Thursday, August 28, 2014

Colorado Rockies need to make tough decisions this offseason

Michael Cuddyer needs to be allowed to test the market.
If nothing else, the Colorado Rockies are a loyal bunch.

However, if Dick Monfort and his brother Charlie decide that Dan O'Dowd and company are still the best men for the job in Colorado, then they must be prepared to make some major changes on the field.

If you've followed the Rockies for any amount of time, it would come as no shocker to find out that the club is going to make a strong run at re-signing Michael Cuddyer in the offseason. While the outfielder/first baseman certainly is a very good player, the Rockies have no use for an aging veteran who really has no strong defensive position, and is becoming injury prone.


Since coming to the Rockies as a 33-year-old, Cuddyer has missed the better part of two of his three seasons in purple pinstripes. His first season saw him miss time with an oblique injury, as well as leg issues. In 2014, Cuddyer has missed time with a hamstring issue, then two months with a broken shoulder, then another hamstring issues.

It would also be typical of the Rockies to pick up the club option for $2.25 million on pitcher like LaTroy Hawkins. The soon-to-be 42-year-old has been arguably the most reliable member of the Rockies shaky bullpen.

The Rockies love signing and re-signing guys like Cuddyer and Hawkins. They claim that both players are great influences in the clubhouse--even if there have been a few rogue stories floating around about Hawkins not necessarily being the positive influence that the Rockies tout. However, it really isn't the right choice, especially when the Rockies are in as bad of shape as they currently are.

As much as every Rockies fan wants to root for good guys, who are good people, that cannot be the only focus of the club when they are looking for players to fill the many holes that have been exposed in the 2014 season for the Rockies.

Cuddyer is certainly easy to root for. He hustles, he takes good at-bats, he speaks openly and honestly with the media, and he seems to be a good influence on the younger players on the team. Even with those positives, the Rockies need to allow him to find a new home in the offseason.

This team simply cannot afford more players who spend a significant amount of time on the disabled list. They already have so much money invested in two players who are both going to fall short of 100 games apiece for the second consecutive season. Having a bunch of money wrapped up in another aging player who is most likely going to be back on the DL again in 2015 isn't wise.

In Cuddyer's case, the issue is that the Rockies have enough players in their system and on their current roster that it doesn't really make sense for them to not allow those players the opportunity to show what they can do. They need to see what Kyle Parker can do at the big league level. They have seen that Corey Dickerson and Charlie Blackmon are good enough to be everyday players, and frankly, Drew Stubbs is making re-signing Cuddyer look like it would be a terrible idea.

The Rockies also need all of the good pitchers that they can get. Hawkins has been good enough to be considered a good signing at this point. However, the idea of a 42-year-old having two consecutive good seasons isn't a really something that is dependable. At this point in Hawkins career, the idea that he will continue being a valuable contributor to a bullpen isn't sustainable.

Dick Monfort is on record as saying that the Rockies have the best minor league system in all of baseball. If that is the case, it is time for those prospects to start contributing. This is the time where the Rockies can save some money on veterans like Cuddyer and Hawkins and allow their young (and cheap) prospects to contribute at the big league level.

With 100 losses hanging in the balance, the Rockies must make decisions that don't seem easy. They must stop doing what they are so accustomed to doing and break free from the typical moves that have been a part of this organization for so long. They must take a chance at letting their clubhouse favorites go and be alright with creating a new culture in the clubhouse. Clubhouse culture is important, but when a team loses close to 100 games, how much influence are these veterans really having.

The Rockies must start figuring out what it is going to take to be winners. If they are going to stick with the same front office, they must change their way of thinking.

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16 comments:

  1. My biggest fear is a repeat of the 2012 off season after losing 98 games. Very few changes were made.

    I would like to get more information on what Milwaukee offered for Justin Morneau.

    I believe Brett Anderson is worth the gamble at 12 million.

    I would try to make a splash but I don't think any changes are going to be made. I was ready to post a detailed description , but I deleted it. What difference does it make? Payroll will increase in 2015. Another 90 loss season will occur. Monfort will say we increased payroll and we still lose. We can't keep spending money.

    Until wholesale front office change happens, baseball summers are worthless.

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    1. Played 8 years of AAA myself.....If you continue to hang onto Tulowitzki, Gonzalez, Cuddyer, Morneau, Hawkins....the vets...somehow need to figure out salaries based on games played and performance.....How many seasons do we say if healthy....they could contend offensively...problem always is over the last decade, they are always trying to fill a spot in the middle of the lineup.....Can not seem to keep the stars on the field together for more than a month.....Trade them all for prospects and pitching and go with the Blackmon, Stubbs, Dickerson Arenado Parker and whoever else deserves a shot......Imagine how much money that would free up.....

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    2. Yup, you covered it all, now if only the management would listen to some of these changes and DO Them!! Cuddyer, Gone, too many injuries and age!! Wake -Up!!

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  2. As long as you are talking about shaking up the club with moving Cuddyer and Hawkins, throw in Tulo and Gonzales. If anything has been proven, this miserable season, is that their replacements are than more capable on offense and defense. Pitching, Pitching, Pitching, and more Pitching. If they can't go at least seven 7 innings show them the door.

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  3. The Rockies have 1 problem and you can't get rid of it. OWNERSHIP

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    1. Actually the Rockies have two problems. Ownership is the main one.

      The fans are the second. I've never seen a fanbase that so resembles long-time Cubs fans - accepting all excuses every year, comfortable with the 'loser' status, and just happy to fork over money and go to the ballpark. They are a complete godsend to an incompetent organization. And the two reinforce each other making it literally impossible to change anything.

      The only real hope imo is the Sky Sox. They have poor attendance (even relative to PCL) and will always have poor attendance as long as they are the puppet of the Rockies. The Rockies will never provide them with more than retreads and B level prospects (can't risk siphoning fan base away from Coors) - and they can't even market themselves to the gobs of transplants (and/or disgruntled Rockies/baseball fans) in Springs/Denver. But unfortunately it looks like they are going to re-up with the Rockies for another 3 years rather than search for a MLB franchise that actually has a purpose for its AAA affiliate.

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  4. Get rid of Walt "Waste"!

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  5. The misguided and egotistical front office is the real problem in Coors Field. Make your voice heard and stay home.

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  6. Either convert Dickerson to first base or trade him while he has value, he is a bad fielder and can't throw. If the Rockies feel his bat is crucial, they need to get him out of the outfield.

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  7. finally, someone agrees with me, Tulo and Cargo must go, along with the other aging veterans. They can't and they won't, They, the Rockies have a final big game , fan appreciation, Simply all fans, just boycott the game. Monfort has made his statement, come on fans, make yours,, Boycott that game and make your statement, enough is enough.

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  8. Cuddyer's shoulder injury was caused by The Brilliant One (Walt Weiss) having him play 3rd base for the first time in his career and Cuddy playing that position all-out. The hamstring was caused by The Brilliant One having him play a double-header his first day back from the two-month shoulder injury.

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  9. Until the front office leaves (and preferably the Monforts) I could care less what the Rockies do in the off season.

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  10. This team needs to go all out on 7th, 8th, and 9th inning guys. If you can be a shut down bullpen when you are in games at this point it will boost them big time. Too many bullpen guys that can't hold a lead or keep the game close at the backend.

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  11. Oh my GOD, will you PLEASE hire a fucking copy editor?

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    Replies
    1. your f-ing hyred.

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    2. Sure. Do you have any recommendations for me? I need them to be able to work between midnight and 1 am, without pay. Let me know if you have any buddies in mind.

      Thanks for reading.

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