Saturday, May 31, 2014

Reality of who the Colorado Rockies are surfaces as road trip finishes on Sunday

It's time for the Rockies to take Franklin Morales out of the rotation.
This was their litmus test. This was their chance to show that they were different than in years past. This was the opportunity the Colorado Rockies had to prove the last of their doubters wrong.

Instead, they emptied out the bandwagon and got everyone's minds focused on the Broncos before summer officially starts.

The Rockies battled on Saturday, which was a step in the right direction. A four-run 7th inning tied the game and gave the Rockies an opportunity to win the game and have a chance to salvage what is left of a terrible road trip.

Instead, the ugly road that the Rockies have become so familiar with rared it's head once again and caused heartache both for the team and their fans. On Saturday it was the bullpen that showed it's weakness. Rex Brothers, nearly an All-Star a year ago, is nowhere near the pitcher that he once was. His mechanics are terrible and his fastball velocity has dropped by five miles per hour. Apparently the loss of speed on his fastball has also caused a lack of command, which ended up costing Brothers and the Rockies on Saturday.

With momentum swinging in their favor, Brothers stepped to the mound in the bottom of the 8th inning and promptly walked Indians leadoff pinch hitter Jason Kipnis. A sacrifice bunt and a single showed that the Indians know how to play a better brand of National League baseball than the Rockies, and gave them a lead that would be enough.

It's time for the Rockies to face the music. It's time for fans to understand something. This Rockies team is going nowhere with Franklin Morales and Juan Nicasio pitching two out of every five games. They are both far too much of a question mark to be depended on. The Rockies offense scored six runs on Saturday, that should be enough.

Morales was awful on Saturday. He ended up giving up six runs in less than six innings, fooling no one and leaving the game with the Rockies down 6-2. He gives the Rockies little chance to win games and simply stated, he isn't good enough to be a big league starter. He doesn't have the command and he lacks the ability to consistently get through six innings.

The other pressing issue is the Rockies superstars. Once again, this team is starting to lean heavily on both Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. The unbelievable play of Tulowitzki carried this team through the first six weeks of the season. He was literally playing at a level that allowed the team to hop on his back and let him carry them to victory, no matter who the starter was and no matter who the team was facing.

Suddenly, Tulowitzki isn't hitting the way that he was a few weeks back and the issues are coming to the forefront. It is also starting to get difficult to ignore the absolute disaster that has been the season of Carlos Gonzalez. Despite a home run on Friday night, the slugger has been anything but that, not only on this road trip, but throughout the season.

The home run has been the only hit that Gonzalez has recorded through eight games on the trip, and his 0-for-4 day on Saturday was one to try and scrub from the memory bank as CarGo earned the golden sombrero with four strikeouts.

Maybe it is the knee tendinitis, maybe it is the new grip on the bat, maybe it is something else. However, CarGo has been a shell of his former self for the majority of the season. Every now and then he shows flashes of what he is capable of, but they are few and far between. He generally looks lost at the plate and his timing is way off. He is waving at pitches way out of the zone and watching fastballs cut right through the strike zone.

The reality is, we were all fooled once again. The Rockies made us believe that their early season success was a reality. They made us think that they had finally overcome the hurdles that caused them to struggle in years past and that this team was good enough, and had the right attitude, to fight for a playoff spot. With May coming to and end, reality has slapped Rockies fans in the face. It's the same old story all over again.

This is a team that has major bullpen issues, has major starting rotation issues, and can't hit on the road. This is a team that is built around the idea that if everything goes exactly according to plan, and no one gets injured, they have a chance to win. The problem is, no team is going to have everything go exactly according to plan. No team is going to go without injuries.

Face the facts, the Rockies are built to fail. This team doesn't have enough talent to overcome injuries, they don't have the cojones in the front office to call upon help from the minor leagues, and they don't have the knowledge from the owners box to make the changes necessary to make this team good. They have talent, but they don't have the right mindset to win for more than a month or so. They are a team that, until changes are made, will continue to beat the same drum over and over again and wonder why things aren't different.

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  1. Amen! You nailed it exactly...The team has little grit to make it a successful road team unless they launch 3-4 bombs a night. We will hear about the injuries but realistically look around the league this's not like we lost a ace but instead a #3 and #4 guys from the rotation. Cargo is an absolute mess, Chachin still hasn't looked right, the bright spots were Nolan, Charlie and Lyles and as you mentioned the hot start from Troy. The owners claim 90 wins is a possibility but not when 40% of your starts are from Nicasio and Morales and your bullpen is horrendous. This is a team that is looking more like a 76-78 win season....A major disappointment from the early expectations.

  2. In your last paragraph, you made the statement that the Rockies have talent. So why do teams with lesser talent, like the Giants, consistently win? Look no further than that embarrassment in the last game in the Phillies series. While the Giants have a great manager, we have Walt Weiss. In the loss to Philly, several of his shortcomings were on display in one game. It is easy to manage when multiple players in your lineup are scorching the ball. When that's not happening, a good manager will still find ways to win. In that one contest, we saw several players pressing too much and Weiss doesn't have any idea how to address this problem which happens every time the team starts reeling. Second, he has never understood how to manufacture runs. He consistently misses chances a good manager wouldn't miss blindfolded. Incredible how many men Weiss had in scoring position and did nothing to bring them around. Third, he has no clue how to manage his bench and bullpen. Don't even start me on bringing in CarGo to pinch-hit or Logan to close. In this one game, there were glaring examples of all these points. It's not just inexperience, it's incompetence. Too bad the front office would rather remain loyal to their friend than win games. That has been the case for too long.

  3. The Rox lost again on Sunday. Who's the worst team, the Cubs or the Rox? At least the Cub fans find their team to be loveable. The Rox are so lost and pathetetic. When will the Monforts' hire a team president to clean up the mess that O'Dud has created?

  4. It's always, "their pitcher just had a good outing and we couldn't hit tonight" or whatever. When will the Rox hit ANY pitchers after the first month of the season. Other teams find a way, the Rox always find an excuse. It's always that they can't figure it out like other quality teams seem to do. Blah, blah blah

  5. Rockies are a flawed team, especially when two of the starting pitchers projected for our April starting rotation are on a multi-week DL stint. Especially since losing Arenado, the team's lack of heart shines through. The team is comfortable in the friendly confines of Coors Field, but when faced with challenges and adversity away from Coors, the team wilts. It's also not very smart from a management standpoint. Why start Morales on Saturday when he could have been skipped and we could temporarily have a 4-man rotation, given recent off-days? Why pitch to Bourne in the 9th with an open base yesterday, when his run doesn't matter, he hits righties well, and the on-deck hitter is weak against righties? It also would have set up a DP and we may have reached extra innings.

    Poor management, lacking mental toughness as well as heart, the Rockies fade is as predictable as the sun setting in the west. Until Dick Monfort STEPSTHE HELL OUT of the baseball ops side of his business, nothing will change either. He's only good at running a beautiful ballpark, not at running a baseball organization.

  6. I also find that management and coaching always have excuses for their "franchise" players. Bench Cargo, for his health and lack of production. "The locker room would revolt," is their reason for allowing him to hurt the team; who is in charge? Obviously no one.

  7. I couldn't agree more with the comments above about this team pressing too much and management’s inability to control it. Every position player trying to make a knock-out play equates to a team meltdown and inability to score. Jim Tracey couldn't manage and Walt Weiss is having the same problems. Address the management issues first before attempting to repair the pitching staff.