Francis Makes Possible Last Start

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.

ROCKIES LINEUP

BLUE JAYS LINEUP

2. Jordan Pacheco (R) DH 2. Jose Bautista (R) RF
3. Carlos Gonzalez (L) LF 3. Edwin Encarnacion (R) 1B
4. Michael Cuddyer (R) RF 4. Adam Lind (L) DH
5. Wilin Rosario (R) C 5. Mark DeRosa (R) 3B
6. Todd Helton (L) 1B 6. Rajai Davis (R) CF
7. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B 7. J.P. Arencibia (R) C
8. Tyler Colvin (L) CF 8. Maicer Izturis (S) SS
9. Jonathan Herrera (S) SS 9. Emilio Bonifacio (S) 2B

FIRST PITCH: 7:07 pm

WEATHER: 66° and mostly sunny

TV: Root  |  RADIO: 850 KOA
 

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Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
7 years ago
Reply to  jaredean

JD, If you go back to the posts from when Rogers was let go for nothing, I was also very opposed to getting rid of him. You don’t give up on an arm like his so quickly and not get anything in return. The Rox got rid of him and added Francis to the roster last season. At the time they did this they were already in last place and about 15 games out, what purpose was there in doing… Read more »

egossage
egossage
7 years ago
Reply to  jaredean

My vote goes to Matt Lindstrom. We sure could use him now.

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
7 years ago
Reply to  egossage

And where is he pitching now?

egossage
egossage
7 years ago
Reply to  egossage

Cisco,

He’s pitching for the White Sox. Having a pretty decent season.

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
7 years ago

Nope … I also liked Rogers. It will be interesting to see what Rogers shows up tonight. He has 41 innings pitched with reasonable stats. He’s kind of been a jack of all trades. He definitely wants to be a starter. Personally, I think he would make a great closer. The problem is the mental makeup to be one. I was a little surprised by Francis starting tonight. But only a little. Before this past weekend I had heard not… Read more »

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
7 years ago
Reply to  jaredean

Yep … I knew yesterday was the opt out date. It seems that most assumed if he wasn’t called up within the time limits he would walk. That may or may not be the case. I think the Rockies have a good thing going with Oswalt.

Bill
Bill
7 years ago

I certainly hope that they finally bring up Oswalt with DP not far behind. Francis has had good outing a few times but mostly he’s pitched poorly. And Nicasio is a 5 inning pitcher. Come on management, ____ or get off the pot. Now that they are back on the road perhaps one less are in the bullpen and one more bat. Especially if Dex is still hurting and Todd is rarely hitting. And Ruteledge is not hitting well either.… Read more »

DRH
DRH
7 years ago

The Rocks have announced that Oswalt will start on Thursday. They’re waiting til Thursday to announce who will be sent down to AAA, or released. The MLB short article on their website speculates it will be either Francis (released) or Nicasio (to AAA), depending on how both do the next 2 nights.

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
7 years ago
Reply to  DRH

It was announced that Oswalt will wear his customary #44 which is currently worn by Nicasio. Hmm, read into that what you will.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
7 years ago

We are throwing away two games now, tonight and tomorrow. Then I love the SP for the Washington 4-game series. That is what we have been waiting for all year – Oswalt, Chatwood, Chacin, DLR. Hurry up DrewPo, get more efficient, and get up here. Then that will be the end of the Francis, Nicasio, Garland experiment for #3-#5 SPs. I suggest we move up Outman to the 8th inning and Belisle down to the 7th inning. Betancourt has started… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
7 years ago

Wow. This is how you perform with your job and maybe career on the line? Wow.

Miketober
Miketober
7 years ago

Esmil is throwing a no hitter (JINX!), but I think he’s getting the Mariano Rivera strike zone.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
7 years ago

I hope Jeff Francis is allowed to pitch a complete game regardless of how many runs he gives up just to save the bullpen. It doesn’t matter if Francis gave up just one run or many runs; all I know is that we will be shut out for the second straight game – ZERO runs over 18 innings to begin the road trip.

gary
gary
7 years ago

Zero runs wins very few games no matter who pitches.

IggyRox
IggyRox
7 years ago

I agree, RMH. Not to be mean, but going 9 and throwing 200 pitches won’t matter, because Jeff is finished. Thanks for the good times and your dedication to our favorite team, but to be honest, I think I could hit Jeff right now, and I’m 56 and haven’t swung a bat in 13 years. I feel bad for him, but the end must come for all of us. He actually got about a year more than he probably should… Read more »

pooter
pooter
7 years ago

Bye Francis. Good guy, bad pitcher.

Agbayani
Agbayani
7 years ago

You just knew Esmil would make the Rockies pay. Dumping him was one of the dumbest moves O’Dowd’s made. Not because Rogers is a fantastic young pitcher (he isn’t), but because they stuck with him last year as the team obviously plummeted out of any hope of contention, only to release him when there really was nothing left to lose. He probably would’ve turned it around sometime last season with the Rockies, and we’d have a pretty useful pitcher now… Read more »

Bill
Bill
7 years ago

If Francis is on the team after tomorrow (actually it should be now or 3 weeks ago) it will prove to one and all that management has no interest in winning. Francis can’t cut it. He has to go and frankly Nicasio has to turn into something else. Either a lights out reliever, which he has the stuff to be, or AAA pitcher until he can go more than 5. That’s the excuse for Pomeranz being in the minors all… Read more »

IggyRox
IggyRox
7 years ago
Reply to  Bill

I vote for lights-out reliever.

Agbayani
Agbayani
7 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Bill, I have to disagree about Nicasio — I don’t see the stuff to be a “lights out reliever.” Solid reliever? Sure. But the same thing that’s holding him back as a starter — the inability to find a swing and miss out pitch – would also prevent him from being a dominant reliever. Nicasio is striking out 6 per 9 innings this year. That’s not going to make anyone a dominant reliever. I think it’s time for the Rox… Read more »

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
7 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

yep

egossage
egossage
7 years ago

Bye Bye Jeff!!!

Agbayani
Agbayani
7 years ago

EYJ traded to the Mets for right handed pitcher Collin McHugh. The Mets had DFA’d him lasat week. I know McHugh only because he was one of those mediocre soft tossers who completely shut the Rockies down last year. That was really his only success so far in the big leagues. I think McHugh is considered a marginal/replacement level 5th starter type, which right now would make him better than Jeff Francis. So after all that worrying about losing the… Read more »

Doc
Doc
7 years ago

Same as it ever was, Ag–hang onto a player of marginal value until they slump into a player of no value. A reminder that although the Rox play thus far has distracted us, the smartest man in baseball is still in the driver’s seat. I know we’re all excited about Oswalt joining the team,but it’s damn depressing when I look at all the options DOD has to make room for him: Jeff Francis, Manny Corpas Rob Scahill, Wilton Lopez or… Read more »

Bill
Bill
7 years ago

Over the winter EY had some value due to his last two months of the season. This year of course he has no value Same old stuff every year. As Doc says lots of candidates to go down or be DFAd. Francis sure be a no-brainer. Of course we’re talking about DoD who may the classic definition of a no-brainer. I would love to see them bring up both Oswalt AND Pomeranz. Nicasio should be sent down to bet better.… Read more »

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