Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rockies Cook up a loss

It is no secret. Everyone who watches the Rockies consistently knows it. There is no way around it. Aaron Cook is awful.

Despite the obvious on the mound, the Rockies continue to put Aaron Cook on the mound every fifth game. On Tuesday night the club paid the price again, losing to the Giants 10-0. Cook gave up four runs in the first inning, and the damage would have been worse had Ryan Spilborghs not made a good throw to record the third out at the plate.

In all, the damage for Cook was three innings pitched, eight hits, five earned runs with two strikeouts and two walks.

The offense obviously did not score any runs, yet the loss falls squarely on the shoulders of Cook. The redhead is a shell of the pitcher that pitched in the All Star game in 2008. Instead of relying on his sinker, the pitch that has made him a wealthy man, Cook has toyed with a hanging curveball all season long. The breaking pitch is clearly not working, yet Cook continues to throw it. The reinvented Cook is not the answer the Rockies need.

Despite his struggles, the Rockies decided to keep Cook in the rotation and send up-and-coming starter Jhoulys Chacin back to Colorado Springs despite the two having numbers that would suggest that was not the move that needed to be made.

With Cook, the situation is dicey because traditionally baseball's hierarchy suggests that a player with Cook's resume cannot be supplanted by a rookie like Chacin. Basically, a veteran gets the respect from the front office because of what he has accomplished in the past, despite what he is actually doing on the field at the time.

That decision may be the nail in the coffin for the 2010 Rockies.

The fact is, heading into Tuesday night the Rockies had 55 games left to play and trailed the San Diego Padres by 7-1/2 games in the National League West race. That kind of deficit, coupled by the fact that the Rockies also have to chase down the red hot Giants, means that games against those two teams, especially games played at home, are crucial.

Do the Rockies have to win every single game against those two teams. Of course not, but they cannot afford to simply give games away like they did on Tuesday night. They need to put a pitcher on the mound who can keep them in the game long enough to strike. Every pitcher has off nights, but Cook has been mired in a season-long slump and give his team almost zero chance to win a game.

Tuesday night surely made the decision easy for the Rockies. Aaron Cook will no longer be in the rotation, that is almost guaranteed. However, it may be a little too late for the club. A win would have put the Rockies just 4-1/2 games out the wild card race. The loss puts them 6-1/2 out. It has essentially come down to every series that the Rockies play being extremely important. They absolutely must go on a run at some point, and they cannot afford to lose series.

Tuesday may have marked the last time Aaron Cook starts a game for the Rockies in 2010, but for the Rockies playoff chances it may have been three starts too late for the playoffs.

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  1. I 100% agree with the above.

  2. Read Paragraph 4 again and "bold" it. Perhaps the strategy should change, send Cook down to get his act together (as they did with D. Fowler-and it paid off) and bring back Chacin, who was doing an excellent starting job. Think!

    When you send someone down, it makes everyone re-think and focus...as "I don't have a lock on any position"...it's the guys who are playing with 100% heart and are 'hungry'.


  3. I agree 100% and Cook should have been sent down 2 months ago when it really would have made a difference. If Cook really cared about his "team" he would tell them to send him down so he could figure out what his problem is. I don't have any respect for a guy who costs his club games like he has this year. O'Dowd and Tracy need to just step up and make the move before it's too late.

  4. Cook may not have anymore options. Also this may apply:

    If a player has 5 years of major-league service, he may not be assigned to a minor-league team without his consent, regardless of whether he has already been out-righted once, even if he clears waivers. If the player withholds consent, the team must either release him or keep him on the major league roster. In either case, the player must continue to be paid under the terms of his contract. If he is released and signs with a new team, his previous team must pay the difference in salary between the two contracts if the previous contract called for a greater salary.

  5. The above is true...it is not exactly as easy as "sending Cook down." He has no option years remaining, meaning the Rockies cannot send him down to the minors without waiving him first. That means that he would be available to every other club for the prorated minimum, with the Rockies on the hook for the rest of his salary. Despite his struggles, there is zero chance that Cook would not be claimed at that price.

  6. I agree that Cookie has gotten away from his sinker a bit, but if you actually look at it, the majority of the hits were on SINKERS! They just aren't sinking. Something is way out of whack with his mechanics, not necessarily a case of him "reinventing himself", as so many claim