SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd insists that the Rockies have enough good starting pitchers to fill in for the absence of Aaron Cook, who missed much of the spring with right shoulder tightness and essentially was eliminated from the Opening Day roster when he suffered a broken right ring finger.
Right-hander Esmil Rogers is considered the leader to replace Cook in the rotation, with righties Clayton Mortensen, Greg Reynolds and John Maine, who may or may not be ready when camp ends, also slated as candidates. One figures to break camp with the team, but the others could be in line for early-season work. O'Dowd said that he is not actively searching for another pitcher.
Cook said that he won't be throwing a ball until the finger heals, which could be anywhere from two to four weeks. He said his shoulder is strong, so after that he'll have to throw a schedule of bullpen sessions, face hitters ad appear in game action. That could take awhile.
"We're real excited about the opportunity that's going to be presented to someone," O'Dowd said. "We figure it's anywhere from eight to 11 starts. It could be less than that. With what we have in camp, I don't think we could do better outside of our camp.
"You never have enough pitching. We hope somebody takes this job and runs with it, and we're that much better an organization for the next four months after that."