Sunday, April 28, 2013

Colorado Rockies make a bold statement by calling up Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado made his much anticipated debut on Sunday.
The Colorado Rockies lost another sloppy game on Sunday to the Arizona Diamondbacks, dropping three of four in the desert.

However, Rockies fans everywhere should be smiling.

Early on Sunday morning, it was announced that the Rockies had made a move that had been anticipated by the fan base for the past two years. Nolan Arenado, the club's top prospect, and probably the most highly touted minor leaguer in the club's 20 year history, was finally on his way to the big league club.

There have been rumblings for Arenado since he led the entire organization in RBIs in Single-A Modesto in 2011. In just 134 games he had 122 RBIs. He followed up that performance by winning the Arizona Fall League MVP. That award was no small accomplishment, as both Bryce Harper and Mike Trout were participating.


Arenado was far less of a standout in Double-A Tulsa in 2012, but came into spring training with a point to prove. He dominated the early part of spring and jumped back to the forefront of the Rockies minds' as well as the fans. In his month of Triple-A action, Arenado made it clear that the Pacific Coast League was a step below where he belongs. In 66 at-bats, the third baseman hit .364 and had already driven in 21 runs.

Stats aside, the move screams for the attention of the cynical Rockies fan. It yells from the highest peak to the fans who criticize the Monforts for not caring about winning. It completely trashes that theory.

For the Rockies to call up Arenado on April 28th shows that the Rockies believe that the can contend, and that they can contend right now.

What the move says is that the Rockies aren't going through the motions in 2013. They are off to a fast start and they believe that adding Arenado to an already potent offense will increase their chances at staying near the top of the National League West for the duration of the season. They believe that calling up their stud prospect would help them stay there.

The move screams to the Rockies fan who has been afraid to jump on the early season bandwagon because of bitterness left over from 2012. It screams that the Rockies are not rebuilding, they are actively contending. It says that if the front office believes that this team can win in 2013, not 2014 or 2015, right now.

The Rockies front office is making a move that says they don't believe that the early season success of this team is a mirage. They believe they are for real, and they are going to do what it takes to equip this team with the talent it is going to take to make a run. That should be exciting for Rockies fans, especially those who have suffered through the doldrums of the past three seasons.

The move also flies in the face of the critics who say that the Rockies aren't concerned about anything more than money. One of the most common criticisms of the Rockies is that their owners don't care about winning as long as 30,000 fans continue to pour through the gates of Coors Field.

If that were true, Arenado wouldn't see the big leagues until at least the middle of June. What the Rockies have done by calling up the prospect before May is ensure that they will lose one of his pre-arbitration years. At this point, Arenado will qualify as a "super-two", meaning after two full seasons, plus his partial season of service time in 2013, he will qualify for an extra season of arbitration eligibility.

That might not mean anything to the common fan, but what it means to the owners is that instead of getting to renew Arenado's contract for close to the league minimum in his fourth big league season, which is normal for most players, Arenado will qualify for arbitration, which will increase his salary by several hundred thousand dollars, if not millions, at that point.

The fact that the Monforts easily could have told the front office to hold off on calling up Arenado for that simple reason, and didn't, shows that they care about winning, and winning now. It shows that they aren't pinching pennies at the expense of the franchise and their fans.

After two very bad seasons of baseball in Colorado, fans should be thrilled to see the team that they root for doing everything in their power to win. They should be excited to see that this front office believes that this isn't a baseball team that is years away from contention, but that they are currently in a spot where they have a chance to be playing for a playoff spot before the summer turns to fall.

Despite a loss on Sunday, and despite the fact that the Rockies had a tough week, fans should be thrilled that their team is far better off than anyone thought they were. They are in a position to make a run, and there is nothing holding them back. The front office is behind it, and the owners are behind it.

It might be time to believe that this team actually has a chance.

