Aaron Cook will receive one last start for the Rockies at some point in September, the Denver Post writes. Until his next start is determined, which could be during the final homestand of the year, Cook will pitch in long relief.
Inning limits aren't why Cook's season is ending -- rather, the team wants to get a look at its younger pitchers. Drew Pomeranz has assumed Cook's turn in the rotation after recovering from emergency surgery for appendectomy after being dealt earlier in the season from Cleveland as part of the Ubaldo Jimenez package. Pomeranz will be debuting Sunday.
"It's never easy," Cook said of the news. "I told them I will take the ball whenever they need me to pitch. I am going to show up, work hard and keep my mouth shut."The 32-year-old is the franchise leader in victories with 72 and enjoyed a nice run of success from 2004-09, including bouncing back from blood clots in his lungs in 2004. But over the last two years, Cook's ERA has been north of 5.00. He started the year sidelined with shoulder issues, as well as breaking his finger in spring training. Since debuting on June 8, the righty has made 16 starts with a 5.74 ERA. He's allowed eight homers and 35 walks in 91 innings, whiffing 38. Cook's game was never about stuff, as his bread and butter has been inducing groundballs. However, more balls have fallen into play this year than they should have, leading to his 5.74 ERA while xFIP suggests Cook deserves a 4.53 mark. Better, but still not great.
The Rockies certainly won't exercise Cook's $11-million option, leaving him as a free agent for the first time in his career. Despite his setbacks, Cook intends to keep pitching, even if it's not in Colorado.
"It would be nice to get another one here," Cook said of earning another start. "But it won't be my final one at Coors Field. I will be back. I am not retiring," Cook said. "I am healthy. I know I can still pitch in this league and help someone."Cook should latch on with a job somewhere -- but given his pedigree to date, he may have to wait until deep into the offseason. Pitchers who can fill the back of a rotation are not in high demand, although Cook does offer potential of throwing 200 innings and serving as a third starter, which should boost his market -- plus the prospect of improving outside of Colorado's mile-high thin air.
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