Previewing the starting five of the Colorado Rockies is like looking at five really good Indie bands that would be much better off if they could land a record deal—in the Rockies' case, in a different ballpark. But many hardcore Indie fans will defend their little band to the death, so here I am to defend the staff of the Rockies. Except Aaron Cook because he sucks.
The ace, Ubaldo Jimenez, actually pitches better at Coors than when he is on the road. In ’08 and ’09 his ERA was lower at home, and in ’10 his road ERA was only lower because his BABIP was almost 70 points higher at home. So, the home ballpark is no reason to shy away from Ubaldo.
More positives are that his strikeout rate has risen in each of the past two seasons and the reality that a guy who will throw around 220 innings on an above average team is a pretty safe bet for at least 15 wins.
It must be pointed out that his BABIP was a little low last year, his walk rate is still closer to four than it is to three, and he was lucky that an increase in fly balls last season did not lead to more home runs. With all that in mind, Ubaldo is still a definite top-15 guy if not borderline top-10. That’s exactly where I have him in my rankings, No. 10.
Last year Jorge de la Rosa was only being drafted somewhere between the 16th and 18th rounds in most ten-team leagues despite coming off a 16 win, 190+ strikeout season. Because of the time he spent on the DL last year, it is hard to see him being drafted that high again.
ERA and WHIP aside, if healthy, de la Rosa could easily approach 15+ wins and around 200 strikeouts again which most certainly makes him worth at least an 18th round pick.