02/09/06 5:50 PM ET
Rockies agree to deal with Fogg
Righty's one-year contract is pending completed physical
By Owen Perkins / Special to MLB.com
Fogg has spent the bulk of his Major League career with the Pirates, starting 119 games for them over the past four seasons, averaging 171 innings a year and at least 10 wins in his first three seasons for the Bucs. He made his big league debut with the White Sox in 2001, where he was used exclusively as a reliever.
Since moving to Pittsburgh the following season, Fogg has been a steady presence in the rotation, making at least 26 starts per season before being sent to the bullpen at the end of '05, finishing the year at 6-11 with a 5.05 ERA. It was Fogg's first losing campaign, giving him a career record of 39-42 with a 4.74 ERA.
"We've been trying all winter to build depth with guys that we think can handle a multitude of roles," general manager Dan O'Dowd said Thursday, noting that in addition to his starting résumé, Fogg was an All-American closer at the University of Florida. "We know he can pitch out of the bullpen, and more importantly he's got great makeup. Good character, good guy, a good competitor. That's our kind of guy."
Fogg will report to Tucson next week for his physical, and he can be expected to compete with Sunny Kim and Zach Day for the fifth spot in the rotation, joining Jason Jennings, Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis, and Byung-Hyun Kim among the starting five.
"He'll definitely be given a chance to make the rotation," O'Dowd said. "We discussed that thoroughly. He wanted to make sure we gave him an honest chance to start, and we will. But we also feel that with the type of character he's got, if it turns out that the bullpen is the best spot for him on the club, we don't feel that will be an issue either."
Fogg has only one previous Coors Field start under his belt, a six-inning loss in which he yielded four earned runs, but O'Dowd is confident he has the makeup to succeed in the Mile High City.
"He's a sinkerball, changeup guy," O'Dowd said, qualities that put him in the mold of Jennings and Cook, ground-ball specialists who have found ways to survive and thrive at altitude. "The thing we like more than anything is he's always been a plus strike thrower."
The Rockies also re-signed right-handed pitcher Ryan Speier to a Minor League contract. Speier had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder on Feb. 1 and is not expected to pitch this season. The Rockies first waited for him to clear waivers, then released him from his Major League contract before re-signing him.
Speier made the Opening Day roster in 2005 and went 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA in 22 relief appearances, his first season in the Major Leagues.
Earlier in the week, the Rockies signed outfielder Barry Wesson (.194 in 31 big league at-bats for the '02 Astros and '03 Angels), outfielder Peter Zoccolillo (.108 in 37 big league at-bats for the '03 Brewers), and infielder Bo Hart (.272 in 309 at-bats with the Cardinals in'03 and '04) to Minor League contracts.
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.