Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lackluster offense continues to doom Colorado Rockies on the road, will the team trade their stars?

Is it time for the Rockies to deal Tulowitzki?
When the team scores seven runs, fans get tacos for a discounted price. That is the Taco Bell promotion that has run for years for the Colorado Rockies.

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.

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  1. Mr. Monfort, never learns. Seems like a long time ago, he paid Hampton and Neagle, enormous salaries, hoping that they would and could win here. Never happened. Now he is stuck with Tulo and Cargo,
    again enormous salaries, what does he get in return, NOTHING, two players who can't stay off the disabled list. Tulo, says he will retire before he switches positions. Happy retirement, Tulo


  2. Monfort's reply to me when I asked him about signing Scherzer if he becomes a FA:

    Free agent pitching is dicey, I can give you example after example about pitchers that sign big money contracts for way too many years that almost single handily change the clubs future to the down side. It is impossible to predict how good and how long a pitcher will be effective, it is even harder here. Kershaw has a 5 something ERA here, and that is pitching 3 times a year here. For every club with the exception of the rich TV contract teams, basically NY, both LA’s , Boston, and perhaps Phil you really can’t afford a $25-35 million pitcher, so you have to draft and develop and trade for young pitchers. This year there are about 12 pitchers who will be free agents we think, you find the guy that can profile the best here. I have no idea where Scherzer will go but can almost guarantee if NY doesn’t make the playoffs again he will end up there, hell if they do make playoffs he will probably go there. They will give him the most money and will not worry that he is 38-40 in his last years. If you look at Verlander who two years ago was the best pitcher around, he is having an awful season, is it a bad year or has he began his downward spiral? So we most likely will pick up Anderson’s contract, Lyles, figure out a way to keep DeLaRosa , and need two other starters plus about four young guys who are close in the minors, which we have or think we have in Gray, Butler, Anderson, and Bettis. We have four behind them as well in Freeland, Jimian, Senzatela, and Aquino(don’t check my spelling because it is wrong). Nicasio is a big arm and it is awful what happened to him, it is hard to give up on him but his cost next year will be pretty high and we are not sure what we will get. Morales was suppose be a bullpen guy he is not a starter but he has gotten us some wins and he pitched a great game last night, as he has other times. Our hope as the season started that we had Chacin and Chatwood the next couple years but Chatwood is out until at least August and Chacin who knows, another good young pitcher Winkler is out until July. So it is tough you look around at every team that loses a starter and they struggle there just isn’t enough. So way too long an answer but we need to get a couple young starters hopefully with a year or two experience and keep them healthy. Thanks.

    1. Personally, I have to agree with what Monfort stated.

      This team has to develop alot better than they have been doing.

      They are not the type of team that can throw 25 mil at a FA pitcher and dis-regard the rest of the team. If they do a Tulo/Cargo trade, they need to get a number of high impact young arms with team control for a number of years.

      I am on the fence in regard to Brett Anderson as he looks to have good stuff but the team needs to stop expecting different results for players that are always injured (Tulo, Cargo, Cuddy, Chatwood and Anderson).

    2. I'll sum-up DkMoFo's comment;
      "We can't identify good pitching in FA, or produce with our roster or the farm. So, we won't look elsewhere. We'll stay the course, even if they're proven flops. We'll hope spontaneous and miraculous development occurs and things work out."

  3. Jacob Turner won last night for the Cubs. The Rockies could have had him for next to nothing. He shut down the Brewers. How did Colorado fare against Milwaukee this year?