Rockies show interest in veteran pitcher Garland

Rockies show interest in veteran pitcher Garland

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies, hoping to improve their starting pitching, have talked to representatives of veteran right-hander Jon Garland, who requested and received his release from the Mariners on Saturday, according to a Major League source.

Garland, 33, last pitched in the Majors in 2011 but missed half of that season and all of 2012 after shoulder surgery. But after signing a Minor League contract with the Mariners in February, he went 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in four Cactus League starts. When the Mariners told him Friday that he was not in contention for a spot in their rotation, Garland left to pursue other opportunities.

The Rockies were among the teams that scouted Garland's last start, when he held the White Sox to two runs and five hits in six innings on Thursday. Reports were favorable.

The Rockies have announced that right-hander Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, with left-hander Jeff Francis, lefty Jorge De La Rosa and righty Juan Nicasio also in the rotation. Lefty Drew Pomeranz appears in line for the other rotation spot, unless the Rockies add either a free agent or a trade acquisition.

Garland is 132-119 with a 4.32 ERA over 12 Major League seasons and posted win totals in double figures every year from 2002 to 2010. He was 1-5 with a 4.33 ERA for the Dodgers in 2011 before injuries halted him. Garland's best season was 2005, when he appeared in the All-Star Game and went 18-10 with an American League-leading three shutouts, and won twice in the postseason while helping the White Sox to the World Series championship.

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.