Aaron Cook and his groundballs are heading to Bean Town. Cook signed with the Red Sox on a minor league contract that is prorated at $1.5 million if he gates called up to the majors. His red goatee will blend in nicely with the navy/red colors of the Red Sox.
I'm not sure if Aaron Cook will be able to adjust to the American League where power hitting is dominant, especially in the American League East. He's always been a great groundball pitcher, and that's why he lasted so long in Colorado, but recently his stuff isn't as sharp and the groundballs that are getting hit off of him are getting hit harder. His lifetime average Ground Ball to Fly Ball ratio (GB/FB) is 1.36 whereas the MLB average during Aaron Cook's time as a pitcher is 0.76. The problem with Cook is that he can't get a strikeout when he needs it (Lifetime Strike-Outs per 9-Innings pitched (SO/9) is 3.8.), and in Coors Field it's better if the batter doesn't get a chance to put the ball in play. Hopefully he can get the grounballs he needs in Boston, because a fly ball to left field in Fenway Park is usually a homer. I'll predict that Aaron Cook will get a few starts in the majors, but he'll be quickly sent back down after a couple of starts against teams such as the Yankees and Angels.
Now that Aaron Cook is gone in Denver, the Rockies now need to fill a whole that is apparent in their rotation. They need a veteran starter that knows how to produce groundballs. Groundball pitchers in Colorado are essential, because any ball hit in the air has a chance to clear the fence or find a hole in the expansive outfield. There is one pitcher in free agency that makes sense for the Rockies. That player is Hiroki Kuroda. All I hear is that Kuroda is underrated and that he's a steal on the free agent market when it comes to starting pitchers. He's an effective groundball pitcher, and it's always nice when a team can add a player that won't only help their team, but also make their rivals worse. I know I'm excited that the Rockies won't have to face Kurado next season when they face the Dodgers. Wouldn't be even better if he was pitching for the Rockies? Kuroda's lifetime GB/FB ratio is an even 1. He also has a decent 6.7 SO/9. I feel like he'd translate well in Coors Field, but it's all about taking on another risk due to age. Kuroda will be 37 next season, and he's looking for at least a 2-year deal. I say, take the risk! He'd solidify a young staff, and if he does struggle, at least Jorge Del a Rosa will be back in May/June to add some reassurance and depth.
What do you think the Rockies should do? Sign Kuroda? Or is there a better option for them when it comes to starting pitching?