The opening series of the second half isn't going the way the Colorado Rockies would have liked, blowing late leads in each of their first two games in Pittsburgh. This is most likely how the rest of the season will go, losing more games than not, generally playing bad and making poor coaching decisions. There is a silver lining to this dark cloud of losing, however. The second half of the Rockies season can be a time of experimentation and learning about certain guys and aspects of the game that will lead to decisions being made about the future of this team.
The first decision to be made is whom to keep on next year's team. The relatively young guys that have made an impact this year — Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, Corey Dickerson — won't be getting traded. Veteran Stalwarts like Justin Morneau and Carlos Gonzalez will be back, too. The tough decisions are about Michael Cuddyer, the pitching staff and a certain superstar shortstop.
Cuddyer is the reigning batting champ, but injuries have taken him out for most of this season. He'll be a free agent at the end of the year, making him an appealing moveable asset. The problem is the shoulder injury will keep him out a few weeks passed the trade deadline and the only way to trade him will be through waivers. The Rockies won't get anywhere near the value for the right fielder that route. With an already crowded outfield, the best course of action will be to let the classy outfielder walk in free agency unless he takes a steep pay cut.
The easiest decision the Rockies have to make is picking up Brett Anderson's team option for next season. While injuries have been a problem in his career, you can't overlook his talented left arm. The next decision is Jorge De La Rosa. Whether he finishes the season in a Rockies uniform or not, the club should try to re-sign him for the next season or two. His veteran presence will be of great benefit to Eddie Butler, Jon Gray and the other young guys on the mound. And speaking of Butler and Gray, what do they do with them? They should bring them up in September to get some Big League experience and set them up for next season.
The bullpen is in shambles and should be mostly replaced for next season. Tommy Kahnle and LaTroy Hawkins are the only guys to prove themselves for next year, but Hawkins will most likely be traded this season. Adam Ottavino and Boone Logan have quality stuff and should be in the 'pen next year as well. The other spots should be filled with free agents.
The front office and coaching staff should see some changes, but it remains to be seen if owner Dick Monfort will do so. Obviously something is wrong with the people building this team and change is desperately needed.
Now the biggest decision to be made will be a franchise changer. Trading Troy Tulowitzki. The St. Louis Cardinals made a play for him last offseason, but the Rockies held on to their centerpiece. Things might be different this offseason after such a disappointing year from the team and such a successful year from Tulo. Everybody knows the New York Yankees will be looking for a successor to Derek Jeter and Tulowitzki is just what they're looking for. The Rockies need to finally listen to offers for their prized shortstop and maybe, just maybe, pull the trigger. The king's ransom the Yankees would pay would do well to help the team become a winner in 2015 and beyond.
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Tags: Baseball, Brett Anderson, Colorado, Colorado Rockies, Jorge De La Rosa, Michael Cuddyer, MLB, Troy Tulowitzki