The second half of the MLB regular season is underway and our Rockies find themselves in a familiar spot – near the cellar in the division, and eight games back of a wild card spot.
But with a pitching staff in shambles, did you expect anything else?
Yes, Trevor Story has silenced any whispers about the Tulowitzki trade, and we still have Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez (at least until the trade deadline), Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu. But, our lineup was never the issue.
Hitting has never been a problem at Coors Field. The park has the highest rating in ESPN’s MLB Park Factor, accounting for 2.5 run per game, and is widely considered the most hitter-friendly field in the league. The stadium relinquishes the most home runs each season and the Rockies have finished eight of the past 10 years in the top-ten in total runs scored. From the Blake St. Bombers in the nineties, to the duo of Todd Helton and Larry Walker in the early 00’s, and now the trio of CarGo, Story and Arenado, scoring has rarely been an issue.
However, no matter how many runs you put up, if the starting pitching or bullpen is lackluster, your team will not fare well over the course of a season.
This has been the case for another season, and despite the efforts so far from Tyler Chatwood and Boone Logan the pitching staff as a whole ranks 29th in the league in ERA with a whopping 5.02.
Unfortunately, this is nothing new for Rockies fans, whom have watched the Rocks pitchers finish in the bottom half of the league in ERA the last seven years and amongst the bottom three the last four.
Do you think it is a coincidence the two previous occasions Colorado made a playoff appearance were the last two times the Rockies finished the season in the top 14 in ERA?
If you ask me it’s no surprise that the best teams in the league (Giants, Dodgers, Nationals, Cubs, Cleveland, Houston and the Rangers) all rank amongst the top in team ERA.
Pitching is crucial to a teams’ success, yet you continue to place all your eggs in the offensive basket by not signing – or even getting in the running – any big name pitchers during free agency.
With pitching being so key to success in this league, it begs the question, what are you thinking?
I was a freshman in high school when the miracle team in ’07 made the only World Series appearance in team history, and even though they had to win 20 of their last 28 games to make it, you still had solid pitching from starters Jeff Francis, Adam Cook and Ubaldo Jimenez to Manny Corpas and Brian Fuentes in the bullpen.
And that is what you need, not just a couple good starters, but pitchers that can come in relief and shut a team down.
Right now, that’s not in the arsenal, but that doesn’t mean it is not possible. Just look at what Arizona did this past off-season in signing Zach Greinke.
Over $545 million was spent this past off-season by NL West teams; Giants, Dodgers and Diamondbacks on starting pitching alone. Yet the Rockies only acquired two relief pitchers in Jason Motte and Chad Qualls.
I remember looking at all the deals being made bringing a bevy of talented pitchers to the NL West and wondering, why aren’t the Rocks getting in on that?
I mean it’s obvious that is what the problem is, but year in-and-out we don’t seem to do anything to solve it.
It gives the impression that either you don’t care, or are too cheap to spend the money that is needed to bring in big name talent. It could be a little of both, but it is perplexing to me when you are in the business of winning.
Don’t get me wrong, I will always be a Rockies fan, but it feels like we are hitting our head against a wall and hoping it will produce gold. If there is an obvious problem why can’t we seem to fix it?
I remember how the city was buzzing when the Rocks made their only World Series, and I think that as fans we deserve more than what is being put on the field every year.
So do our players, instead of holding onto players through their prime and then getting rid of them later on to give them a chance to go to the playoffs (i.e. Larry Walker, Matt Holiday and Troy Tulowitzki) lets give them a reason to stay and a chance to win by adding some consistent pitchers.
Drop the ego and take some chances, because as a city and fan base, we deserve it.