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20 comments:

  1. ScoMan @MLBColoRockiesApril 28, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    The NA era has begun.....

    NA for several reasons - first being they saw Nelly's stock falling with the poor start, and wanted to try and get something for him. We all knew Nolan was going to be here this year. I figured it would be more towards the deadline instead of late April. That fact that Chris started off so slowly with no real evidence he was turning the corner meant the Rox needed to dump him and quick to get anything out of him.

    NA again. Tulo is hurt. While it doesn't sound too serious, some of the comments he made should have every Rox fan worried. Maybe the last couple of years taught him not to play though the pain, and he is going to take it easy so he doesn't miss a large part of the season. Only time will tell. Another comment from Walt had me thinking about this as well. Walt said he wanted DJ to get some extended reps at short in AAA. While innocent enough it had me thinking that they were expecting Tulo to go down with an injury, or thinking about a move around the deadline. Personally I think it is more the latter.

    NA again. If Monfort really thought the team was a contender, he would have had Nolan up at the start of the season.

    And one last NA. The Rockies will always sell tickets, regardless of their record. Colorado is such a transient/transplant state that there are plenty of fans from various parts of the country that will buy Rox tickets to see their team. One just has to look at the Atlanta series as a perfect example.

    Maybe I too am still rather cynical after last year. Maybe it's because of the "performance" of this last week. But I see Nolan coming up as a ploy to try and win back some of the fans. Only time will tell.

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  2. ScoMan @MLBColoRockiesApril 28, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    I should say that I do think Nolan will be our long term answer at 3rd. The kid has vast amount of potential, and will do well for many years to come. I just think he is a pawn right now for Dan and Dick.

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  3. what's wrong with pacheco or wheeler they are proven players. right now i see pacheco as the 1st baseman for the rockies heir apparent to number 17.ever since vinny 3rd base has been a revolving door.don't think this nolan kid is the answer, time will tell. didn't rutledge come in last year with a bang.don't hear to much about him this year.bichette needs to look deeper as far as hitting goes. cannot leave that many players on base without a simple hit to score and expect to win games. i know of 5 games that could have been won with a well placed hit. so far the rockies seem to be playing at a good level to compete for the title, just have fun and play hard.as for management of the rockies, winning does make a difference as like in all sports, hopefully they realize this very soon.my concern right now is that management has been to quiet early part of the season and hopefully they stay that way and not throw a wrench in to the scheme of things as like in the past.time will tell. GO ROCKIES

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  4. why are you massaging the Monfort's ego...........they are not committed to winning........they make money for their family.....one of your worst articles.
    and by the way, Arenado was ready on opening day.
    NEXT, RETIRE HELTON.
    gone fishing til September.

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    1. Appreciate the comment, but here is the reality...I have been extremely critical of the Monfort's in the past. I have questioned their intentions on winning several times...but at some point, you have to call a spade a spade. If you criticize them when they make mistakes, you also have to praise them for doing something that shows they are committed. It is a two-way street. If you only look at a team from a negative perspective, you will only see the negative, which won't give you an actual portrayal of reality. I would prefer to look at this team objectively and be willing to give credit where credit is due. This is a move that shows they aren't afraid to spend some money to win.

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    2. I agree, as a non-local fan, I won't spend the money on airfare and hotel rooms unless I have a chance to see them win. I haven't been to Denver in 2 years due to this fact but I'm actually excited about this year. I believe they need one more starting pitcher to really compete, but I'm hoping for a fun year. As for the anonymous post about profit is more important than winning, rich people usually get rich by being smart. Profits will go up if the Rockies keep winning. Even if you have to spend more money.

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  5. Monfort on record........profit is more important than winning.

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  6. I call bullshit on this. If this guy is so great and can help this team so greatly, why was he not on the opening day roster? You need PITCHING. You are still 2 or 3 starting pitchers short of having a really good team.

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    1. He wasn't on the Opening Day roster because he had never seen a pitch at the Triple-A level. He is still young, had a rough adjustment to Double-A a year ago, and probably needed to show the team that his spring numbers weren't a mirage.

      Yes, this team needs pitching, no one will argue that, but does that mean that a franchise should ignore other needs and only go after their greatest need? If he can help the club win, who cares if pitching is a greater need, the end result is that the team is better.

