Is the Season Over?

Let me answer clearly – heck no!

The race for the division, yes, the Rockies once again are not going to win the West and need to focus on the Wild Card going forward. But, they are 28-28, a whole 1.5 out of the Wild Card (pending finish of all games today)! And that with playing 33 games on the road and just 23 at home (the 10 game home stand will bring it back equal). The Giants are the luckiest team in baseball, but they also have gone into St. Louis and beat the daylights out of a good Cardinals team (part of the reason they are only 1.5 back is that fact), who are going to be only 3 games over .500 at home. So, the season isn’t over by a long shot. The reason we are all pulling our hair out after this 2-7 road trip (and the 2-5 trip before), is how well this team was playing before May 8th. So, let me ask you this, would you have been excited if I told you before the season they would be at .500 and only 1.5 back in the Wild Card with:

1)      Nolan being hurt and miss 8 games (yes, more games missed to come). He is a .345 hitter with 2 outs this season and a .283 hitter with 2 strikes, that folks is why the team misses him offensively as much as defensively.

2)      Cuddy would miss close to a month

3)      The team’s expected opening-day pitcher, Jhoulys Chacin, would miss all of Spring Training, the first month of the season, would be 0-4, have a 5.51 ERA and 16 walks and only 20Ks, and worse, the team would be 0-6 in games he started. For those who think Spring Training is meaningless (granted the stats are but not the work), he is a great example. And before you say he stinks, this is a pitcher who came into this season with a 37-41 record playing on 3 last place teams and even after this awful season, his ERA is still 3.68 and WHIP of 1.334. His season has really hurt the team.

4)      Brett Anderson would only make 2 starts (the third really doesn’t count since it was only 2 innings), and the team would be 0-2 in those games (this is a guy with a career 3.81ERA and WHIP of 1.286, so losing him hurts a lot)

5)      Tyler Chatwood would only make 4 starts, and the team would only be 2-2 in those.

6)      The team would rely on Fraklin Morales as the 5th starter. Before you say he is worthless (RMH, thinking of you), through the first 5 starts for the team he was 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA. The league is always scouting, always reacting to you (why Charlie Blackmon is getting pitched differently now than in April), which is why teams started taking on first pitch, and making Morales throw a strike. Too often he hasn’t and when you get in hitters counts, you get killed. The problem is that since then he has been miserable (save a couple of good starts). The team is 5-7 in his starts, which to be fair is a lot better the team’s record in 5th starters last year.

7)      Would be 2nd in the whole MLB in strikeouts on the road, and near the bottom in walks.

8)      Chad Bettis and Wilton Lopez, who were counted on to be important parts of the bullpen would ERAs of 8.78 and 11.37 respectively and both be renting-to-own in Colorado Springs.

9)      Would be 2-11 in games where the bullpen is responsible for the outcome. And have already seen 4 walk-offs.

10)   Their prize lefty signing, Boone Logan, would have given-up 3 of the 4 walk-offs, and have already allowed 4 homers, 3 to lefties.

11)   CarGo’s knee would be that of a 70-year old. For those saying he is washed-up, practically all hitters are dependent on their legs (only slap-hitters like Rod Carew that use their wrists can survive leg injuries). Last year Albert Puljos was a shadow of himself. His legs aren’t perfect, but his OPS is .832 this year with 14 homers. CarGo is not done, but his legs are shot, and desperately need a rest (a DL stint, and I know they don’t want to be without him, but he is really hurting the club right now). Would you think this team would be  at .500 with him hitting .258 with an OPS of .769, and on the road hitting .182 with OPS of .614 (BABIP of .197). Where would you think this team would be?

12)   That they would have gotten no input from the farm system aside from Nick Masset and Chris Martin. No starts or relief from any of the big prospects.

