Experiment” most likely will continue past Toronto. Not a bad thing if he can get things together. Heaven knows the Rockies are replete with pitchers needing refresher courses (Lopez, Scahill, Nicasio, etc.)
The lineup looks vaguely Sunday 2012 like with the absence of Tulo and Fowler. Fowler was having a difficult time gripping the bat in Monday’s game and is resting his bunt-bruised hand. Rutledge, who has struggled all year, leads off with Jordan expected to move him over should he see the base-paths at any point.
FIRST PITCH: 7:07 pm
WEATHER: 66° and mostly sunny
TV: Root | RADIO: 850 KOA
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