Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The downward spiral continues for Colorado Rockies in ugly loss

Don't expect these guys to go anywhere in the offseason.
What is left to be said?

At the risk of completely repeating every piece that has been written about these brutal Colorado Rockies throughout June, there simply isn't anything left to be talked about.

On Wednesday, despite having their fifth starter from Colorado Springs on the mound making his big league debut, the Rockies couldn't hold a late lead and dropped the game and the series to the Cardinals 9-6. The Rockies got five decent innings from Yohan Flande, which is all they could ask for from a guy who sported an ERA above 7.00 in Triple-A.

The outing was enough to put the Rockies in a position to win, but they failed to nail down the victory, due in large part to yet another failed effort from their bullpen.

On Wednesday afternoon it was Adam Ottavino's turn. His recent struggles have made it where literally only one single member of the Rockies bullpen has been good in 2014, and it has been the most unlikely of sources. Rule-5 draft pick Tommy Kahnle, nearly returned to the Yankees after Spring Training, has shown to be the best member of the pen. Ottavino's struggles on Wednesday represent the downfall of his once-dominant slider. Suddenly the frisbee slider has turned into a high-hanger which is getting bashed around the park.

The Rockies have convinced some fans that the struggles are due to the abnormal amount of injuries. The scary thing is, the front office has probably convinced their owner of this. Something like that should keep the club change-free once again in the offseason.

It cannot be denied that the Rockies have struggled with injuries. They have sent 12 starting pitchers to the mound already in 2014 and that number should grow very soon. The injuries have mostly been strange as well, with three broken hands landing three separate pitchers on the disabled list. Ironically, non of those pitchers sustained the injury while pitching the baseball.

Have the injuries been so bad that they have taken a team that was once a playoff contender and put them on the fast track to losing 100 games? Have the injuries taken that much of a toll on the Rockies? The answer is that losing the starters that they did have certainly eliminated them from the postseason discussion, but to assume that this team was a sure-fire contender is was off base.

The reality is, Brett Anderson had started just 30 games in the past three seasons due to injuries. To assume that he was going to make 30 starts in 2014 simply wasn't realistic. Tyler Chatwood has dealt with injury issues in the past as well. Jordan Lyles hot start was as much of a surprise as anything. He is the definition of a regression candidate for the second half of the season.

While assuming Anderson and Chatwood would have started the entire season may have been a big mistake, the bigger mistake is assuming that they are better pitchers than they really are. Anderson certainly has top-of-the-rotation stuff, but no one was predicting him to be an early Cy Young favorite. The same goes for Chatwood. The righty shows significant promise, but this is a guy who has never won 10 games in a season. That isn't to take credit away from the young righty, but assuming that he was going to be the anchor that kept this team in the race simply isn't the truth.

The Rockies are in the process of using the injury excuse once again. Many fans will buy it. That is what fans do. They root for their team and find a reason-even if it isn't logical- to explain why their team didn't make the playoffs. They also see the talent on their team as better then it actually is. Fans should do that, they are watching their guys every day and they see the talent that the national media might not see. However, they are also looking through bias glasses. They see the beauty, but they don't see the flaws.

For the Rockies, Dick Monfort falls into that category. He believes that the talent that Dan O'Dowd and company have assembled is far better than it really is. He watches them play every day and has bought into them being extremely talented. However, would it be a huge surprise if the Rockies were the only team that Monfort watched? If Monfort didn't know the difference between David Price and Jordan Lyles, would anyone be shocked? The fact is, what keeps the front office in place is that there job is to keep Monfort believing that they simply hit hard luck. If Monfort doesn't know talent, then it is easy to convince him that the guys on the disabled list are as good as they get in the big leagues. He buys into the false reality that guys like Chatwood are as good as anybody else in the league, when in reality, they are slightly above average.

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  1. If Dick Monfort truly watches every Rox game then he can't be that ignorant to believe that O'Dowd is doing a great job. He needs to get a new GM.

  2. Not only a new GM but the coaching staff up and down the organization needs to be reevaluated, seriously. Mediocrity needs to be a reason for firing, not a promotion and a raise. Seriously, I'm glad that I don't read about the Rockies players in "scandal sheets," but we are supposed to be fielding a baseball team and not a church group. "Character" should not be the deciding factor on who takes the field.

  3. The quick fix is to find a new un-biased team president and remove Dick from that role. Ever since Keli McGregor has passed, this team seems to be just flailing in the wind like a rudderless boat.

    I do like many of our position players and O'Dowd did a good job this offseason by acquiring Morneau and the Dex trade looks like it will work out well.So I will give him his due there.

    The issue is on the pitching side as always...I didn't mind taking a shot on Anderson but the Logan deal I didnt like from day one. I also think they put too much pressure on these kids coming up through the minors to be the saviors instead of a cog in the machine to help the team and not be the one to rescue it.

    The other issue is expecations....Chachin for one...they considered him the co-ace of the staff. He has probably been the biggest failure this season. DLR is on a contract year and is also not performing like a team ace. To me, Chatwood belongs in the pen due to his injury issues and small stature (similar to Huston Street), depending on Nicasio year after year....he is another guy that belongs in the pen and not a starter with his arsenal of 2 pitches.

    I'm a fan and I can see this....can't someone in this organization see it?

  4. Why injuries can't be a valid excuse:

    -The bullpen has suffered only 1 injury the entire season (Logan). Simply stated, our bullpen has been HEALTHY and absolutely AWFUL

    -DLR and Chacin were supposed to be co-aces with Brett Anderson as a strong 3rd. Chacin and DLR have been healthy pretty much all year and have been absolutely awful.

    -You speak the truth on Anderson and Chatwood, no need to re-iterate. 100% agree.

    -Juan Nicasio??? Juan effing Nicasio? How's he been the past, oh I don't know, FOREVER seasons! 1 good start, followed by 3 crap performances.

    -Jordan Lyles has promise but given prior performance, one could only conclude that he is more likely a flash in the pan than solid MLB starter.

    -As for position players, sure injuries are going to happen. What separates us from quality clubs is our lack of depth. We've been hearing about Story, Wheeler, Dahl, etc. for years. Arenado injury was huge, but according to O'Dowd Wheeler is a viable MLB starter. They've been singing his praises for years! How's he been working out? Simply put there is no Farm System depth. They don't have replacements.

    -Every pitching staff is going to have injuries. Outside of Tyler Matzek the Rockies haven't been able to fill injury holes with a single pitcher from the minors. Most would agree that bringing up Friedrich, Bergman, and Yohan Flande (not a single one with a respectable ERA) proves HOW BAD THE STATE OF PITCHING IS WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION.

  5. Monfort doesn't need to watch the Rockies. He just needs to watch the stands fill up. To him that's winning. And he's right. There won't be any changes until the sheep stop showing up in droves and continually supporting a terrible product. Who cares about playoffs when you have a party deck? Party on, Rox.

  6. I have been a fan since their inception, but am done with the Colorado Rockies until O'Dowd and Geivett are gone and Weiss is back coaching at the high school level. The organization has become an absolute joke since the loss of Mr. McGregor. Very sad.