Colorado Rockies: Why 'Project 5,183' Needs Tweaking

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Colorado Rockies: Why 'Project 5,183' Needs Tweaking
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Alex White is one of four involved in "Project 5,183."

Imagine this for a second:

You've been hired by a new company coming right out of college for a training-level position. At this time, your bosses put you in one of the highest positions, but while doing that, they want you to fail at a company that is struggling.

Ask any of the Colorado Rockies starters how that feels.

As Featured Columnist Zachary D. Rymer (great first name, by the way) wrote in Horsehide Chronicles, the Rockies have implemented a "project" for their starters called "Project 5,183."

In retrospect, they should have named it "The Mile High Idea That Hit Rock Bottom."

Although the idea hasn't given the Rockies the best results, it is a teaching mechanism and there are a couple of parts that could be tweaked to be made better.

The first one is to increase pitch counts.

Teams have been starting to implement more pitch counts and inning limits with the surge of young prospects coming up to make their mark in the Majors. Take Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg, for example.

In Colorado, the Rockies limit their four starters to 75 pitches a start. Just a guess: That's even less than what Strasburg throws a night.

Bump up the ante a little bit, by even 10 or 15 pitches a night. At this point in the season, they won't add up as quickly as they would have been in June. Ninety pitches a night for four starters isn't going to kill the rotation.

Why not call a pitcher up from Class-AAA Colorado Springs to make the rotation five? 

Carlos Torres has thrown the third most innings for the Sky Sox, but hasn't thrown very many—61. He is 5-4 with an ERA under 4.00 which is something that NO ONE in the Rockies pitching rotation has seen yet.

If the Rockies want to send him back down to help the Sky Sox win the Pacific Coast League Championship, that's also understandable. Let the fans in the Rocky Mountains enjoy a team in a playoff run.

However, in these three weeks or so, call someone up to alleviate the pain.

Whatever the Rockies decide to do will come without much punishment. The Rockies are already out of the race, and they know that. Also, no one will notice anything the Rockies will do.

If there's a silver lining for the four starters, the anonymity that the team will carry the rest of the season can help them learn and not get criticized for making mistakes.

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