25 July, 2006

MLB Debut - Manuel Corpas

[Placeholder for photo - Blogger are teh suck]
Okay, you want to be a Major Leaguer. Pitcher. Great, you get to be the focus of everyone in the park. You control the game. Better still, you have a 95-97 mph fastball. Throw from three-quarters? Ok, quirky, but that release point can fool batters. Sinker? Great! Sure, you'll probably only last as a reliever, but you might bounce around for 5 or 6 years. That'll do.

Crap. You've signed with the Colorado Rockies. You have to play half of your games at mile high altitudes. You know what that means. Deep power alleys or not, you'll struggle to keep your ERA under 5.00. Coors Field is the best hitters park in the National League over the last 3 years (and probably longer). Er, that means it's the worst pitcher's park.

Congratulations, Manuel Corpas - new meat in the Colorado bullpen.

When the Rockies reshaped their bullpen on 18 July, Corpas was a surprise promotion from Colorado Springs (another place that induces altitude sickness in pitchers).

Corpas had not pitched above Class A in six seasons in the Rockies system. But, he started putting things together last year and continued the good work over the winter in Venezuela pitching in 22 games with a 2.42 ERA. That helped earn him a place on the Panamanian WBC team where he pitched one inning allowing two runs.

This season he started at AA Tulsa where he saved 19 games before a mid-year promotion to Colorado Springs. In 8.2 innings he gave up one run on five hits.

Corpas relieved starter Jeff Francis on 18 July as the Rocks downed the Pirates 13-4. In true Rockies tradition, Corpas was greeted with a long ball though in Pittsburgh's less rarefied air. He worked an inning notching 2 strike outs with no walks and just Craig Wilson's bomb in deficit.

Corpas is your classic one pitch pony - bullpen fodder. In addition to his mid-nineties heater, he features a slurve which ain't getting anyone out and a changeup of no distinction. He has made great progress over the last year and might hang on in the bullpen. For his sake you've got to hope he gets out of Colorado.

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