What are the Colorado Rockies? At this point they are clearly playing out the string but the question is whether this is a baseball team or merely a business. One thing they are is a very deep farm system.
Look around the positions on the field and they usually have 2 good prospects at each position. In some cases, more than 2. Right now the Rockies have arguably the 2nd best third baseman in baseball in Nolan Arenado. But they also have several good prospects in their minor league system playing 3rd. From the well-known Ryan McMahon to recent draft pick Tyler Nevin and the less well-known Kevin Padlo who failed at Ashville but when sent down to Boise has torn up the Pioneer League (OBP of .418 over the 61 games plus 32 steals). They also have a pretty deep roster of catching prospects, from Tom Murphy to Dom Nunez down at Ashville. Their shortstop list includes recent top pick Brendan Rodgers, high riser Trevor Story and interesting prospect Cristhian Adames. As our friends at Purple Row asked, what is Jose Reyes still doing on the Rockies roster (I am guessing $22 million for two more years, hence the question of whether they are just a business).
The outfield has several interesting players but David Dahl and Raimel Tapia, both top 100 prospects in most lists. Only at 2B, with Forrest Wall, is the cupboard bare for a while (though Mike Benjamin has proven valuable enough to cover the position if the team decides to trade their All-Star and Gold Glover man (and for reasons I cannot understand, recent clean-up hitter) DJ LeMaiheu. The pitching group is harder to figure out. Because of course of the potential of injuries (such as took down Tyler Anderson), strange occurrences (Tyler Matzek’s loss of control) and loss of stuff (Eddie Butler) but after the trade of Tulo, they have added three great arms, drafted several in June and still have the likes of Kyle Freeland coming and Jon Gray already here. And Tyler is making some nice strides and might be able to find his way back – remember, his stuff isn’t just unhittable because its all balls, its also actually hard to hit. And…sometimes players figure it out all of a sudden and begin to add strikeouts to their other tools (Antonio Senzatela, who is suddenly drawing comparisons to Jhoulys Chacin. So, the future is bright aside from the lack of prospects to cover 1B (which is to be fair the easiest position to find of a player to replace struggling production.
But…that future is at earliest next year and probably 2017 away. And for now…its Jon Gray night.
Don’t worry about last time out. Every pitcher has a bad outing every so often (which is why Gibson’s 1.12 ERA in 1968 was…amazing). Tonight we get to see him take on a real live solid baseball club in the Pirates, in Pittsburg. The Pirates star starter is Garrett Cole who I think is the best case scenario for Gray. Watch him pitch and you will see the similarities. Tonight going for the Pirates is the still very good Francisco Liriano (who still has two very good pitches…maybe Freeland could make that level…not sure the comparison is right).
The one thing we do know about the Rockies is that…and I know this sounds strange…they have a chance to get more wins on the road this year than at home. With one less road game they are 3 behind in wins on the road (24) than at home (27) where to be honest…they stink this year. After taking 2 out of 3 against the pretty bad Braves, can they crimp the Pirates sails as they try and catch the Cardinals from behind (was going to try a “stealing the wind from the bird” thing but it just didn’t work). Will be an interesting weekend of baseball.