Colorado Rockies veteran pitcher Aaron Cook was penciled into the starting rotation before spring training, but a series of unfortunate injuries have sidelined him this season. After spending some time in extended spring training building arm strength, Cook was scheduled to pitch three rehab starts for the Rockies AA affiliate Tulsa Drillers, and then one start with the AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox affiliate.
Cook pitched his second rehab start for Tulsa today, and was very effective. After allowing a leadoff double to score, the veteran pitcher shut the door, allowing only three total hits and pitching five complete innings (despite a strict pitch count). He threw 77 total pitches, 49 for strikes.
A known sinkerballer, Cook thrives on an effective sinking fastball to produce plenty of groundball outs. In Tulsa, he forced eight groundball outs while allowing zero flyball outs. It was a very effective start for Cook, who is in the final year of his contract and needs to pitch in the majors this season — and soon — to prove he is healthy and deserving of another contract after the 2011 season, whether with Colorado or another club looking to upgrade their rotation.
He is eligible to return from the 60-Day Disabled List on May 31, 2011. Clayton Mortensen would be the likely demotion candidate at the point, should the club decide that Cook is ready to slide into the major league rotation.