After acquiring Jair Jurrjens years after he was useful and signing Chris Capuano under similar circumstances, one question presents itself. What are the Colorado Rockies afraid of? Why, after all the injuries that have helped to devolve this season into a year of inconsequence, are the Rockies afraid to call up Jonathon Gray?
Well, the front office is afraid of breaking young Mr. Gray. They're afraid not of blowing out his arm, which has been happening at an alarmingly high rate this year, but they are scared of blowing out his confidence. While damaging a pitcher's psyche isn't unique to the Rockies organization, it does seem to be their specialty. The list of starting pitchers the fans were told to be excited about only to see them fizzle out and fade away in the Bigs if they ever even made it that far is as long as Dan O'Dowd's tenure as GM.
Now, this fear of a damaged pitcher is not a failing of Gray, who could become the greatest pitcher in Colorado Rockies history (low bar), but it is a failing of the system he's been drafted into. The "let's get a sinker ball pitcher and have him pitch to contact" strategy hasn't, doesn't, and won't work. 15 years of proof has to be enough, right? Nope, they'll pick up Jurrjens and Capuano way passed their respective primes, they'll probably hold on to Jorge De La Rosa, Wilin Rosario and other trade chips this year, and they'll keep Jon Gray in AA Tulsa all year. Maybe, just maybe, we'll get a September call-up and see him in a relief appearance or two.
There's a reason this club doesn't like to make splashy midseason trades, a lot of prospects don't fit the system. They need to finally say "the hell with the system, get the guy who can get guys out." Clayton Kershaw doesn't fit the system, for example, but it seems he's a capable pitcher, even at Coors Field. Owner Dick Monfort needs to institute some changes if he ever wants to build a winner on 20th and Blake. He won't. And maybe that's the answer to the headline of this article. The Rockies are afraid of winning.Tags: Baseball, Chris Capuano, Colorado, Colorado Rockies, Dan O'Dowd, Dick Monfort, Jair Jurrjens, Jon Gray, MLB