|Don't expect these guys to go anywhere in the offseason.|
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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