September 1st, 2014 at 5:00 AM
By Joe Lemere
Colorado Rockies fans have known since about maybe late-June that this season was over. Looking forward to next year is a right of passage if you're a baseball fan, and Rockies fans have become rather good at this the last six seasons. And in the spirit of looking towards next year, there are position battles for next year that can be won in September.
Wilin Rosario has had a bad year. Major offensive struggles, injuries, defensive issues and game calling miscues, Rosario's starting spot on the team next year is no way guaranteed. Michael McKenry has been stellar in relief this season and Jackson Williams will have a shot to prove himself this month. With the Rockies keeping their top catching Tom Murphy off of the 40-man roster, it will be up to those three guys to see who starts next year. If Mac plays like he has all year he should win, but Wilin will only be 26 when the season begins next year. That youth is hard to overlook.
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August 31st, 2014 at 1:08 PM
By Joe Lemere
This year has certainly been a disappointing one for the Colorado Rockies. Just one game in front of having the worst record in baseball, it would be all too easy to just run the same team out there the rest of the season to just ride it out and go at it again next year. But that isn't the course the Rockies should take. September, when Major League rosters expand to 40, should be when the Rox experiment with the players they have in preparation for an exciting offseason.
The Rockies may not be up for that, however, as most of their intriguing prospects are not on the 40-man roster, those available to play in Major League games, so the roster will largely look the same as it has in August. Even so, though, the Rockies have to give different pitchers the ball in order to find out if they have anybody good enough to make next year's squad. The bullpen has been especially bad and the rotation destroyed by injuries, so spots for next season are for the taking. Hopefully one or two guys that get some playing time this last month seize the opportunity. Kraig Sitton and Jayson Aquino are guys that could fall into that category.Read more... Join the Conversation...
August 30th, 2014 at 6:30 AM
By Joe Lemere
If you've watched the Colorado Rockies at all, at any point during the season, you know the bullpen has been downright awful. There is no way to sugarcoat it; the boys in the 'pen have been dreadful. Just last night, the bullpen allowed a run charged to starter Christian Bergman on a wild pitch from Christian Friedrich, Rex Brothers walked the bases loaded and Adam Ottavino gave up the go-ahead grand slam to lose the game 5-2. The one pitcher who's been solid all season didn't get to the bump. LaTroy Hawkins.
Hawkins has been a leader on the team since he got back to Colorado this year. Not only with his play on the field, but his upstanding professionalism in every facet of being a pro ball player. That professionalism, as always, comes from experience, and boy howdy does Hawk have plenty of that. This year is his twentieth season in the pros, 15 of them as a reliever, for 10 teams.Read more... Join the Conversation...
August 29th, 2014 at 2:44 PM
By Joe Lemere
Rockies currently have the worst record in the National League at 53-80, one game better than the Texas Rangers for worst record in baseball. To lose 100 games, the Rockies would have to go 9-20 in the last month of the season, a mark of futility the organization is yet to reach in their 22 year history. As counterintuitive as it may seem, posting a franchise-worst record could be the only thing that makes the team better.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort is notoriously stubborn and perhaps the worst season he's experienced will resolve him to make some changes. GM Dan O'Dowd and director of major league operations Bill Geivett have proven themselves as good baseball people, but they've also proven that they don't know how to build a winner in Colorado. The front office needs major changes and it just might happen after this year.
After failing to address anything wrong with the team at the trade deadline, and now doing the same thing through the waiver period, management appears tremendously short-sighted. Not willing to part with Jorge De La Rosa or one of the multitude of outfielders that have been drawing interest from around the majors is a fault in their evaluation of the Rockies. They obviously believe that this team can contend with very few changes, but a third straight last place finish in the NL West surely has to change that thinking.Read more... Join the Conversation...
August 28th, 2014 at 5:00 AM
By Joe Lemere
All Justin Morneau does is hit. He had the only hit of the ballgame for the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, and in Wednesday night's game he came through again with a game-tying double in the top of the ninth. Morneau sits atop the National League in batting average, but can he take the batting crown home?
Morneau leads all qualified batters in the NL with a batting average of .317. And a quick look at the numbers say that he may very well win the batting title this year. He's hitting .325 away from home, higher than the .310 he's put up at vaunted Coors Field. He's hitting .343 against righties this year, and with a steady diet of right-handed starters, that will benefit his average. Justin has also been riding a hot streak since the All-Star break, hitting .337 even with a trip to the DL.
It seems as though Morneau will be able to keep his end of the bargain up, so what about the competition ha faces for the crown? Currently in second place is Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Ben Revere with an average of .311. Revere has improved his average every season and this year will most likely follow suit. Hitting leadoff will give Revere many more at bats than Morneau this season, which could be what keeps him from the title.Read more... Join the Conversation...