13)   And that at no point would they have swept a series or had more than a 3 game winning streak

So, perspective is everything.  Yes, since May 8th this team is 6-14, but only 5 of those games have been at home (3-2). What is hurts, the team has been tied or ahead in the 8th in 5 of those losses. But that is the past. Tulo has slowed down a lot on this last road trip (you knew he could not hold-up the pace he was at before this trip…especially on the road where his BABIP is only .237 explaining his .233 BA and .815 OPS). In losses he is only .241/.750. In wins, .460/1.485, so you know how important he is to this team.

This team has a big home-stand against the DBack, Dodgers and Braves (4games). Yes, two of those are tough teams. And the DBacks are better on the road than at home. And following the Rockies luck the past 3+ weeks, they get their 3 best pitchers this year (we do avoid Wade Miley who has not been very good since shutting down the Rockies in the first home series). The fact is, this team has stunk on the road since going 8-9 to start the season. They have a big hole at 3rd, and their 3rd (Chacin), 4th (Nicasio) and 5th (Morales) starters cannot go 6 innings, walk way-too many hitters, and are basically killing this team on the road (yes, they were shut-out twice, but if this team gets quality starts more regularly on the road, they might have won several more games). They pitch much better at home…why, I can only guess. This is not a home-stand where 6-4 is acceptable. They really need to find a way to go 8-2 or 9-1 on this stand. They have to establish they are not the horrible team they have been on the road (and to be fair, 5 out of 20 games on the road will impact a team, especially one still catching its breath from 40 games in 42 days). They need to make changes to their rotation, in at least 1 spot if not 2 (and Chacin still doesn’t look healthy to me). But they have played well at home, so they have a chance to do exactly that.

After this home-stand and six-game road trip (to San Fran and L.A.) we will know if this season is going to be worth watching in September or smart to deal away parts at the trading deadline (likely Cuddy and DLR, who despite those who say he is not part of their future plans – he is their ace, and the greatest pitcher in the history of Coors, no matter how many pitching prospects you have (the hit rate on pitching prospects is only about 35-40%), he is part of their future and they will trade him away with the idea of re-signing him in the off-season). We should know more in about three weeks. Then we can decide if the season is over.

Until then, let’s not let write 2014 off quite yet. That is not optimism speaking but the facts. Only 1.5 back with 10 more road games than home…you still have a chance (as in all sports, it is hard to win on the road), but yes, the pitching on the road has to be better, the bullpen while needing more rest also has to be better, stop trying to hit 3-run homers every AB, and they have to get more timely hits on the road (though they did hit better in Cleveland so, that is a good sign).

For those who want to be negative, go ahead, write-off the season, but please keep your negativity to yourself (after all if you are sure the season is over, go play golf).  Not to say pessimist can’t be here – just saying asking to let the next 3 weeks play out. For the rest of us, as angry, frustrated, and despairing as we may feel right now, we know that in 162 games, only the very great teams avoid spells like this. We know the Rox are not a great team…but the question is, are they a good enough team to come back and play fun winning baseball.

Lets check back in 16 games…we will know a whole lot more then.  And maybe we can all be pessimists together…or maybe the Rox will reward your waiting by giving us all reasons to be optimistic!

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
32 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
roxnsox
roxnsox
6 years ago

Heard on some radio station in the car that they face mostly top-tier pitching over the homestand. Great. I still think they can get on a little bit of a tear, and I do like that they have played the most road games of any team (balance out the rest of the season)! I hold to my prediction of Meh, and I hold to my “this always happens.” Maybe if they could start out crappy some year and go the… Read more »

Pooter
Pooter
6 years ago

The radio guys made it sound like that would most likely be the last start for Frankie Morales. I sure wish Anderson and Chatwood were much closer to returning!

roxnsox
roxnsox
6 years ago
Reply to  Pooter

Management is hanging their hat on Anderson and Chatwood. Two more pieces on the shelf of fine china, with flashes in between. Management will always hang their hat on some “if” or “when” instead of doing something bold. (Wow, I used to scorn those who blamed management for just such. This time I think it’s justified. This season could be saved, the great start saved, the terrible luck and slide reversed. Or, not.)

lwesche
lwesche
6 years ago

I think I need a counselor! This is almost too painful to watch.

sabrchip
sabrchip
6 years ago

This is where we see how good a manager Walt Weiss is. When the players are playing good a manager doesn’t have to do much but when they’re smelling it up like they have these past two weeks, that’s when a true leader has to show why he’s sitting at that spot in the dugout.

