|Is it time for the Rockies to deal Tulowitzki?|
After a miserable road trip, the question must be asked, can that promotion be used for the entirety of a road trip. The Rockies return to Coors Field on Monday after scoring just 12 runs throughout the entire road trip. Not in one game, for the entire trip. Thinking about plating seven runs in one game is an absolute joke.
You can't win if you don't score.
The Rockies continue to find that out the hard way every time they get on an airplane and go to a new city. The Rockies finished off their three game series in Arizona scoring a grand total of six runs. However, they were at least consistent, scoring two runs in each game.
Cynicism aside, the number of injuries that the Rockies have sustained shouldn't determine whether or not the team can score runs. Every team is going to go through dry spells, but there is a problem when the lineup completely falls apart when two guys are missing from it.
For the Rockies, the offseason looms large. With the salaries of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez continuing to tick up, reality is hitting the Rockies in the face. When those two aren't in the lineup, there is no one who can pick up the slack.
Josh Rutledge might be a great guy. He might be a great presence in the clubhouse. However, it might be time to accept that he might just not be a great baseball player. He is decent, but he can't be expected to fill the shoes of Troy Tulowitzki. In fact, on Sunday Rutledge's slumping bat was replaced by Charlie Culberson. For a point of reference, Culberson raised his batting average to .193 after going a whopping 1-for-3 on Sunday.
The reality is, even with the injury, Tulowitzki's trade value will still be very high. The numbers that he can put up in 100 games is often better than what the average shortstop can put up in 162 games. While some fans have said that it is time for Tulowitzki to be dealt, others debate that they would be crazy to trade him.
However, the resounding thought among Rockies fans is that if they were to trade him that they would require pitching, pitching and more pitching. Much of the Rockies struggles have come from their pitching staff, which essentially consists of Jorge De La Rosa and not much else. The problem with the trading for only pitching is that the Rockies would become much like they were on this road trip. If they aren't able to find a guy who can truly play shortstop and hit within their system, the pitchers that they get for Tulowitzki had better be very good.
Make no mistake, Tulowitzki is a once-in-a-generation baseball player. Replacing him isn't difficult, it is impossible. No matter who the Rockies get back in a trade, they won't get the talent back that they are dealing. They certainly aren't going to get another shortstop back that is as talented, but they would get significant salary relief, which would logically suggest that they could spend more money to lure a free agent to Denver.
The problem is, this team is built upon Tulowitzki, Gonzalez, and hoping for good luck everywhere else along the way. If those players end up getting hurt, which usually happens, or if those players get traded, which might have to happen, or if those players go through a slump, which is inevitable, the Rockies are in trouble. There is no plan B. There is no alternative.
What do the Rockies do? Should they trade the two guys who they built their future on and hope that their fan base forgives them? Do they hope that two guys who have the most freakish of injuries can stay healthy for the season? The issue is clear. They are in the middle of a very delicate situation. Trading one of the two, or both, presents a narrow path of success for the Rockies.
If they do trade the two superstars, they better get a return that ends up playing in numerous All-Star games. They cannot fail in their return or no one will forgive them for years. Even if Tulo and CarGo continue to get injured down the road, the Rockies will have a fan base seething in anger.
If the Rockies don't trade their sluggers, they are going to have to continue to rely on crossing their fingers and hoping for the best. They can hope that their farm system will produce solid Major League players, but club history suggests that they simply won't be able to make that happen.
With September coming in the morning, the end is in sight. It is getting closer to finally being done. This Rockies season cannot end soon enough, and an offseason that almost certainly will be more eventful than the previous off-seasons have been should make things interesting.
Follow me on Twitter @RockiesReview. Like me on Facebook, search "Rockies Review"