Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jason Hammel shows he belongs with the Colorado Rockies

There is no doubt about it, Jason Hammel has had a rough season.

After a stellar June, he seemed to forget how to pitch. He was spinning off of his front foot and was missing his spots on a routine basis. He couldn't figure it out. His season spiraled downhill in the same fashion as his team's.

The results on the mound resulted in a demotion to the bullpen for Hammel. The Rockies couldn't afford for him to continue to struggle every fifth day, so they sent him down to the 'pen, presumably putting him on the offseason trading block and ending his days in a Rockies uniform.

The only problem with that was, Hammel, who has the stuff to be a middle of the rotation starter, not just a back end type of guy. The Rockies, in desperate need of good pitching, would kick themselves if they dealt Hammel in the offseason, only to see him succeed somewhere else.

On Saturday night, while the Rockies finally broke their nine-game losing streak, Hammel was the reason why they ended the streak. He went seven strong innings, giving up just two runs on three hits. Both runs came in the first inning, and once the right-hander settled in, he was as dominant as the club has seen him been in the past.

The reality is, the Rockies need Hammel. They need him to have confidence, and they need him to be successful. The Rockies need pitching in the worst way. They can try to go out and trade for a good middle of the rotation guy, or they can simply work with a guy they already have signed and get him to be productive. It won't be easy, but that is a better decision than trying to deal him for someone who will have issues of their own.

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