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Rockies Spring Training: Esmil Rogers Confirmed As Fifth Starter

The Colorado Rockies set their rotation entering the 2011 season, confirming that the fifth starter position will belong to RHP Esmil Rogers, according to Troy Renck from the Denver Post.

Rogers had been the frontrunner for the role throughout camp after Aaron Cook suffered a series of injuries and could never truly get started in training camp. Felipe Paulino, another early candidate, has already been given one of the bullpen spots.

The Renck article also suggests that the Rockies are looking to enter the season with an extra pitcher on the roster, and that Greg Reynolds is a prime candidate for that position. Reynolds, the second overall selection in the 2006 draft, has suffered through injuries after making his MLB debut in the 2008 season. But he’s enjoyed a solid spring and is entering the conversation for a spot on the major league roster on Opening Day. RHP Matt Daley is also up for consideration for that final pitching spot.

Colorado can afford to bring an extra pitcher with them on Opening Day because of the flexibility of Ty Wigginton, Jonathan Herrera, and Jose Lopez. Each player can cover multiple infield spots, and Wigginton and Herrera are both adequate in the corner outfield spots.

With Opening Day just 8 days away, there remain very few open competitions for a spot on the roster. Now that the fifth starter has been confirmed, the only open roles are for the final bullpen spot and backup catcher.