PHILADELPHIA -- Two days after going to a four-man starting rotation, Rockies manager Jim Tracy could not give an opinion on how it was working thus far. "I don't have any barometer on it right now because what we've seen the first two days is real similar to what I've been dealing with an awful lot this season," Tracy said before Thursday's series finale against the Phillies. Tracy implemented the four-man rotation before the series opener on Tuesday when he moved the struggling Jeremy Guthrie to the bullpen. With one less day of rest, each starter is being held to roughly 75 pitches per outing.
The Rockies' starting rotation owns a Major League worst 6.37 ERA and is one of just two clubs whose starters allow more than five runs per game. Left-hander Josh Outman pitched on Tuesday, the first day of the new format, and was pulled after 72 pitches. He allowed four runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings in a 7-2 loss. On Wednesday, Alex White threw exactly 75 pitches in just 3 2/3 innings in which he allowed five runs on five hits in a 7-6 defeat. "There were situations two nights ago that suggested that [Outman] should come out of the game and [White] last night had thrown 75 pitches in 3 2/3 innings," Tracy said. "Maybe with a couple different situations where [White] threw consecutive strikes, other than that, there wasn't another situation where he threw two strikes in a row. And that's part of the idea of understanding the importance of making pitches and commanding the strike zone and pitching ahead in the count." Jeff Francis took the mound on Thursday.