Monday, September 24, 2012

Colorado Rockies end losing skid, show talent in win

Tyler Chatwood is just 22-years-old.
One thing is certain. The Colorado Rockies have plenty of options in the outfield in 2013.

Make no mistake, the Rockies have been horrible in 2012. However, the interesting thing about the Rockies pathetic season has been how many positives have come out of it. The young players have shown how good they can be and how bright the future could be if everything goes right in the front office.

As bad as the starting pitching has been, there is reason for optimism. Tyler Chatwood, the Rockies starter on Monday night, went 5-2/3 innings. He gave up two runs on one bad pitch, a change up the stayed in Jason Kubel's wheelhouse who left no doubt where the ball would be deposited. It quickly made a dent in the seats in the second level of right field.

Beyond that home run, however, Chatwood looked very good. He gave up just three hits, striking out three and walking two. He was lifted with two runners on base in the 6th inning after delivering 85 pitches.

Chatwood has been anything but great in 2012. He has struggled in many different ways. However, the right-hander throws 97 MPH and it is easy to forget that the California native is just 22-years-old. Give him an offseason to catch his breath and build confidence and the Rockies might have a very good option for their rotation when they go back to conventional baseball in 2013.

The talent is there for the Rockies. Despite the disappointing seasons of both Drew Pomeranz and Alex White, the two prized prospects that came back in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, still have shown enough talent to provide some level of excitement. After returning from injury, Jhoulys Chacin has been very good, looking more like the solid number two starter that his talent suggests he is. Couple that with a return of Jorge De La Rosa, who will be completely healthy, including a few starts under his belt to rebuild confidence. In addition, the club will also have Juan Nicasio back, giving them yet another option.

Throw in Jeff Francis and Chatwood and the Rockies have seven pitchers who are very capable of getting outs at the Major League level.

That is very good news for the Rockies because the offense hasn't been the problem. In fact, both Andrew Brown and Charlie Blackmon are making their case for their spot on the big league roster in April. Brown, who hit a monster home run on Saturday night, launched an opposite field missile on Monday. That came after he had laced a double earlier in the game.

Blackmon went 2-for-3 including a perfect bunt down the third base line. Had the Rockies known the production that they would get from Tyler Colvin, plus the ability to call upon both Brown and Blackmon, would they have pulled the trigger on signing Michael Cuddyer this past offseason?

With those three in the fold, knowing what they are able to accomplish, does Cuddyer become expendable? Certainly Colvin plays a better outfield and first base than Cuddyer. If Cuddyer is traded, how much money are the Rockies going to have to eat to send him packing? Cuddyer is a great guy, but the reality is, this team that might lose 100 games has too much talent to keep him around.

The infield is also full of talent. How do the Rockies pick between Josh Rutledge, Chris Nelson, Jordan Pacheco and DJ LeMahieu? All four of those guys have proven not only to be decent players, but their slow heartbeats have made believers out of the few fans that have continued to watch.

The reality is, this Rockies team is surprisingly deep in talent, and not in one aspect of the game, in every aspect of the game. For those who believe that the talent on the field is the issue, take a look at the talent that is actually performing. The talent is there, the management isn't getting the job done. The reality is, the pitching talent might not be ready for big league action this early, but that isn't their fault, it is the fault of the people who didn't get enough talent in place to allow them to develop in the minors.

The Rockies won, they have nine games left to play and they will mercifully end their miserable season after those games conclude. If the Rockies have any sense of accountability, if they believe in winning, if they are as embarrassed as their fans are, if they respect themselves at all, the news will quickly follow that major changes are sweeping through the front office at Coors Field.

If the Rockies only make moves among the coaching staff, keeping Jim Tracy, not doing anything with Dan O'Dowd, and laying blame on the coaches, they will be doing themselves a huge disservice. The month of September should be enough to convince the Rockies that change is not only necessary, but that it is required in order to not be the joke of the league.

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  1. BINGO!!! you said it all in a nutshell. coaches and front office. the only acceptable talent is on the field, not in the front office. change is good. proper coaching and direction is needed because the kids can play that 9 game losing streak they could have won 7 if tracy wouldn't have burned out his pitchers with his crazy 75 pitch count. well enough said of this year let's see what 2013 brings, should be interesting.

  2. These guys can also run. I am so tired of watching Todd Helton being thrown out at home. If he gets any slower this off season he'll be going backwards. I think the Rockies have all the position players they need and any off season moves should be to strengthen the pitching staff. In particular they don't have a guy for the top of the rotation. They thought they addressed that this year, but he couldn't even stay on his bike.

  3. our deepest sympathies to the players who day to day put up with incompetent owners and management.