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Note to the Rockies: Don’t get Down, Go Get Downs

By Chris Jacobson

How fast things can change. Just before the All Star break, Rockies fans were talking about first place and a playoff push. As of today, the Rocks are a mere 2-8 since the break, losers of five straight and in danger of being swept by the Phillies in a four game series. The once resurgent Dexter Fowler is mired in another slump and the offense looks stagnant. What’s worse is the pitching. What was their strength earlier in the season has become very pedestrian.

While most fans knew Ubaldo Jimenez probably couldn’t maintain his Bob Gibson like beginning to his season, few imagined how dramatically his season might fall off. In his last six starts Ubaldo has gone past the sixth inning once, seen his ERA climb from an amazing 1.15 to a surprising 2.75 and had a 7.64 ERA during that span. While the Rockies rallied several times during those games, it is reasonable to say that Jimenez should of lost four of those six starts and could have lose five of six. He looks tired. Perhaps some of that is due to the fact that he’s young and not used to the rigors of a full season and the the pressure he’s experiencing. Perhaps it is from trying to carry a team whose offense has underperformed continually. Perhaps it is due to the fact that he averaged almost seven and a third innings per start for his first fourteen starts. While going deep into games is as impressive as it is important, using your bullpen to save your young pitchers arm should be equally important.

Jorge De La Rosa has been average since his return, Jason Hammel has over performed but seems to be coming back to Earth, Aaron Cook can’t pitch on the road, Jeff Francis is only winning every other decision and Jhoulys Chacin has been sent down. Simply put, the starting rotation isn’t what it was a month ago. Even that may not be the Colorado Rockies biggest problem. The relievers, both middle relief and closers have been a questionable bunch at best. While it was a shot in the arm, so to speak, to get Huston Street back in the lineup, the rest of the group has been sub-par. The Franklin Morales/Manny Corpas portion of the season was a nerve-wracking period in which the tandem combined for seven blown saves and eight losses. Taylor Buchholz has returned to the squad and may be able to contribute on that front.

All in all, the Rocks need to make a move, it has been said that the Rockies have one of the deepest outfields in baseball and perhaps it’s time to thin the herd in receipt of middle relief. It’s been rumored that the Rocks are taking a long look at acquiring a corner fielder in the Marlins Jorge Cantu; perhaps they would be better suited bolstering their bullpen. A more useful trade may be the acquisition of Scott Downs of Toronto or Kyle Farnsworth of the Royals. Both squads look to be in fire sale mode. While Kyle Farnsworth may be had for a more reasonable asking price Scott Downs is the far superior player. Perhaps giving Toronto a combination of Seth Smith and prospects might be enough to acquire the Blue Jays’ left hander.

At the end of the day, the Rockies need to end their slump, convince the fans they are staying in the race and catch the overachieving Padres. New relief can do just that. Here’s hoping the Rock Show can turn things around and pull the trigger on a deal that brings Scott Downs to Colorado.

NOTE: It's official, we were swept by the hated Phils

2 comments:

  1. The All Star Break curse strikes again!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's hard to play 162 games and not struggle at some point. The move to make is for a bat to help the offense. Scoring a few more runs would take pressure off the pitching. It would be expensive, but the bat I like the most is switch-hitting Lance Berkman batting fourth for the Rocks.

    ReplyDelete