Not a lot of people are buying into the Colorado Rockies as a legitimately good team, but they do apparently have one player who thinks they are for real. After spending the off-season saying that he was only interested in signing with a contender, Roy Oswalt has jumped about the Rockies bandwagon, inking a minor league deal with the club.
For Oswalt, this smacks of desperation. Even if he truly believes that the Rockies can continue to lead the NL West, there is a very short list of pitchers in this league that would choose to go to Colorado if they had other options on the table. As a 35-year old coming off of a season where he posted a 5.80 ERA in 59 innings with Texas, one can assume that Oswalt wasn't exactly being bowled over with better offers.
It is hard to see how this move is going to pay big dividends for the Rockies, but you can't really blame them for picking him up, if only because he is another pitcher with a pulse that they can throw into their rotation at some point. And there is little doubt that Oswalt will get a chance as the Rox rotation building plan appears to be nothing more than "throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks." This is how you end up with Jon Garland and Jeff Francis in a rotation.
The one thing that Oswalt has going for him that other Colorado pitchers don't is that he has demonstrated an ability to still miss some bats, fanning a batter per inning last season. Whether that translates to the altitude at Coors Field remains to be seen, especially since Oswalt has resorted to using his off-speed pitches more and more the last two years.
On the other hand, Oswalt allowed a .316 BABIP in 2011 and .378 BABIP in 2012, so this probably isn't going to work out well for either side, but at least they are giving it a try. At worst, Colorado can try and trick another name brand pitcher to sign with them down the line because, "Hey, Roy Oswalt thought we were cool!"