Home > MLB > Rockies’ Rotation Gets Boost With Return of Jeff Francis

Rockies’ Rotation Gets Boost With Return of Jeff Francis

The Colorado Rockies received a major shot in the arm on Sunday, as starting pitcher Jeff Francis made his Mile High return. The 29 year-old lefthander dominated the surprising Washington Nationals in a 2-1 Rockies win. In his first appearance in more than 18 months, Francis worked seven strong innings, allowing only one run while striking out six. Francis, who missed all of the 2009 season following surgery to repair a torn labrum, last pitched on Sep.12, 2008 against the Dodgers.

His return couldn’t have come at a better time, as the Rockies are battling to keep pace in the ultra-competitive NL West. The Rockies currently sit in 4th place, 3.5 games behind baseball’s biggest surprise, the San Diego Padres. The Rockies also trail the pitching-rich Giants and the suddenly red-hot Dodgers, who have won 9 of 10 entering Monday’s action.

If Francis can stay healthy, he and Ubaldo Jimenez will form quite the dynamic duo atop the Rockies’ rotation. The Rockies have gotten a solid season from righthander Aaron Cook, but Jason Hammel has struggled, and the team still awaits the return of injured lefthander Jorge De La Rosa.¬† Colorado will need strong starting pitching to compete for a postseason berth, especially with the questions surrounding their bullpen. Closer Huston Street has lingering shoulder issues, and no one has stepped forward to take hold of the 9th inning role.

Colorado still has some pitching questions that need answered, but with Ubaldo Jimenez and a healthy Jeff Francis leading the way, I still think the Rockies will be battling for the NL West crown come September.

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