DENVER -- Guillermo Moscoso impressed the Rockies by compiling a 3.38 ERA in 23 appearances for the A's last year, including 21 starts. Since coming to Colorado in a January trade for outfielder Seth Smith, Moscoso has not been able to replicate that success.
Recalled from Triple-A a week ago to take the injured Jeremy Guthrie's spot in the rotation, Moscoso was 0-1 with a 11.57 ERA in 9 1/3 innings over two starts. He had a disappointing Spring Training and was not off to a good start at Colorado Springs, but Guthrie's injury came on the eve of his scheduled start last Saturday, and Moscoso was the best option, given that it was his day to pitch.
"It boils down to lack of fastball command. Right now, there is none," manager Jim Tracy said of Moscoso's struggles since joining the Rockies. "He's still capable of making a contribution to the success of this club in 2012. But it's not going to happen until he gets to the point where he can throw his fastball for strikes and get ahead in the count. [In his Friday night start], he had virtually a 1-1 ball-strike ratio [43 strikes and 40 balls]. That's not acceptable, and I told him that. Until he gets to the point where we see consistency ... he won't pitch here."
To fill Moscoso's spot on the roster after he was sent down, the Rockies recalled right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino, whom Colorado claimed off waivers from St. Louis on April 3. He was optioned to Triple-A and, after working exclusively as a starter throughout his professional career, he has worked out of the Sky Sox 'pen, posting a 3.60 ERA in 15 innings over 10 games. Ottavino pitched in five games (three starts) for the Cardinals in 2010, going 0-2 with a 8.46 ERA.
"I had been [relieving] in Major League Spring Training for a few years, so I had a little bit of an idea," Ottavino said of what he called an easy transition to the bullpen. "Also, I'd done a little bit in college, so it's been good. I've felt good every time out. I'm enjoying it. I feel like I'm throwing pretty well and just trying to get better every time out."
Ottavino relies on a fastball/breaking-ball combination on the mound, mixing a slider, slurve, and a split-change in with his heater.