Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tale of the Colorado Rockies season might be already told through nine games

Wilton Lopez was brutal on Tuesday.
The question has already been asked, who are the 2014 Colorado Rockies?

Is this team the one that showed up on Friday for the home opener and played a complete, fundamental game, which included good starting pitching and great hitting? On the other side, is this team the one the looked terrible on Opening Day in Miami last Monday or like they did on Tuesday night at Coors Field?

The answer is simple. The 2014 Colorado Rockies are both of those teams.

The reality is, when the Rockies face a sub-par pitcher at home, they are likely to crush the ball and score runs in multiple innings. When their starting pitcher can get into the 7th inning and give up three or less runs, the Rockies offense should be able to get the job done.

However, after the Rockies first few starting pitchers, especially with both Tyler Chatwood and Jhoulys Chacin on the shelf, Colorado is going to have to take what they can get with the likes of Franklin Morales, who has great stuff, but has consistently frustrated scouts throughout his career because he simply can't harness the talent that he possesses.

While Jordan Lyles and Juan Nicasio have been good, don't be surprised when they have a few awful outings themselves. Nicasio has shown great improvement, but he relies on on his fastball far too often, which is good, but will eventually get figured out. Lyles is still young and it should be remembered that he sports a career 5.30 ERA.

Despite the poor performances so far, both Brett Anderson and Jorge De La Rosa will find their way. They are both too good to not contribute in a significant way before the dog days of summer arrive.

It isn't to say that the Rockies aren't improved. This team seems like a much deeper team than they were a year ago. However, fans should remind themselves that this team is climbing out of the basement of the National League West over the past two seasons. This is a franchise that looked in absolute despair. It looked like a franchise that needed to clean out the front office and move on to the next chapter.

With that in mind, the expectations should be lowered slightly. When games like Tuesday's 15-4 debacle occur, the first place that fans should turn to is the box score. If one of the questionable pitchers is the man who started the game, there shouldn't be too much concern.

Tuesday, however, showed the Rockies one thing. For the better part of 2013, Rockies fans were wondering why Wilton Lopez was on the roster. He was brutal. Despite a stretch of decent outings in '13, Lopez was a disaster. The Rockies continued to stick with him, but still found themselves burned by his lack of command.

Lopez turned in a performance that will certainly be remembered as a down moment in his career. He pitched just 2/3 of an inning, giving up eight hits, six runs and three home runs.

The bullpen is also going to be an area that the Rockies will need some luck. Lopez hasn't shown that he can get outs, Matt Belisle has had a couple decent outings, but also has shown that the wear and tear on his arm over the years may have taken it's toll. Chad Bettis has also struggled. That fact should have Rockies fans wondering how dependable their bullpen will be.

The Rockies still have a chance to go out and win a series, and also win a homestand on Wednesday afternoon. A win would suggest that they can get the job done at Coors Field. If they can dominate at home, they just have to tread water on the road to be successful.

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  1. Oh puh-lllllllleeeease. CLEAN OUT the front office and be DONE with it.

  2. Why are Morales and Lopes on this roster? I’d like to ask the 2 ring circus of O’Dowd and Geivett that question. The Rockies should have just put a tee on the plate last night. I won’t let it slide as just being a bad night for the Rockies. Pitcher decisions are supposedly made by the skipper but I suspect that Geivett is making the calls from the owner’s suite to the dugout. Doesn’t a skipper ask the bullpen coach the question of who is looking the best in the pen for the game situation? I still don’t believe that Walt Weiss is the skipper of this team. I believe that he still is Geivett’s puppet. Dexter Fowler was quoted that none of the players know who is in charge. It is apparent to me that the management of the Rockies is just a circle jerk operation, like a lot of military field exercises are. It’s still too early to get a grip on what the Rockies will be this year. A repeat of 2012-2013 or a 0.500 team? With O’Dud (name misspelling is intentional) and Geivett running this team – as of now, I’d have to say it’ll be another failed year. I don’t like to be so pessimistic this early in the season but reality is what it is. If so - Cargo, Tulo and Cuddy should be begging to be traded to contending teams.

    One of my favorite ball players, Kirby Puckett, of the MN Twins turned down millions of $ from other teams. He remained loyal to his team during down years because the Twins always had a great farm system that would improve the team the next year and he knew that the Twins had smart management. Of course the Twins farm was never as good as how Dick Monfort sees his farm system as being - or he retells the media what O’Dud told him. The Monforts are an embarrassment to MLB and true baseball fans in Colorado. The MLB is supposed to be a collection of professional teams…. the Rockies disqualify because they are non professional via its ignorant ownership and management corp. I will give the Rockies org 5 stars for their marketing skills of luring party people to the ballpark. When I go to a game I want to see the game and sometimes keep score, not cruise around and party on the mezzanines and the rooftop party deck. I love baseball.

  3. I wouldnt read too much into last night's fiasco as I felt from the start it was a give-up game by taking both Cargo and Blackmon out of the lineup and I really felt Weiss was making a point by leaving Lopez in to suffer through his mess. Lopez should be sent packing immediately.

    As far as the team as a whole, it is not as horrid as so many think and believe me, I am no O'Dowd supporter. Lets go through the team...

    Infield - Tremendous defense with Tulo one of the top SS in the game.

    Outfield - Gold Glove Cargo and NL batting champ Cuddyer with a possible breakout player in Blackmon. Not too shabby.

    Catcher - You like Wilin's bat and hear a guy like Lyles giving him props after the game so not sure if all the negativity is blown out of proportion about his catching abilities or not. The passed balls have decreased where its no longer an issue.

    Pitching - Once DLR and Anderson get on track plus the return of Chatwood and Chachin and then add in Lyles or Nicasio and you have a pretty decent rotation with some depth and the impending arrival of Jon Gray and Butler. So it doesn't look as bleak as the last few years when they were tossing out Jamie Moyer. Oswalt and Jeff Francis. There is no ace like a Kershaw or Verlander but those types are few and far between.

    Bullpen - This is my concern area. Both Lopez and Belisle should be used in blowouts only. Bettis and Kahlne both have looked shaky. This leaves a gaping hole if a starter cannot finish the 6th. Ottavino has looked tremendous and hopefully Logan will be what we heard. I have not seen enough o fHawkins in a tight game to offer an opinion yet. Brothers will hopefully be what we saw last season.

    So overall, is this team really as bad as so many make it out to be. Time will tell but on paper, it looks solid but they need to get a handle on the bullpen issues.

  4. I understand that regular players need a day off once in awhile. But the question in my mind is why 1/3 of the starters at one time? I'm not going to do the math but if you take the combined early season batting average of Cargo, DJ and Blackmon, you're certainly giving up a lot when you install all 3 of their replacements at the same time.
    And thank goodness, due to whatever pressure, be it from the wonderful baseball minds we have in the front office or fan pressure or Weiss himself, Wilton Lopez is gone at least for awhile!