Rockies still looking for starting pitching


The Colorado Rockies have been linked to starting pitching for some time now -- going on two years, including their trade of Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians for Alex White and Drew Pomeranz -- and that search continues this winter.

The club showed interest in right-handers Kyle McClellan and Aaron Cook before each signed elsewhere, and still have right-handers Derek Lowe, Jair Jurrjens and Brandon Webb in their cross hairs, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Lowe had told clubs he wants to start, rather than serve as a reliever and has drawn interest from five clubs, while Webb is expected to throw for scouts sometime soon. Freddy Garcia has also been a name linked with the Rockies.

Jurrjens has battled some injury issues throughout his career, but was healthy enough to be asked to throw 120 2/3 innings in 2012, most of which came in Triple-A. He struggled, serving up 18 long balls between the minors and big leagues, and his strikeout rate dipped. If he's fully healthy, there's a good chance for a bounce-back season for Jurrjens, whuch could make him a bargain.

Webb's market consists of at least five teams, too. The Rockies, plus the four reported by ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick earlier this week.

Colorado could keep an eye on the trade market, too, where it's plausible the Los Angeles Dodgers part with Aaron Harang or Chris Capuano, and spring training is when a lot of clutter is worked out, leading to trades.

Renck notes that the Rockies' current rotation candidates are lefties Jorge De La Rosa, Pomeranz, Christian Friedrich and Jeff Francis, and right-handers Tyler Chatwood, Juan Nicasio and Jhoulys Chacin. Lots of question marks there, including whether or not Chatwood belongs in the rotation versus a bullpen role, the health of Chacin, De La Rosa and Nicasio, and the needed development of Pomeranz and Friedrich to hold down roles in the starting five -- or six -- for the duration of the season.