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LADELPHIA -- Before Tuesday's loss to the Phillies, Rockies manager Jim Tracy made the unconventional move to go to a four-man rotation, in which each starter would be limited to roughly 75 pitches per outing.
In an interview on Wednesday on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, Rockies pitching coach Bob Apodaca said the change was "out of necessity."
"We're dealing with a very youthful, for the most part, rotation, very little experience," Apodaca said in the interview with hosts Jim Duquette and Mike Ferrin. "We haven't been getting the type of production, especially at home. Coors Field is playing different this year than in past years. It's wreaked havoc on all pitching staffs, not just ours, and we haven't been getting the production, as far as length, out of our starters.
"We have to deal with who we are and not with who we are not. So this took a lot of discussion, it was an organizational decision, it wasn't any one person's decision, and so we decided this was the best avenue for us, where it was an easier transition."
The four-man rotation consists of Jeff Francis, Alex White, Josh Outman and Christian Friedrich. Opening Day starter Jeremy Guthrie has been moved to the bullpen.
In the first day of Tracy's experiment, Outman was lifted after 4 1/3 innings in which he threw 72 pitches. He allowed four runs on five hits. On Wednesday, Alex White threw exactly 75 pitches over 3 2/3 innings, surrendering five runs on five hits with two walks and no strikeouts.
Francis and Friedrich will start on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
With the pitch count of 75 pitches, it makes it much tougher for pitchers to reach the five innings needed to be eligible for a win.
"I think when a team succeeds, I think the players succeed," Apodaca said. "So we're asking them, at this point in time, to really focus on thinking of their teammates and what's best for this team at this moment in time and put their egos outside the clubhouse door. And so when they put that uniform on, they're playing for the name on the front."