|In a strange move, the Rockies dealt Reynolds to Arizona.|
On Tuesday, the Rockies dealt Reynolds to the division-rival Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for infielder Ryan Wheeler. The move came as a surprise to most Rockies fans, and Reynolds himself, who told the Denver Post that he hadn't heard any rumors.
Two weeks previous, the Rockies watched Minnesota pick up Roenicke off of waivers, a move made to clear 40-man roster space.
Moves similar to this are made by nearly every team in nearly every offseason. However, these two moves have Rockies fans scratching their heads because of the fact that one of the few strong points in an otherwise horrible season for the Rockies was their bullpen. Guys like Roenicke and Reynolds held things down, overworking their arms, in an effort to bridge the gaping hole left by the starting pitchers.
Baseball is a game of habit and routine. Players are quirky and do things based on habits and superstitions. Those are seen everyday. Those routines extend to front offices as well. One thing that is common across the board in baseball is that a player is labeled based on what round they were drafted in. Reynolds, a 20th round pick, was a long shot to make it past Single-A, therefore, making it to the big leagues was a pipe dream on his draft day.
Never regarded as a top-prospect, Reynolds forced his way onto the scene by beginning his Triple-A season with a 21 inning scoreless streak. When elevated to the big leagues, he proved difficult to hit and pitched with confidence out of a myriad of roles.
Despite his success, he remained a 20th round pick. What that means is that no matter how well he performed, the thought was that he must have been pitching well over his talent level and that eventually he would fall back to earth. Instead of realizing that the scouting department had found a diamond in the rough, the common belief is that he was drafted where he was drafted because he wasn't good enough to go higher than that.
The Rockies saw an opportunity to get value in Wheeler, so they jumped on the chance. The question marks come from the positions that Wheeler plays. He is a corner infielder, a spot where the Rockies have more talent than they know what to do with, and even added depth when they received Charlie Culberson from the Giants in the Marco Scutaro trade.
The clear issue for the Rockies is their starting pitchers. In the early part of the offseason, the Rockies have done nothing to address this glaring need. The issue might be the fact that after the amount of negativity that the Rockies front office put out about their own home park, there are few free agent pitchers who would be willing to sacrifice their career by signing to pitch at Coors Field.
At some point, the Rockies have to ditch the idea that pitching at Coors Field is impossible. They certainly have to stop talking about how pitching at Coors Field causes injuries.
The Rockies may have picked up Wheeler in an effort to complete different deals, using some of their infield depth to make a move that will bring in a starting pitcher that they are eyeing. However, at this point, the move seems questionable at best. Reynolds was a solid pitcher from the left side. Guys like that aren't on every team. When a team has one, they usually hold on to them.
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