Monday, September 1, 2014

September should bring something to keep an eye on for Colorado Rockies fans

Kyle Parker is one call-up worth watching for the Rockies.
Admit it, the last two months of Colorado Rockies baseball is one big blur.

With the exception of a few games, they all seem the same. Bad baseball, poor pitching, terrible management, and mounting losses have dominated this team. Yet, if you are reading this, you are probably still taking the time to watch this team.

Well, for the committed, or maybe more accurately, those who have nothing better to do than to watch Rockies baseball on a daily basis, there is hope. The Rockies season is winding down. They will soon conclude the 2014 season and it will be time to set sights on 2015. However, with the expanded September rosters, there will be something new to watch for.

With a team that is on pace to come close to 100 loses, the thing that fans cling to is the future. Are the guys down on the farm, or more accurately, the guys who are closest to being at the big league level going to be good enough to make an impact on the big league club next season? For Rockies fans who don't give up easily, they want to see if the guys who they have followed over the internet throughout their minor league careers will actually translate to the big league level.

While September baseball often doesn't tell the entire story, one thing that can be seen is how someone will be react to the big stage. Whether or not the prospects gets lost in the big lights and can't handle stadiums with a third deck will tell quite the story about some of these prospects.

The Rockies will have a few new faces up at the big league level, and also a few that have been seen before. Kyle Parker, who made a cameo with the big club earlier in the season, will get a month with the Rockies to show what he can do. He is someone who should be interesting to watch. He would essentially fill the role of Michael Cuddyer. He plays both the outfield and first base. Like Cuddyer, he doesn't play either of those positions particularly well, however, he is serviceable at both. What he can do at the plate should have an impact on how the Rockies address Cuddyer in free agency at the end of the season.

For Parker, he needs to show that his swing isn't too long to hit Major League pitching. In his short appearance with the big league club, he was a bit over-matched. That isn't something that should cause concern at this point, but if that trend continues for a month, it may suggest that he isn't quite ready for everyday action.

Ben Paulsen also returns to the big league club for September. He was extremely impressive in his debut. Big league pitching seemed to be no issue for the first baseman. His clever facial hair also rivals Charlie Blackmon, so if nothing else, that should be something to keep track of. His power is extremely intriguing, and could become a large factor in the 2015 Rockies campaign.

Another player who got the call is long-time minor leaguer Rafael Ynoa. The utility infielder had a good year at Triple-A and earned a chance to see big league action. The switch hitter is 27-years-old and has spent nine years in the minor leagues. The first eight seasons were spent in the Dodgers organization. While Ynoa can bring some value to the Rockies, the idea that he will be a huge contributor in 2015 really isn't too feasible.

Many Rockies fans will probably be disappointed to find out that it is a long shot for them to see highly touted prospect Jon Gray receive his call. The Rockies like to limit prospects innings and the club probably isn't ready to give him a shot. It might not be a great decision, but that is how the team works. If Rockies fans have learned anything it is that this club operates on their own parameters and getting upset about it won't change a thing.

Eddie Butler may be the other arm who gets a call, but as with Gray, the Rockies might want to limit his innings. His one start that he got before injuring his shoulder might be the only big league action that Butler sees in 2014.

The Rockies have already called up a few prospects. Whether or not they add more to the fold when the minor leagues playoffs end will be something to keep an eye on. However, this team should have enough young talent at the big league level to at least keep watching.

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  1. The Sky Sox have a worse record than the Rockies. One of the issues that this club needs to address in the off season is coaching at all levels (not to mention the front office debacle). I really think if we are counting on the "depth at the minor league level" we are doomed to at least another two seasons in the cellar.

  2. Most of the better players in the organization are at the A and AA levels after a 3 year spell of bad drafting and it now shows in AAA where the roster is pretty bare of impact players.

    I dont want to see Gray up here yet until he is ready and the same goes for Tyler Anderson and Butler. Remember what happened when they rushed guys like Nicasio and Bettis before they were ready along with Rosario if you want to include position players. Matzek went through the full development and is beginning to look like a solid MLB ready player.
    If the kids in the minors are not yet ready, the team needs to deal for MLB ready talent until their time is here. With Tulo and Cargo salaries combining for 36 million next season, I would expect that to happen to one or both.

  3. Does this mean we have four 1Bmen in 2015 - Morneau, Parker, Paulsen, Rosario (can't catch) - six if Cuddy stays (old, below avg OF'er) and Dickerson learns to field grounders (terrible OF'er)?

    Sounds like a pick-up Saturday game. "What position can you play?" "Maybe 1B, C and some OF."

  4. Rosario shouldn't be on the team next year. With the rest of those guys, I would trade a few for needed players at other positions. A veteran catcher, one that can call a game and play defense (no passed balls Wilin) should be a priority this offseason. Knowing this ballclub that won't happen - nor will anything major happen as Dick, Dan and Bill think this club can compete as assembled.

  5. Follow the D-Backs as they get rid of G.M. Kevin Towers, (as suggested by Tony LaRussa,) and say goodbye to O'Dowd and Geivett and as the door closes behind them, breathe life into the organization with a new someone who may know baseball. Take a seat, Dick.