Edwar Cabrera was in the Colorado Rockies' clubhouse Tuesday, and while no official announcement was made, the 24-year-old left-hander is expected to make his major league debut with a start Wednesday against the Washington Nationals.
Manager Jim Tracy did say that Josh Outman would start Thursday rather than Wednesday. Thursday had been the turn for Alex White, but he was optioned to the minors Monday after another poor start.
Tracy let Outman throw 92 pitches Saturday before pulling him after 4 2/3 innings at Texas during a six-run fifth inning that cut the Rockies' lead to 11-7. Colorado starters have been working with a 75-pitch limit in the team's four-man rotation, and Tracy will give Outman an extra day of rest before his next start.
The Rockies need a starter to replace White, and they are turning to Cabrera, who is 8-4 with a 2.94 ERA in 15 starts for Class AA Tulsa, last pitching on Thursday. In 98 innings, Cabrera has allowed 65 hits and 23 walks while striking out 82. He has given up 15 home runs. Opponents are hitting .186 against Cabrera, who has had success against both left-handed batters (.215 average) and right-handers (.175).
Cabrera has average velocity, pitching at 88-89 mph with his two-seam fastball. However, he has a tremendous changeup that he will throw at any time for strikes. Cabrera can also make the pitch have screwball action, where it breaks in the opposite direction of a changeup. To be successful in the majors, he is going to have to develop a better breaking pitch.
"I made it my goal to reach the big leagues this year," Cabrera said. "I was surprised when they told me, but I have been pitching with all of my heart and all of mind to get here."
Cabrera's promotion will cause him to gladly miss his starting assignment for the Northern Division in the Texas League All-Star Game that will be played Thursday in Tulsa. Cabrera also was chosen to play for the World team in the Futures Game on July 8 in Kansas City.
Cabrera will be activated Wednesday, and a corresponding roster move will have to be made. Cabrera couldn't be in the dugout Tuesday, but he undoubtedly was paying attention on a clubhouse television to the Washington hitters. He surely got an eyeful, as the Nationals pounded the Rockies 12-5, setting season highs in runs and hits (21) and tying for the most hits in Nationals history, which dates back to 2005.