Gimme A Break….
The next 3 days will be a much needed break for the Colorado Rockies, with the exceptions of Aaron Cook and Matt Holliday. Having come out of spring training 3 and a half months ago with greater expectations than the 39-57 record currently at the break, the Rox are in need of some serious help for the second half of the season. Luckily the one thing in the Rockies favor is that the NL West is severely weaker this season than last, so there is still a sliver of hope, but even that may not be enough for the truly faithful.
Here’s the GOOD, the BAD and the UGLY…of the first half of the season.
The GOOD – Aaron Cook, an all-star this season with an 11-6 record and clearly the only one on the pitching staff that can actually pitch and win. Chris Ianetta is actually hitting the ball this season, but the arm behind the plate still leaves a little more to be desired. Dinger’s antics have at times distracted us from the miserable play on the field. Sweeping Cleveland in interleague play in June. The fans have shown up this season despite the erratic play at times of this team, kudos to the fans.
The BAD – These are numerous, so this may take a while, now where should I begin? The starting pitching staff sounds like a good place. “Ace” starter according to Hurdle and Apodaca, Jeff Francis has pitched terrible. Greg Reynolds and Ubaldo Jimenez havent fared much better, but still better than Francis. Losing LaTroy Hawkins and Josh Fogg in the offseason. It’s time to pack your bags Apodaca.
The bullpen, Manny Corpas, who’s ERA is bigger than the contract he received in the off season is not even close to where he was last season. For all of you who want to see Fuentes gone, imagine how much worse off the Rockies would be if we didnt have Brian Fuentes with the way Corpas started out the season. Bullpen by committee doesnt usually work too well in the majors. Luis Vizcaino, who came over from the Yankees for slightly more than the Rockies front office were willing to offer LaTroy Hawkins has also been horrible this season. I will give the fact that he was on the DL for most of the first half, but so far what I’ve seen hasnt been impressive even in a high school game.
Troy Tulowitzki coming off of an awesome 2007 season, is hitting below .170 and his time on the DL this season hasnt helped him, so maybe after his second and current stint on the DL he will turn things around and be able to salvage something out of this season.
Losing Jamey Carroll and Kaz Matsui during the offseason.
Injuries have not made this season anything to write home about. About the only person who hasnt been on the DL so far are Aaron Cook and Rockies mascot Dinger, though there are those who wouldn’t mind seeing Dinger on a more permanent disabled list.
The UGLY – Watching Todd Helton who is clearly on the downside of his career struggle at the plate. Two losing streaks of 8 games apiece so far this season. A road record of 14-36, second worst only to the Padres. The front office allowing the continuing distraction of trade rumors by not yet signing Matt Holliday to a long term deal. The money was there but you gave 30 million of it to a rookie shortstop who should currently be sent down to the minor leagues, but because of his salary it wont happen, until he comes off of the DL for rehab. The front office did good in keeping most of the team together, but it clearly didnt think things through at the time. You let your then rookie (Tulo) play out his contract, sign your big hitter(Holliday), then later sign your shortstop, when it’s time. It can still be done, Todd’s contract is almost up and they can still give Holliday the maximum, just not upfront in the next 2 years. The amount of money per year would be smaller in the beginning but once Helton’s off the books, Holliday’s will increase from that point on. Just dont make the mistake of another 12 year contract, 6-8 years will do just fine. Just get it done already!
NOTE – I’m again loading up the car and taking the humidor on another road trip here in the next few of weeks up to Casper, Wyoming to watch the Rockies rookie A ball affiliate play. More details as it gets closer.