Tracy nearing final decision on rotation

Tracy nearing final decision on rotation

Tracy nearing final decision on rotation
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Rockies manager Jim Tracy said Thursday he is "very, very close" to setting his rotation and may have his pitching plans finalized in the next couple of days.

The only snag is the team's discussions about 49-year-old lefty Jamie Moyer, and how to slot him in the rotation. It's likely Moyer has earned a spot on the staff with his 2.77 ERA. He has outperformed right-handers Tyler Chatwood and Guillermo Moscoso.

Moyer worked deep for the first time this spring on Wednesday, throwing 89 pitches. On Thursday, Tracy said he was pleased to hear Moyer was only sore in the same way a 22-year-old would be. Although he's had a great spring, the question remains as to where Moyer would be penciled in.

Tracy also mentioned the possibility of using early-season off-days to go with a four-man rotation until April 15, adding the club may opt to hold out prospect Drew Pomeranz in an effort to keep his innings down. But that, too, hasn't been finalized.

Tracy noted the benefits that would come from putting Moyer, a light-throwing lefty, between a pair of hard-throwing righties. That indicates Moyer has the chance to fill the rotation's No. 2 slot between Jeremy Guthrie and Juan Nicasio, who is on pace to be the third starter if the schedule stays the same.

"It's also very important that you feel as confident as you can possibly feel that the person in front of him and the person behind him is capable of pitching you [deep] into a game," Tracy added, noting the uncertainty that surrounds Moyer.

It's likely Tracy will have made his decision before Moyer gets the ball for his final spring start next week. All that's left in the process, he said, is "further conversation" within the team.

"In my mind there's a strong chance that it is the right thing to do," Tracy said of finding a spot for Moyer. "His know-how, his competitive nature, his understanding of how to pitch -- there's a lot of balls in his court."

The biggest snag in the decision-making process is the novelty of the situation. No pitcher at age 49 has won a big league game.

"I wish I could know everything with regard to this, but I can't because it's never happened before," Tracy said.

As for Pomeranz, Tracy said he'd like to have both Jhoulys Chacin and Guthrie face the Giants in the second series of the season. That would mean holding Pomeranz, which could help the club in its progression of the young arm.

"We're going to have to keep an eye on this kid, because this is a very, very special arm," the skipper said. "You incrementally look to try and jump innings from one season to the next."