In the midst of an epic Rockies losing streak at 10 games, there are a lot of crazy ideas being thrown out on what should be done.
1) Fire Weiss.
There is absolutely nothing Weiss can do with this roster and its current performance. Did he pick the wrong rotation guys? Chacin went away, DLR came late, Matzek wobbled, Butler has been only slightly better, and outside of Bettis (who we see tomorrow in LA) there is nothing in AAA. There is always a discussion on a different move in a different situation, but the comments on social media border on the ridiculous. “Should have left Kendrick in.” LOL, watched any Kendrick outings lately? “Everybody in the bullpen sucks.” “Wow, CarGo hits the ball hard.” (More on that shortly.) There’s a scapegoat factor, and it’s not going to be Bridich, but it still makes no sense. You fire managers when they have “lost the team”, and I don’t hear anyone saying that.
2) Tulo is a cancer.
He is a lot of things – prima donna, oft injured, extremely talented, not a leader – but I’d never describe a guy who wants his team to win as a cancer. A cancer is Milton Bradley, who didn’t care about anybody but Milton and had zero respect for authority or the people around him. Wanting out of this mess does not make Tulo a cancer. Paul Cohen has started the PR campaign, and the leverage is dissuading any other free agent ever coming to Colorado at least as long as Bridich is the GM. It does have to be a good deal, however, and I’m sure Cohen and Bridich will have that conversation shortly.
3) Help is coming.
Standing pat and waiting for help from a farm system is going to be a long, long wait. Keith Law had this system ranked 8th, but that measures a mix. I’d like to see just our pitchers ranked. We produce pretty well on position players, but few and far between on pitchers. It was five years between Jason Jennings and Ubaldo Jimenez and we’re still waiting for the next front-of-rotation type.
4) Don’t trade Tulo, trade others first.
The list of players not named Tulo or CarGo other teams would want, and we can afford to part with, is short. I put up a list that had DLR, Blackmon, and Hundley or Rosario, and somebody correctly pointed out I missed Axford. Then they expanded the list. I don’t think LeMahieu is tradable even though his value seems high right now, simply because we can’t replace his contract (essentially league min) and production at 2B. (Forrest Wall is a long ways away.) Betancourt? Morneau? What do we get back for either of them? No MLB-ready players, especially pitching.
5) Build around Arenado.
I agree Arenado is untouchable, but here’s the thing. It’s gotten weird since Helton left. He took a lot of the load off Tulo, and we see what is happening now. Arenado is a great 3B, but is not ready to lead this or any team. I’m not even sure he’s a #3 or #4 hitter. In fact, there is no leader type among Arenado, Blackmon, Dickerson, and LeMahieu. Leaderless teams flail. I’m not sure what the alternative is here, trading guys under team control is no help.
The Bridich non-execution statements on starting pitching and RISP hitting reminded me of that famous John McKay line: “Execution? I’m in favor of it.”
It is a crying shame that when Kendrick does show up last night, a normally reliable Betancourt has a total meltdown. This is overall wear and tear from accumulation of short outings. It will take weeks of better outings before the pen recovers. It is not a bad bullpen, they have been injured and overused – and there has been no choice in the matter.
I remember telling somebody way back when on the old Rockies forum on MLB that we needed to give CarGo at least 150 ABs before passing judgement on a mistake trading Matt Holliday. (He’s looking pretty good in StL right now.) Some CarGo numbers: 105 PA, 81 outs, BABIP .229 (so much for exit velocity), 52 baserunners on, 4 scored. Batting .136 when pulling the ball into shifts. 21 PA on left-handers, 7 Ks, 2 singles and 1 BB. But, he’s fine, everyone just wait. I was looking for Scott Boras in his usual spot behind home plate (he’s based in the OC), watching clients CarGo and Arenado. (You know CarGo’s contract has a $1M “assignment bonus” if he is traded?)
Meanwhile, everyone from Dan O’Dowd to Joel Sherman to me has called for Tulo to the Mets. (Tulo has a $2M “assignment bonus”. Of course he is asking to be traded.) A lot of people are trying to backpedal on this story, saying Tulo is too expensive and too big an injury risk and not a SS long term. If the Mets stay close to the top of the division, this is very likely happening – it is their one chance to combat Washington, and SS is a crater in NY. Their fans are saying the package could be Steven Matz, Kevin Plawecki, and a lower prospect arm in order to take the Tulo contract.
It is our one chance to get pitching that can help in rebuild mode – any starter in the Mets system is probably better than anyone we have. Syndergaard became untouchable last night. It just kills me that the Mets scouting can find FOUR starters – Harvey, Wheeler (traded for Beltran), deGrom, and Syndergaard (traded for Dickey) – and still have more prospects coming.
Bridich says it’s “over the horizon” and “it’s May”, code for he’s listening. Tulo says this is the last thing he wants hanging over his head, code for he is waiting to see what his agent says after talking to other GMs. Alderson says he “can’t” take a contract that big – Tulo has five years at $20M (prorate this year), a sixth at $14M, and a seventh option with a $4M buyout. Several other destinations have been floated, but I don’t think Bridich is silly enough to do biz with AJ Preller, and the others (Pirates, Mariners) don’t have enough pitching prospects they can part with.
Breakfast at Tulowitzki’s tomorrow will tell us a lot soon. Anyway, there is a game tonight, and if the Rox have a chance of breaking the streak, it will be on Angels #5 starter Hector Santiago. Rosario produced a stunning 0-for-4 in the role he was made for, DH; he needs to put his bat where his mouth is, because these are his chances. We need a good start from Lyles and a lot more than 5 hits from our offense to break this spell, otherwise we’re looking at a possible 15-game streak with 4 coming in LA. That would set a team record we don’t want.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
RF: Kole Calhoun
CF: Mike Trout
1B: Albert Pujols
3B: David Freese
SS: Erick Aybar
2B: Johnny Giavotella
LF: Matt Joyce
C: Carlos Perez
DH: Marc Krauss
SP: Hector Santiago
LF: Corey Dickerson
SS: Troy Tulowitzki
3B: Nolan Arenado
RF: Carlos Gonzalez
DH: Wilin Rosario
1B: Justin Morneau
CF: Drew Stubbs
C: Nick Hundley
2B: DJ LeMahieu
SP: Jordan Lyles