This is apparently real life: the Rockies are going to go into the 2013 season with their four man starting rotation intact. That's right: a largely experimental procedure that has been roundly mocked around the league is going to continue next season.
The way the Rockies will apparently handle things consists of them having their four man rotation, and four "piggyback" relievers that will follow the starters once they reach their 75 pitch limit and leave the game. The piggyback relievers will have a 50 pitch limit.
How ridiculous is this? The Rockies are essentially going to A) limit their best starters' workload to the point where they're no longer effective and B) carry four relievers that aren't good enough to crack the rotation…but are good enough to throw 50 pitches twice a week in relief.
There's no way that any free agent starter is going to sign with this mess of an organization as long as this philosophy is intact. You have a guy like Drew Pomeranz who's 23-years old, oozes potential…and you're going to limit him to 75 pitches a game? How is that going to help his career at all? Since the Rockies moved to this plan, Pomeranz has thrown at least six innings only twice in 11 starts…of course, those were his first two starts after being recalled.
And it's not juts about Pomeranz. How are Colorado's other young pitchers that need work, like Alex White, Juan Nicasio, and Tyler Chatwood, going to improve as pitchers if their pitch count is so heavily limited? The Rockies aren't going to create an elite starting pitcher by limiting innings
Furthermore, what the hell is this going to do for the composition of their pitching staff? Four starters, four long relievers…and what else? Troy Renck hypothesized that the Rockies could go with a 13 man staff, which would tack on to the ridiculousness of things.
If the Rockies ownership wants to actually contend for the playoffs next year, maybe they should push GM Dan O'Dowd and manager Jim Tracy out the door, or at least advise them that this plan is ridiculous. This won't end well for anyone involved.