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  7. you are shilling for the man...

    rockies are a second rate franchise.........time for Monfort owners to 'put out or get out'.

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    1. "Time for the Monforts to out out or get out"...Isn't that exactly what they are doing? They are putting out the money to help this team win. I have been critical of the Monfort's in the past. They have deserved criticism. However, at some point you have to look at each move objectively instead of insisting that they are the worst owners ever, so every move they make is horrible. You want them to put out, but when they do, you won't give them credit for it.

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  8. i give up..............
    you just don't get it....
    take your owner as is and finish third or worse in nl west division.
    not my cup of tea.

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    1. What don't I get? That the owners are terrible? Go back to the end of last season and I think you will clearly see my stance.

      Being critical is part of being a fan, but at some point, you have to at least acknowledge them when they do the right thing and bring up a prospect without regards to his arbitration clock starting, or shell out a contract to someone who might not be completely tested.

      What is left to get? Of course the Monforts are in it to make money...guess what, so is my boss, your boss and every other owner of a company. Owners that aren't in it to make money go out of business.

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    2. David, Please quit responding to this same moron. He already stated he was going fishing till September. You can't argue with a moron they beat you on stupidity and experience every time. By responding you have kept that Harvard graduate and world class angler from leaving. While to most it may seem like Monforts are cheap and not listening to the fans. Let's not forget the fans spoke loud and clear and they listened when fans said if you get rid of Cargo and Tulo we won't come and what happened? They opened the checkbook and inked them to huge multi year deals. They then wanted another solid outfielder and once again they open the checkbook and sign Cudeyer in free agency. They now have forfeited hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring this young prospect up for a lets win now mantra. People please understand we are not NY or LA or even San Fran for that matter. There is a lot more money and people in those markets so we can't compete with their payrolls. If we did or tried to our ticket prices would double and beer and hot dog prices would triple. No one here wants that. As fans we want and need them to spend money but not do it recklessly and handcuff the team from being even competitive for ten years. While a Roxs game is not cheap by any means. Comparative to other teams across the biggs it is a hell of a value and a great ballpark and a good time guaranteed.Be patient guys and keep going to the park. If we fill the stands and keep winning they will come of the hip again and get us an extra arm or veteran bat down the stretch. Pitchers are only gonna come here on a rent a player down the stretch basis for a chance at the playoffs. That is a reality we all need to accept. Not like it but accept it. It's just reality. A pitcher won't come here to ruin his career in thin air and it's not a value for us to pay 15 mill a year for someone to go 12-8 on the year. There will be another Garland like arm available for us to rent for 3 months and we will get em.

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  9. deep thoughts by david martin.............

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  10. I would love to buy into your theory......but,you cant ignore the history of this ownership, or the lack of pitching. Aren't these the same people who tried to tell us that Guthrie and Jaime Moyer were legitimate one/two starting pitchers? Bringing this kid up smells more like tossing a bone to fans, to keep butts in the seats, than any real attempt at putting together a winning team. Sorry, Monforts, fool me once, blah, blah, blah....

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    1. P.S. I really do hope your right Mr. Martin!

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    2. If it was a ploy to keep fans coming, I don't think they would have done it when they were 15-9, I think they would have done it when people were down on the team, when they were getting closer to .500.

      You make a good point with Guthrie and Moyer, but this is also the team that knew it was time to trade Ubaldo, the team that traded Luis Viszcaino and got Jason Marquis, who helped the Rockies make the playoffs. Also the team that landed Rafael Betancourt for next to nothing, pulled Matt Belisle from the scrap heap, and made plenty of other moves that get forgotten about.

      Don't get me wrong, they deserve a lot of criticism for the last few years, but the last few years blind many to the good moves that have been made.

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  11. 20 years of mediocrity.......
    and Monfort charges full price for substandard product while fans are exposed to continuous drivel from owners and media.

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  12. drivel is an unusually harsh word, and should be retracted.
    however, rockie record is substandard and underscores owners' lack of interest and or inability.

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