Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Colorado Rockies playing themselves into oblivion

Things more exciting than watching the Colorado Rockies:

Knitting a sweater. Working a 16 hour day. Pulling out fingernails with tweezers.

Maybe it's not that bad, but seriously, did anyone think the Rockies had a chance to win Wednesday night's game before it started? It wasn't much of a surprise with All-Star, and now 12-game winner Jair Jurrjens on the mound for the Braves, facing off against former All-Star, and current dud, Aaron Cook.

With Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki still sidelined with injuries, the Rockies fielded a lineup that consisted of three players who were in Triple-A a month ago, a left fielder who is actually a third baseman, and a pitcher who isn't a better option than any other pitcher in the organization. The results of the game were apparent before either team took the field. When Cook gave up three runs in the first inning, the game became a spring training game in July.

A week ago, Jim Tracy told members of the media in his pregame press conference that the club just needed to maintain where they were (six games back) and get to the All-Star break. That mindset certainly hasn't inspired the Rockies to play good baseball, and it definitely didn't consider that the Rockies would be playing four games in Atlanta against one of the best pitching staffs in baseball.

At this point, the Rockies will be lucky to go into the All-Star break eight games out of the race in the National League West. Eight games, and it will be a moral victory for a team that was expected to cruise to their first NL West race. The disappointment for where the Rockies season is headed is beyond any disappointment that the club has had in their nearly two-decade existence.

The sad thing for the Rockies is that they really don't have an alternative to Cook every fifth day. No starter in Colorado Springs is what anyone would call a true prospect. Christian Friedrich, the club's 2009 first round pick in the 2008 draft, is in Double-A, but had a rough season in 2010 and would be a huge question mark at the big league level.

At this point, the Rockies don't even look like they have the talent to make a late-season run that fans have become accustom to.

It may be time to for the club to consider unloading some of their bigger contracts. Huston Street, who has another season left on his $21 million deal in 2012 will be someone who will garner much interest. Ryan Spilborghs and Jason Giambi are also players who will draw interest from contending teams.

The disappointing thing is that there probably weren't too many people who envisioned the Rockies being sellers at the deadline. However, it is reality at this point, and the club needs to do something to bolster their farm system.

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