Rockies starting pitching getting pummeled so far
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
The Rockies spent the entire offseason trying to fix their Achilles’ heel.
So far, it hasn’t worked out, as the Rockies starting rotation is getting hammered like a railroad spike.
General manager Dan O’Dowd made more than his fair share of pitching moves in the offseason, trying to address the Rockies’ most glaring weakness, but he may need to turn to his farm club sooner rather than later to get this team heading in the right direction.
The general consensus is that the Rockies have a top-10 farm system because of all the young arms O’Dowd has stockpiled from trades with the Cleveland Indians. The running joke in Cleveland being that the Indians should stop answering the phone when O’Dowd calls. But the Rockies desperately need starting pitching now, before they’re out of the race by mid-May.
True, O’Dowd picked up three pitchers from the Indians in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade last year (Drew Pomeranz, Alex White and Joe Gardner), and the Rockies also signed Kevin Slowey, who went 0-8 in 2011, from the Twins in the offseason, just to turn around and trade him to Cleveland for another young pitching prospect – Zach Putnam. But all of these guys apparently aren’t ready for the big leagues yet, with the exception of Pomeranz, who struggled in his first game of the season on Sunday.
The other starting pitcher from the Jimenez trade – Alex White – didn’t make the rotation coming out of spring training.
Perhaps the Rockies should reconsider that decision.
Pomeranz, the fifth overall draft pick in 2010, had emergency surgery to remove his appendix last August, and the plan all along has been to limit his innings should the Rockies need him for a playoff push late in the year, thus, the delay to his first start.
The 49-year-old Jamie Moyer isn’t the answer.
It was supposed to be the feel-good story coming out of camp, but the curtain call is due for Moyer. There are plenty of Glenwood softball teams that could use him on their rosters right about now.
The major acquisition from all of the jockeying by O’Dowd is Jeremy Guthrie, the ace of the staff and owner of a 7.84 ERA going into last night’s game.
An understatement for sure.
The Rockies have too much talent on the offensive side of the ball to let their pitching woes ruin their season.
Their division is ripe for the picking.
Inside the National League West, you will find three of the “best at their position” players in the game – Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp and pitcher Clayton Kershaw, along with Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, but the division as a whole is completely up for grabs. Any team can win it.
The only way the Rockies will make it to the postseason is if they shore up their pitching quickly.
Also on the farm is the team’s best prospect – Nolan Arenado – the stud third baseman of the future.
The Rockies whiffed in the offseason by signing Casey Blake to a contract before cutting him loose during spring training. His replacement, Chris Nelson, doesn’t look much like a Blake Street Bomber by any stretch of the imagination.
Third base has been a sore spot on this team for years. Promoting Arenado, whether he lacks experience or not, is a must for the Rox.
It’s time to head to the farm and start giving some of the kids a shot.
– Jeff Sauer is a longtime western Colorado resident and former Roaring Fork Valley resident. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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