Jeremy Guthrie was called into the manager’s office a short while ago. Naturally we wondered if this was to deliver the news that the Rockies had traded him.
Instead he has been moved to the bullpen, meaning his abysmal run in the starting rotation has mercifully been put to an end, at least for the foreseeable future. That can only be good news for a rotation that has struggled so mightily, right? Remove the guy who has struggled the most and make room for a younger pitcher such as Tyler Chatwood or Drew Pomeranz to develop and get experience. That makes sense.
Correction: that would have made sense.
That’s not exactly what’s happening, apparently. According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, manager Jim Tracy announced that the team will now use a four man rotation with Jeremy Guthrie in the bullpen. Those four pitchers will all be held to a 75 pitch count.
If you have listened to the radio or television broadcasts of Rockies games this season, you have heard a sentiment like this far too often: “The Rockies desperately need a starter to pitch deep into a game. This bullpen is overtaxed and overused.”
Leading up to today, the bullpen was overused because they were forced to mop up games starting in the 3rd, 4th, or 5th inning because of starts cut short by ineffectiveness.
From today forward, the bullpen will be overused because they will be forced to mop up games starting in the 3rd, 4th, or 5th inning because of starts cut short by design.
As you all may know, I really like Jim Tracy and I tend to have his back longer than most. But this is outrageous and borders on indefensible. If we do not see something like a plan that makes sense soon, the need for change will continue to be pushed to higher levels of urgency. These coaches and the rest of management need to quit outsmarting themselves and commit to some type of logical rebuilding plan.
But hey, at least they’re not facing a juggernaut offense in Philadelphia. We have a few days to brace ourselves for that since they do not play the Texas Rangers until Friday. Considering recent events, things might look much different by then anyway. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised at…well…at anything.