Did I say the roster was pretty much set? Silly me! Byung-Hyun Kim is out of action for a "considerable" amount of time after pulling a hamstring running the bases in a game against the Giants. Rockies trainer Keith Dugger says "considerable" amounts to "two or three weeks." That's not the end of the world, but it's very important for the psyche of the team, walkup ticket sales at Coors Field, and traffic to this website that the Rockies not utterly bury themselves in April this year as they did in 2005. He's still an emblem of big-stage failure to casual baseball fans nationwide, but BK was the Rockies' best starter by ERA last year and the dropoff from he to Zach Day or Josh Fogg could be quite dramatic. If there was one positive you could attach to the Rockies' starting rotation in 2006 versus last year's, it was the lack of complete punching bag types. Joe Kennedy and Jamey Wright were awful last year, and while The Two Kims don't exactly qualify as superstars, they were set to provide a marked upgrade from that dynamic duo. Now Byung-Hyun is starting the season on the DL for sure, and Sun-Woo has hamstring issues of his own.
The Rockies weren't petty enough to put a sign up at Hi Corbett Field whining about it, but Sun-Woo Kim and Byung-Hyun Kim's participation in the World Baseball Classic certainly threw a wrench in the team's planning this preseason. No one really stepped up to take it from him, but Sun-Woo's chances of grabbing the fifth starter's spot were certainly affected by his absence from Rockies camp. It may well be missing out on the usual March conditioning programs contributed to the Kims' injuries. Neither pitched very extensively for Korea in the tournament.
In any event, the Rockies won't need a fifth starter until April 17th. The team is being cautious with the rehabbing Miguel Asencio, so either Day or Fogg will draw the assignment assuming Sun-Woo Kim doesn't miss a start or two himself. Colorado can weather a few dropped starts from the likes of BK Kim here and there, but I'll say it again: a serious injury to any of the regulars (apart from the catchers) or any of the top four starters on the depth chart, and we're in 100-loss territory once again.
Clint Hurdle says Choo Freeman, Jason Smith, Eli Marrero, and Jamey Carroll are on the team. No real surprises here except for Smith, who isn't on the 40-man roster at the moment. The rash of injuries means that Smith's addition won't cost anybody their jobs for the moment. Ryan Shealy (elbow), Josh Wilson (busted toe), Scott Dohmann (viral infection), and Byung-Hyun Kim join Chin-Hui Tsao (remember him?) on the DL to begin the season. Dohmann's illness means that either Tom Martin or Jaime Cerda will probably hang around as the last guy in the pen, and secures a spot for David Cortes.