If this Spring Training tells us anything about the Rockies, it's that they will very soon forget about the hard-throwing, soft-spoken righty Ubaldo Jimenez.
Drew Pomeranz, one of the two major prospects the Rockies traded for Jimenez, will instead become the new ace soon enough.
Plenty of hype was built around him last summer when Cleveland decided to package him in the deal. Originally their grip on the 23-year-old lefty was tight, but as the trade deadline neared in the Indians decided to give in.
Dan O'Dowd just may have saved his career.
So far during Spring Training, Pomeranz has thrown in three starts. He's pitched a total of seven innings and has yet to give up a run. He's also struck out seven batters and walked only two. Even for a small sample size, that's pretty dominant for any prospect.
Newly acquired catcher Ramon Hernandez had nothing but praise for Pomeranz when speaking to reporters with coloradorockies.com.
"Very talented pitcher...Good command with the fastball, pretty good breaking ball and a good changeup," he described. "He has all the talent...It's all about how you mix it up." It's surely something he'll execute well in the near future.
The dominant starts from the lefty show that he's building at least a little bit of trust with the 35-year-old Venezuelan, which is a good sign for the Rockies.
"It's all about rhythm for me," said Pomeranz. "When I'm on time it's a lot easier for me to throw strikes that way."
Everyone in the Rockies organization is hoping he can keep the rhythm he's got going right now.
Pomeranz should start four or five more games in Spring Training (assuming Jim Tracy uses the same schedule he's used for Pomeranz so far, having him start about every five days). Within those starts he should hopefully build enough chemistry with Hernandez and feel comfortable enough in the clubhouse to become a leader on the mound for the mostly young Rockies pitching staff.
And if he does that, he'll make Jimenez what every other former Rockies ace has become:
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