Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Colorado Rockies need pitching

The Rockies need pitching. The Rockies always need pitching, but they really need it now. Pitching has never been more important in Major League Baseball, and right now the Rockies are the worst at it in the entire league, squandering the tremendous offensive abilities on the roster.

The contrast between the hitting and pitching of the 2014 Rockies was stark, so much so that used it as a prime example of how necessary it is to research both sides of the game before placing a bet (or faith) in a team. Looking at the full season statistics illustrates just how much failure in a single aspect of the game can derail an otherwise excellent team.

The Rockies were in the top three in all of baseball in a number of major offensive categories, trailing only the powerhouse Detroit Tigers or Los Angeles Angels in almost every case where they didn't lead baseball. Colorado led in OPS, slugging percentage, and total bases, second in batting average, hits, and home runs (behind Baltimore), and third in RBI and runs scored. Basically, they hit like an American League team last season, and an elite one at that.

And still, they had the second-worst record in baseball, finishing just two games ahead of the division rival Arizona Diamondbacks. That can almost entirely be laid at the feet of a pitching staff that was the inverse of the offense, finishing last or second to last in a huge number of pitching categories.

Rookie Tyler Matzek had the lowest ERA among the Colorado starters at 4.05, while the overall staff ERA was the highest in baseball at 4.86, over a quarter of a run higher than the next worse team. They were also last in saves, runs and earned runs allowed, WHIP, and home runs allowed, while finishing second to last in hits allowed, strikeouts, and walks. All of which contributed to a measly 66 wins.

For his part, new GM Jeff Bridich recognizes how much of a problem the pitching was, acknowledging that while the Rockies won't be able to compete in a bidding war for the top names they will be taking runs at a number of other quality pitchers on the market. The fact that the team finally appears willing to listen to offers for Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez also puts the potential for a blockbuster trade or two in play.

So once more, Rockies management is looking for arms to bring to Colorado. In an age where pitching has become more and more important, continuing to fall so far behind the rest of the majors will spell nothing but continued failure.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Thoughts on the Colorado Rockies front office moves

Dick Monfort is the real problem for the Colorado Rockies.
Dreams do come true.

However, as is the case with Colorado Rockies fans, those dreams don't always play out the way they were originally thought up.

On Wednesday morning, Rockies fans were jolted out of their sleep by text messages from friends announcing that Christmas had come early. The Rockies had accepted the resignation of not only Dan O'Dowd and Bill Geivett. It was the move that fans had been demanding for the better part of three years.

As quickly as the good news came in, however, their was a Gatorade bucket of water dumped onto the fire of excitement. The Rockies search wasn't going to go outside of the organization that many had longed for, but instead, the search ended before it began. The Rockies announced that Jeff Bridich, the director of their farm system, had been promoted into that role.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Watching teams celebrate should crush the Colorado Rockies decision-makers

Playing out the string isn't too much fun to watch.
On Tuesday night it was the Pittsburgh Pirates, a few nights before it was the Angels. Tomorrow night could be the Dodgers turn.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Rockies finished a 3-1/2 hour game in San Diego that literally means nothing. It would have been a nail biter--if anyone still cared. Instead, while making his 998th career appearance, LaTroy Hawkins worked his way out of a lead-off walk to finish a 3-2 rare Rockies road win.

The champagne was probably being cleaned up off of the Pirates clubhouse floor when the Rockies finally finished their road affair on the west coast. The six-game road trip to finish off the season feels like salt in the wound for Rockies fans who don't want to miss a game. The 11:30 pm finishes make it tough for fans to stay tuned until the final out.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Failure to make changes might hurt the Colorado Rockies more than they think

Dick Monfort simply doesn't get it.
Dick Monfort is fiercely loyal. Nearly everyone agrees on that.

That is what everyone says about the Colorado Rockies owner. That is why he hasn't done what the owners of 27 other teams have done, some several times, since he hired Dan O'Dowd to be the general manager of the Rockies. Since 1999, when O'Dowd was brought on board, all but two teams have fired their GM's. Both of those teams, the Yankees and the Giants, have won multiple World Championships under their current GM.

The Rockies, however, haven't come close to winning two World Series in that time. In fact, over that course of time, O'Dowd's Rockies have only had four winning seasons. They have been to the playoffs just twice, and they have failed to win a National League West title. In the same amount of time, every other team in the NL West has won that division at least twice.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Colorado Rockies finish off home schedule with a sweep of the Diamondbacks

Coors Field closed it's doors for the season on Sunday.
Believe it or not, the Colorado Rockies played a game on Sunday.

It might seem hard to believe, as the entire focus of the Denver sports scene was on the Denver Broncos trip to Seattle to avenge their Super Bowl blowout loss.

Strangely, the Rockies had more success over the weekend than the Broncos did. The Rockies got a good pitching performance from Christian Bergman, who went 5-2/3 innings, giving up two runs on six hits. He only threw 67 pitches before giving way to Franklin Morales after giving up a two run bomb to Mark Trumbo.