|Christian Bergman was great in his Major League debut.|
Those are all things that the typical Rockies fan gets used to hearing every year. Those types of statements start flying about the same time the club starts to crash and burn in the standings every single season.
First off, let's acknowledge that the Rockies have had terrible luck in the injury department over the past few seasons. They have seen an extreme number of players hit the disabled list for a wide variety of strange reasons. There is no denying that it seems like the Rockies deal with more injuries than other teams.
However, every other team also deals with injuries. Every team sees good players spend time on the disabled list nursing injuries. It is easy to think that just the Rockies deal with tough injuries, but the reality is, every team goes through it every single year. Playing 162 games in a six month stretch ensures that multiple players will deal with some sort of injury every year.
Despite the fact that every team has injuries, Dan O'Dowd and his crew are always extremely quick to point out how many Rockies have ended up on the disabled list. He points to it in radio interviews, he talks about it in the offseason, he makes sure everyone knows how unfortunate the team that he built is. He talks about how much talent the Rockies have and how, if only things had gone their way, how they would be true contenders. O'Dowd and co-general manager Bill Geivett seem to go on a radio tour every August to lament their poor fortune.
The most frustrating part about the excuses is not that the front office continues to use the excuse every year, it is that so many Rockies fans continue to buy into the excuses over and over again. \
On Monday, the hits kept coming for the Rockies. After adding Jordan Lyles to the disabled list last week, the Rockies were forced to put Eddie Butler on the DL after making his much anticipated Major League debut on Friday. This news came on the heels of Michael Cuddyer being added to the disabled list after hurting his shoulder on Thursday night. If that wasn't enough, the Rockies also announced
The losses certainly don't help the Rockies, who have been in a miserable situation since losing Nolan Arenado to injury. The training room seems to have more guys in it than in the clubhouse. It is like salt in the wound when it is coupled with the Rockies current situation, losing 10-of-their-last-11.
However, the injuries aren't the main reason that the Rockies are fading quickly. They are losing because they weren't built to handle a 162 games. Despite a great outing from Christian Bergman in his Major League debut on Monday, the Rockies offense failed to get anything going against Braves pitching. Gavin Floyd, coming off of Tommy John surgery, danced his way through the Rockies lineup for 6-2/3 innings, giving up just one run.
While Bergman gave the Rockies offense a great opportunity to win, it seems that most nights the starting pitching doesn't get the team anywhere close to a win. Jorge De La Rosa and Lyles were the only two pitchers to give the Rockies any semblance of consistency. The rest of the rotation has been a huge issue. Jhoulys Chacin looks like he turned the corner on Saturday, but after four terrible starts in a row for him, the jury is still out.
Beyond the starting pitching has been the real issue for the Rockies. The bullpen has been absolutely terrible. There isn't one single member of the bullpen that has been dependable. Adam Ottavino started the season very well, but has struggled of late. Rex Brothers, nearly an All-Star a year ago, looks nothing like the guy who dominated both righties and lefties a year ago. Matt Belisle is almost a guarantee to give up a run after his heavy workload over the past four seasons and the idea of 41-year-old LaTroy Hawkins being the trusted closer for the Rockies might be the biggest joke of the Rockies offseason.
Even without injuries, this Rockies pen has been so exposed that there is no excuse for the lack of talent that Walt Weiss is forced to call upon every night when his starting pitcher runs out of gas.
The Rockies may seem to have more injuries than other teams, but keep in mind, part of that is because of the way the club is assembled. Cuddyer may have had a hard-luck injury filling in at third base, but the reality is, Cuddyer is 35-years-old. He isn't a spring chicken anymore and any kind of injury is going to be magnified due to his age. The injury to CarGo is something that the Rockies should have planned for. Of course no one can predict an exact injury, but the reality is, he dealt with finger issues a year ago and with a new grip coming into the season, there was a decent chance that it might cause some sort of injury. Couple that with the fact that CarGo has been on the disabled list several times in his career and the Rockies should have had an option.
The Rockies want to blame injuries because they know that fans will buy it. The front office also seems to understand that Dick Monfort will also take the bait on that as well, and not hold yet another failed season against the members of the front office that he employs.
It is fail-proof. If the fans buy it, and if Monfort buys it, why not use it time and time again? It removes the accountability from the front office and allows them to continue to go down the exact same failed path that they insist will build a winner--if only everyone stays healthy for a full season.
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