C’mon Walt! Lead us out of the mire!

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
6 years ago

For the cliff-jumper-offers in the crowd – I have a fun diversion for you. Thursday is the amateur draft. Rox have the #8 pick AND #35 (competitive balance pick) picks in the first round and go again early in the 2nd (#48 overall). Not too shabby. In baseball, because the developmental process is so long with so many twists and turns, my mindset is always to pick “best available player” instead of picking for “need.” Plenty of time to trade… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
6 years ago
Reply to  sdcarp

I really hope Ryan Freeland or Aaron Nola fall to the Rockies. Freeland looks like Cliff Lee and he’s from Colorado like Roy Halladay. Even Freeland himself said, he would love to pitch at Coors. The White Sox is rumored to be taking a look at Freeland. If he gets past the Chisox I think the Rox will be able to snag him.

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
6 years ago

I’ve given this Rox home/road splits some thought. What I’ve come up with is in order for the team to be consistently competitive, they need to go 55 wins at home and 35 on the road. That’s 90 wins in a season, enough to keep them in the division and WC hunt every year. This season they seem to have figured the home half of that equation as they are on a pace for 56 wins. Unfortunately, they are currently… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
6 years ago
Reply to  Cisco Kid

On the road, Rox need to bunt, steal, and do some hit n run plays. We almost never string together a bunch of hits on the road so it’s essential we bunt men over into scoring positions – especially after leadoff double. BUNT, then sac fly. Hit n run takes away double play possibility. Stealing – I rather attempt steal and out at 2B than take a sure two outs on DP grounders.

Miketober
Miketober
6 years ago

I certainly hope the season isn’t over. Little League is winding down. MLB may be a poor substitute for the excitement of youth baseball, but it’s something to watch during the dog days of summer.

Gary
Gary
6 years ago

Speaking of WW BP mismanagement-why did he start successive innings with lefties and then have none left in the pen for ex.innings or for Brantley.Brothers threw only 11 pitches and was nails,but he brought in Logan for lefties to start the next frame.Rex could have easily started that next inning-saving Logan-and with off day today Rex would have rest even if he threw another 15/20 pitches.I didn’t see the walk off but believe Brantley hits lefty[or SH] but Walt had… Read more »

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
6 years ago
Reply to  Gary

Gary,
Read my comment on this exact point on Sat @4:36.

Doctor_Christopher
Doctor_Christopher
6 years ago

Cisco, I was looking at the winning percentages, they would need to play .426 on the road and .670 at home. Its possible if and when this team is healthy…but probably not with this 25. You pointed to the current rate being 29 games…which makes 84, the number I picked before the season started 🙂 As for Weiss, the question I had Sunday was why was Dickerson hitting in the 7th or 8th (cant remember) against a lefty when they… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
6 years ago

My roughly 1/3 point take: 1. Tulo great, having his best season ever. Cargo awful, having his worst season ever. We can see him struggle at the plate. Many folks have noticed his defensive decline. The numbers bear that out — he’s on a pace to come in at 15 runs below average in LF. Cuddy in his worst season was about 20 runs below average on defense. And his baserunning skills have all but disappeared too. Add it up… Read more »

Gary
Gary
6 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

AG,mostly agree except on DJ.He has done a great job in the thankless role as a number 8 hitter.Further he is solid+ defensively and if we ever get the desired rotation that pitches to ground ball contact he becomes more valuable.IMO he is the best 8 hole hitter this team has had in my recollection.When Rut came up I gushed he might be the next Sandberg.Now I think he might be the new EY jr.without the speed.Otherwise,Cargo may have to… Read more »

EdtheUmp
EdtheUmp
6 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Ayg…

As good a breakdown/assessment piece as has been written.

