|Roy Oswalt is still a Rockie.|
Thirteen games remain on the schedule, the results of which are far from consequential. The Rockies have been out of the race since they forgot their bats on a 10-game west coast road trip right before the All-Star Break.
Many would argue that the Rockies cashed it in long before now, but the signs of quit are prevalent in the on-field decisions being made. Relievers like Jeff Manship and Jeff Francis are being put into games that aren't completely decided. Mitchell Boggs is given opportunities to get work in, and for some unknown reason, Roy Oswalt continues to be given innings on the mound as if he is a 22-year-old prospect.
As for the bullpen, it could be argued that those arms were the best answers. Everyone has seen what can happen when Walt Weiss points to Wilton Lopez, who has been beyond terrible, or lately to Matt Belisle, who actually pitches pretty well considering most other human beings arms would have to be sewn back on by now if they recorded the same number of innings that he has logged in the past three seasons.
Regardless, even the most ardent Rockies supporters can see the finish line. With the end in sight, the opinions and the passion starts to move from strong to tired. Most of those arguing one way or the other about the Rockies, their decisions, their personnel and everything else about the Rockies tend to go quiet right about now.
It makes sense, the baseball season is a long one. It seems like a very long time ago when Jordan Pacheco punched a single through the right side to defeat the Mets at home in a 20-degree May evening with about 50 people in the stands.
It is tough to watch all nine innings at this point. The story lines are quickly disappearing. Jorge De La Rosa had a chance to tie Ubaldo Jimenez's team-record 19 wins, but his thumb injury is pushing his next start back at least a couple of days. It wouldn't be a huge surprise to see the Rockies choose to skip his start altogether.
The other story line, and one that should keep Rockies fans tuned in, is the last chance to watch the greatest player in team history playing out his final days. Todd Helton has just 13 more times in which he will wear a Rockies uniform. He connects the past to the present, and he is also the lone link that many Rockies fans have to days where there seemed to be hope.
On Saturday night, Oswalt took the mound looking for his first win in a Rockies uniform. Having him toe the rubber makes no sense. Is Oswalt really an option for Colorado in 2014? After what he has shown in 2013, the Rockies should move on. Every team can use the occasional stop-gap, but the Rockies have made too much of a habit of it.
If Oswalt is the best option coming out of spring training then the Rockies may as well end the prospect status of both Eddie Butler, a starting pitcher who dominated Double-A Tulsa, and first round draft pick Jonathan Gray, who quickly ascended to the top of many scouts top-prospect lists. If the Rockies can't find good enough pitchers on the free agent market, through trade, or in the top levels of their farm system, they may as well bring their future up and let them see what they can do. Having Oswalt as a stop-gap is a tired game that the Rockies have played for too long.
Those arguments can be put on hold for another day. The Rockies are two weeks away from cleaning out their lockers and heading home for a long winter, a much needed winter where this team can evaluate who they have, not only on the field, but in the front offices as well.
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