|Brett Anderson didn't provide the outing the Rockies were hoping for.|
The Colorado Rockies skidded into the All-Star break with a terrible series against the Minnesota Twins, a lowly American League team that has nothing to look forward to after the All-Star break themselves. However, the Rockies were soundly defeated twice, looking completely outmatched.
On Sunday, the return of Brett Anderson was the big draw for Rockies apologists. This was the day in which the club got their big offseason acquisition back on the mound after over two months on the disabled list. After a freak hand injury in San Francisco, Anderson was in a familiar place in his career, watching from the disabled list.
Anderson's return, however, wasn't pretty. The guy who Dick Monfort told the media was equal to the Broncos acquisition of Peyton Manning looked more like the 2013 version of Eli Manning on Sunday afternoon at Coors Field. Anderson made it through five innings, giving up six runs, five earned, on 10 hits. He struck out four and walked three.
Simply stated, it was the latest in a long example of terrible games that the Rockies have played in 2014. The Rockies crawled back into the game, but witnessed their horrendous bullpen throw kerosene on the scoreboard and blow the whole thing up. The Twins scored two runs in the 7th inning, one more in the 8th, then four in the 9th to eliminate any thought of the Rockies making a comeback.
The Rockies will return from the All-Star break with 67 games to play. The currently have 40 wins. That means that if they were to reach the playoffs, they would presumably need at least 85 wins. That would evne be a stretch considering the teams still hanging around. However, even to get to 85 wins, it would mean that the Rockies must finish their season with a record of 45-22.
The point of that statement is to drive home something the Dick Monfort said in his interview with the Denver Post. He believes that the Rockies still have a chance at the postseason. He even suggested that they haven't given up on the thought of picking up another starting pitcher before the trade deadline arrives. While some owners would say that out of lip service, full well knowing where their season is headed, Monfort seems to actually believe it.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is one of the four guys who makes decisions for the Rockies, and ultimately, he is the final vote in any situation.
What it tells fans is what is being told to Monfort behind closed doors. The regime of Dan O'Dowd and Bill Geivett are ignoring where the team is at and suggesting to Monfort that the team actually might be buyers. It may be cynical, but would it be that crazy to think that these are the words of guys who have figured out that they can pull the wool over their boss' eyes and keep their job by stirring up false realities?
Enough about Monfort. There isn't a Rockies fan out there who still believes he should be involved in the day-to-day moves of this club. This team is in a dire situation with him being involved in the decision-making process and that much is fact.
The reality is, if this team wants to get back to respectability in 2014, they have plenty of work to do. Simply getting anywhere close to .500 is a feat that will be nearly impossible to accomplish. In fact, it isn't going to be easy to even finish with a better record than the disappointment of 2013 held, when the Rockies won just 74 games.
What it is going to take from the Rockies is at least two guys in their bullpen finding homes in their roles. They have to find at least a couple of pitchers who can be relied upon to come in from the bullpen and get outs. At this point, big offseason acquisition Boone Logan looks like he is a gigantic bust, Matt Belisle looks like a shell of his former self, Rex Brothers can't seem to find the strike zone, and despite some great outings from Adam Ottavino, he has had his fair share of struggles. Those are just a couple of examples.
In addition, the Rockies are going to have to get great starts from their injured pitchers when they return. Jordan Lyles looks like he is nowhere close to coming back, but Eddie Butler started his rehab on Saturday, and the Rockies will look to see if they can depend on him to get the job done moving forward. If Jorge De La Rosa doesn't get traded, he will be a guy who can be relied upon. However, it has to be more than De La Rosa. The Rockies need at least three dependable starters.
Beyond that there are still plenty of areas that the Rockies need improvement in, just to become respectable.
The second half should provide plenty of opportunities for players to show that they belong on the big league field. However, Rockies fans may need to make a point of not looking at the standings. This season is long gone and there is no suggesting that the club can crawl back into it.
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