All the innings you can eat for $5

The revelation that Kyle Kendrick has been gutting it out through shoulder inflammation and a possible rotator cuff injury for two months was kinda hard to accept. Having a damaged Kendrick in there easily cost the Rockies 5 games or more during that stretch. Some say this is a sign of a bad medical staff, but more likely it is a case of a player being less than honest and hurting the team. (They don’t walk through a rotator cuff-detector after every start.)

Now what we’re looking at is a complete mess. Several of our esteemed Rockies blogger outlet counterparts have floated the idea that maybe, with Tulo gone and this race totally over (and it was over with him here, granted), Jon Gray isn’t coming up.

I thought it would be a no-brainer, with 2 rotation slots now open and the deadline over. One slot was an opening. 2 slots is “break glass in case of rotation fire” and changes the thinking.

Does Jeff Bridich have a bit of Theo Epstein in him, playing the Super 2 waiting game and holding Gray back until sometime near the end of April 2016? Gray makes no difference in how the Rox finish 2015, plus or minus a couple of wins. If for some reason he gets hurt during the dog days, it looks even dumber if he is rushed up in a meaningless situation.

This almost looks like we planned it this way. We have three guys with major league starting experience (not good, but experience). One is already here and the other two are stashed in ABQ. Oh yeah, there’s also that guy with 1 MLB win that I temporarily forgot about last night.

Starting Flande lends even more credibility to the Cici’s Pizza rotation theory – all the innings you can eat for $5. Here’s the takeaway: it doesn’t matter who starts the last 60 games after DLR today. Gray is still pitching in AAA and getting some wear, but they can limit his inning count and prepare his agent for the Super 2 conversation.

Walt can start sleeping at night because this is totally not his fault. He just has to figure out a batting order without Dickerson and he may get a new toy like Kyle Parker. The CarNoGo decision is now looking a bit less brain-dead, and I suspect the Dickerson injury on Thursday might just have tipped the scale there. Chicks still dig the long ball, and as long as CarGo is hitting them we will win a few games and look like we’re trying.

Unfortunately, this scenario makes more sense than calling Gray up. Flande, Jurrjens, Laffey, and Lannan are not the long or even intermediate term plan, and aren’t trade worthy. Use them up, move on. After all, if Hoffman is anywhere near as good as advertised, he’ll need a spot in AAA come 2016, as will Chatwood for rehab, plus the likely carryover of Butler, Hale, and Rusin – all min salary guys. Barring trade, 2016 picks up right where we leave off without Kendrick but with everyone else back – DLR, Bettis, Lyles, and two guys sitting on the Jon Gray musical chair.

If that sounds like more of the same, it is, and that’s the way Monfort wants it.

The long-term contract in Colorado died on July 29, 2015. The model is, and will continue to be, about half the 25-man roster on league min, and the other half on arbitration.

I don’t know how many of you besides sdcarp took note of that salary spreadsheet from Cots Baseball Contracts post-Tulo. After years of deferred Larry Walker salary, paying Mike Hampton to play elsewhere and Denny Neagle for legal counsel, followed by long term deals to Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki, a once bleak picture now looks very flexible. Only 2 players – Jose Reyes and CarGo – are owed specific amounts in 2017, and the only firm number in 2018 is Reyes’ buyout.

2016 commitments look like $65M right now. Arbitration for Arenado and others will lift the figure somewhat, and a trade of Reyes could drop it substantially. Arenado and Axford are the only Super 2s on the books with 4 years of arbitration, everyone else has 3. Balance that with the fact there is no cable megadeal on the horizon, with the Rockies paid $20M a year through 2020. A $27M annual kick of MLB revenue sharing helps, but not all that goes to salaries.

While the Dodgers spend money faster than the Department of Defense, the situation in Denver is as Troy Renck put it succinctly in December 2013: “It means the Rockies can win only if they spend their money wisely and have a farm system constantly churning out impact players.”

Not only impact players, but impact pitchers. Like one Jon Gray whose future hangs in the balance.

St. Louis Cardinals
3B Matt Carpenter (L)
CF Randal Grichuk (R)
2B Kolten Wong (L)
SS Jhonny Peralta (R)
RF Jason Heyward (L)
C Yadier Molina (R)
1B Brandon Moss (L)
LF Stephen Piscotty (R)
P Lance Lynn (R)

Rockies
CF Charlie Blackmon (L)
2B DJ LeMahieu (R)
RF Carlos Gonzalez (L)
3B Nolan Arenado (R)
1B Ben Paulsen (L)
C Mike McKenry (R)
LF Drew Stubbs (R)
SS Daniel Descalso (L)
P Jorge De La Rosa (L)

[sac_happens]

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
21 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
JulieG
JulieG
5 years ago

As long as the team ownership stays the same and the actions are as Donny says exactly why should anyone care. I am not getting younger and with a team that is like a bar band that could go somewhere if hope is rewarded with players years off from being seen at Coors it would appear to me that maybe I need to find a team where the owner actually wants to win, at least, occasionally.

