Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Two more to go; Colorado Rockies on verge of losing 90

The Colorado Rockies record has ended up with a bad case of dyslexia.

At the beginning of the season, very few experts would have predicted that the Rockies would be closing in on 90 losses. Most would have thought that it would be the other way around, that the Rockies would be gunning for win number 90 at this point in the season.

However, there is no going back and correcting things now, they are what they are. The Rockies have been horribly disappointing.

The disappointment stems less from other teams being better than them, but rather that they had the talent to win a bad division but tripped over their own feet every chance they got.

When they had a poor May, going 8-21, the Rockies were still right in the thick of things. When they were seemingly dead in the water at the All-Star break, they could have simply gone .500 over the next three weeks and been within a good weekend from being in first place. They were even in at around the middle of August. A good run would have put them right back in the hunt.

The problem is, they blew it every chance they had.

No point in beating a dead horse, however. Everyone who watched the 2011 season of horrors for the Rockies knew that was the case. Everyone saw it. There is no sense in continuing to pound that fact into people's heads.

Despite the horrid season, there actually have been a few positives. First is Jhoulys Chacin. Take his second half for what it is worth. He still has mixed in flashes of brilliance. He still can be dominant. He has taken the next step forward and possesses the talent to be the ace of this club in 2012.

He has struggled with command of late. He tries to be too fine, throwing everything over the black part of the plate in an attempt to strike batters out. That aspect of his game is frustrating. However, keep in mind the Chacin is just 24-years old. This is his first season in the big leagues without a trip to the minors. He is still very immature. He will learn to pitch instead of throw, and when that happens, he could be among the best pitchers in the National League.

Beyond Chacin has been the second half of Dexter Fowler. Again, Fowler is a guy who still has work to do, but the strides that he has made since returning from Triple-A resemble his long strides in the outfield, rather than say, Ty Wigginton's strides while legging out a triple. Suddenly, Fowler can hit at this level, and will continue to grow up.

Also, who can't be excited about Jordan Pacheco and Wilin Rosario? Sure, Rosario needs to be better behind the plate, but don't discount the mental stress of trying to come to the big league level and figure out how to call a game at that level, all while trying to keep everything in front of him. Catching a big league game is tough for seasoned veterans, let alone a guy who never saw a pitch at the Triple-A level.

Pacheco has shown that he deserves a shot to be the everyday third baseman, not just a utility guy like Jim Tracy is demanding that he is. His poise and confidence at the plate is extremely unusual for a September call-up, especially someone who isn't supposed to be a star.

There is no doubt that it has been a tough year, but there have been some positives. Those are a few. Start there and try to build up. There is no sense in over-examining the wreckage of 2011.

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