DENVER -- The Rockies finally stopped the roller-coaster ride that is right-hander Esmil Rogers by designating him for assignment to clear a spot for veteran pitcher Jeff Francis. Francis made his signing with the club official so he could start Saturday afternoon's game against the Angels.
Rogers, 26, could display an effective low-in-the-zone fastball and an effective slider when at his best. But he also had a penchant for not delivering the put-away pitch. Both the good and bad would show up during the same outing -- like in Friday night's 7-2 loss to the Angels, when he retired the first two hitters in five pitches, then had to be removed after 18 more pitches and three runs that ended any hope of a comeback.
This doesn't necessarily mean the end of Rogers in Colorado. The Rockies have 10 days to trade, release or outright Rogers (0-2, 8.06 ERA in 23 games this year; 8-11, 6.77 ERA in 70 games, including 22 career starts) to the Minors. Within that time is a 72-hour waiver period during which another club can claim him for its Major League roster.
But manager Jim Tracy said that while informing Rogers of his decision, he went over some of the points that he's been going over since Rogers first came to the Majors in 2009. So if he stays, there's still hope he can harness his talents and return.
"It's a young man sitting across from you at your desk, and you can't drop [him] like [he's] a sack of potatoes," Tracy said. "You don't do things like that. I found myself revisiting a lot of different places I've been to over the last couple of years.
"A lot of it is putting a Major League club on a roller coaster where you get tantalized with superb [stuff]."
Tracy brought up outstanding performances by Rogers -- including a 2-1 victory over the Pirates on April 25, and May 2 when he fanned the then-sizzling Matt Kemp with the bases loaded in an 8-5 victory over the Dodgers, plus a couple of other good outings. But he also said some of the draining work between and around those games made it difficult for Tracy to feel comfortable using him.