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
5 years ago

Quantity vs quality. Coors Field offense, I’ll take quantity. Coors Field pitching, give me quality.

If the Rockies have to pay 20% more for a quality starter, I think its money well spent.

Julian
Julian
5 years ago

If Gray is brought up in September after Albuquerque’s season is over, is that treated any differently in terms of when he is a free agent? BTW, my money is on Gray not being called up until Albuquerque’s season is over.

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago

One of my “Bold 2nd Half Predictions” was that we wouldn’t see Gray until next May. It really wasn’t that bold……..I just think what I would do (he would have been up pitching out of the Pen late last year) and realize the Blake Street Clown Show will likely do just the opposite.

Julian
Julian
5 years ago

Where will Gray be in total innings by the end of August? I can imagine the Rockies using that as an excuse for shutting him down at the end of August.

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  Julian

He’s at 114 IP. I obviously make a lot of fun of the Rox management, but there does (and has) seem to be a real concerted effort to manage Gray’s innings this year at ABQ. Let’s say he make 5 more starts and gets another 26-28 innings. That will put him at about 140 IP for the season……and set him up nicely for something in the 160/170 range next season. I’ll admit it………I haven’t been a fan of the plan,… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
5 years ago

Thanks a lot DLR for pitching great most of year except right before trade deadline. Now you’re back to the normal self tonight.

Julian
Julian
5 years ago

We need DLR. We could trade him at the trade deadline next year if either we’re going nowhere (which seems likely), or we have enough starting pitching depth without him (that seems unlikely, but one can hope).

Bob in Indy
Bob in Indy
5 years ago

Anybody notice the quiet TOOTBLAN by DJ tonight? Bases loaded, nobody out, DJ with a huge lead at second, ground ball up the middle to the pulled in second baseman who fires home…and DJ heads back towards second before heading to third. Easy 4-2-5 double play. What on earth was going through his head?

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  Bob in Indy

Seems to me these all-to-routine Rockies base running mental errors are (mostly) the fault of the Farm system. The fundamentals of base running should be drilled into their heads at the instructional league/summer league/low A/high A levels. By the time they get to the majors good base running should be intuitive.

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago

It’s been fun to watch the transaction post non-waiver trade deadline. Lots of teams having to sort out roster changes. The A’s DFA’d Eric O’Flaherty. Once a darn good LHed RP, he was derailed by TJ surgery in 2013. The A’s still picked him up and gave him a 7M contract for 14/15. In my opinion – he’s yet another case of guys being rushed back post-TJ. He’s struggled – hence the demotion. I doubt anyone picks him up for… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Donny D., I’m afraid you’re right. I think some of us have so wanted something to make us continue paying attention to this club that we’ve convinced ourselves that Gray will get at least a few starts this year. But with maybe half a dozen starts left for him this year, the Super 2 arbitration issue, and the obvious pivot toward carp’s contention window (2018 and on), I’ve now given up on that. Maybe May 2016 … until then, I’ll… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Jeff Hoffman’s Rox AA debut: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 2 HR. Miguel Castro: 3 BB in one IP, blows the save for ABQ (Rockies reliever disease?) I like Hoffman’s K numbers, don’t know if the 2 HRs was just a fluke. And my darkhorse bullpen help candidate, Simon Castro, also blew a save for ABQ on Friday night. And David Hale had an awful start. Dinger, your Laffey-Lannan-Flande-DLR-Butler rotation the rest of the year… Read more »

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Hoffman had only pitcher 67 innings coming into the game – post TJ. I haven’t looked at start-by-start numbers, but I bet he hasn’t been more than 5 innings in a start. One of the HRs he gave up was in the 5th. Probably as simple as lack of stamina.

Hoffman is a prime candidate for the IP/PC program Gray has had this year…….next year. Hopefully they’ll skip the pitch to contact part of the program.

Julian
Julian
5 years ago

Agbayani, isn’t Rusin still in the starting rotation? That doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a really bad starting rotation.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Oops, forgot about Rusin, who’s actually been kind of o.k. as a 5th starter type. But you’re right — if it’s DLR-Rusin-Flande-Butler-Laffey it’s still one of the worst rotations I can remember. Although don’t forget this epic 4-man rotation (the second O’Dowd 4-man rotation experiment) of 2012:

Jeff Francis
Friedrich
Outman
Alex White

There was also one start for Edwar Cabrera in there.

Only the Rockies. Always in a race to the bottom with themselves.

Julian
Julian
5 years ago

Whatever happened to Cabrera? He had a good run in the minors.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago
Reply to  Julian

Julian, if I remember correctly Cabrera made his one start, then got sent down, then had shoulder trouble right away. I saw that he hooked up with the Rangers, but now they’ve released him.

Bill
Bill
5 years ago

I saw the box score this morning and notice the Cards had turned a 4-2-5 double play and thought it was a typo. What happens more often? A Denver Post typo? Or a Rockie running blunder? I’m sure they are neck and neck.

21
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x