The Colorado Rockies' search for pitching entering the 2013 season continues. According to Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post, one of the low-risk free agents they are considering is former Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Jeff Karstens.
The 30-year-old former Yankee prospect put together big numbers at Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Columbus and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before making his Yankee debut with the 2006 American League East Champions.
He fared well in his first few games in the majors. He pitched six innings for the win against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in his second start.
His third start was a hard-luck loss to the eventual division champion Minnesota Twins when he went seven innings and let up a single run.
But any plans for Karstens' long-term future in the Bronx went awry when he stumbled badly in 2007.
In July of 2008, Karstens, still in Triple-A, was dealt to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the trade that sent Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady to New York.
In 2011, he started to resemble the prospect who pitched so well in the Yankees' farm. Karstens was the National League Player of the Week from July 11 to 17 and at one point won five straight decisions.
He finished the season with nine wins, a 3.38 ERA, 162 1/3 innings pitched, an ERA+ of 110 and a WHIP of 1.207, all full-season career-highs.
Injuries limited him to 90 2/3 innings last season, but he still pitched to a respectable 3.97 ERA and a 1.147 WHIP.
He was non-tendered by the Pirates and is a free agent who does not require compensation.
A healthy Karstens would have no problem making the Rockies' rotation. And perhaps that is all Colorado needs right now.
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