IMHO, all points are exactly what is(or will happen)happening to our Rox.

With 2/3 of the season still remaining to be played out, 81 wins and a few meaningful games in early September is all I’m hoping for at this point.

BTW, I’m not holding my breath.

sdcarp
sdcarp
6 years ago

FYI – Keith Law just updated his top 25 prospects and he has Gray and Butler in top 25. In fact, he all but says Gray is the best pitching prospect and should at least be in the Pen by the end of the year. He’s slightly concerned about the drop in Butler’s K rate, but still had him at about #18 (I think Gray was #6).

Doctor_Christopher
Doctor_Christopher
6 years ago
Reply to  sdcarp

What frustrates me about Law and the SABR folks at ESPN is the miss that the Rox have been telling their pitchers to work on ground balls and quick outs instead of Ks. They know Butler, Gray and Lyles can K people – they don’t want them doing it unless they need it (as Lyles had lately due to so many base runners of late). The folks at ESPN misunderstand don’t for can’t. George Frazier is one of many to… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
6 years ago

I’m not a Law fan. I find him sort of “snarky” for lack of a better description. Just passing along the info. It was from “Insider” so I didn’t cut and paste.

Julian
Julian
6 years ago

I’m OK with DJ playing great defense and hitting 8th. Rutledge has a better bat, but he’s not a good enough defender at 2B. I’m not sure what you do with Rutledge. Could he learn how to play left field so that he could become a super utilitu guy? At some point, will Trevor Story be moved to 2B to play alongside Tulo? What do we do with all of the guys whose contracts end this year, such as Cuddyer,… Read more »

Jeem
Admin
Jeem
6 years ago
Reply to  Julian

How is it Rutledge is a better hitter than DJ? 6 pixie-dust weeks back in 2012?

Suggestions DJ is part of the problem are insulting.

Gary
Gary
6 years ago
Reply to  Jeem

Jeem.wholeheartedly agree!

egossage
egossage
6 years ago
Reply to  Jeem

Yeah Jeem I don’t really get the big deal about Rutledge. I would way rather have DJ in the lineup over Rutledge. Heck, I think I’d rather have Barmes in the lineup over Rutledge!

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
6 years ago

This morning a light bulb came on in my head, but the Rox management will have none of this idea unfortunately. Let CarGo and Dickerson switch roles with the explanation that CarGo was demoted to fourth OF not because of his talent but because of his nagging injuries. Make Dickerson everyday LF and bat 2nd in lineup vs. RH pitching and 6th or 7th vs. LH pitchers. Let CarGo make the start about 3 times a week. That way he… Read more »

Pooter
Pooter
6 years ago

Here is my bold prediction:

Cargo will lead the team in RBIs, HR, and batting average by seasons end. He will get it going!

egossage
egossage
6 years ago
Reply to  Pooter

I’ll take that bet! I say his season will be done by late August and Chuck Nazty will have more RBIs and HRs and also have a higher batting average than Cargo.

EdtheUmp
EdtheUmp
6 years ago
Reply to  Pooter

Pooter

Along with ego, I too will take the bet. I will counter-bet(so that you can break even)that with 106 games-to-go, Cargo will play in only 75 of them.

IMHO, he is hurt. Knee and hand/finger problems will limit his game participation.

Our 3, 4 and 5 starters are killing us(where has that thought originated?). I see nothing on the horizon that changes that.

I hope to hell I am mistaken.

Gary
Gary
6 years ago
Reply to  EdtheUmp

Cargo’s fall makes me yearn for EYjr.

Gary
Gary
6 years ago
Reply to  EdtheUmp

75 may be optimistic Ed!

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
6 years ago

Cargo should have been DL’d when Cuddyer came back (instead of sending Chris Martin down). Had that occurred – he would be very close to being eligible to come back now (presumably healthy – I don’t think he has major injuries, just numerous nagging ones) and we certainly wouldn’t have done any worse in his absence – and maybe better. With the rash of injuries this year – I think we’ll see teams become more proactive in jumping on health… Read more »

32
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x