But he yielded nine hits, a monster Giancarlo Stanton home run and six walks against the Marlins in his next start. On Sunday, he was touched for four home runs and seven runs in five innings in a loss to the Reds."He was up against the odds as of late," Tracy said. "There is no difference in the man, there's no difference in his will to compete. There is a difference in that the 82 or 83 mph that he had as a fastball had started to come back and get closer and closer to where some of his off-speed pitches were. There's very little variance between pitches. "I saw more seasoned Major League hitters that stood at home plate and were just looking for the ball. There was not a real concern anymore, from the standpoint of the variance of speeds." The Rockies placed Moyer between veteran Jeremy Guthrie and second-year man Juan Nicasio in their rotation, believing the pair would offer a buffer if Moyer didn't eat up large inning totals.
But Guthrie missed time with a shoulder injury and hasn't provided the innings the Rockies want and Nicasio, whose rookie year last season was ended early with a frightening neck injury, has struggled for consistency.
Add to that the injury that has kept Jhoulys Chacin out since May 1 and the youthful struggles of the rest of the staff, and the Rockies have a rotation that has been a major weakness.Offensively, the Rockies' lineup has put them in position to win, but no lineup can make up for the pitching. So something had to give. Tracy could be patient with the younger pitchers, but doing it with a pitcher who would be better off at the back of a rotation of a flourishing club did not make sense. "All you have to do is go back and look at the number of games that I've walked out there [to change pitchers] before the fifth inning is even completed, yet we're up there in the eighth or ninth inning with tying runs standing at home plate, bases loaded or the winning run is on the bases with a guy taking an at-bat," Tracy said. "That's happened time and again with this club." Moyer was thankful for the chance with the Rockies. "I enjoyed my time here in Denver," Moyer said. "Dan [O'Dowd, the Rockies' general manager] gave me a great opportunity to come to Spring Training, which I'm awfully thankful for. Jim stuck his neck out for me, gave me an opportunity. That's all I could ask for. "Unfortunately, I didn't hold up my end of the bargain. That's what happens in this business."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.