Look at the Colorado Rockies, cite their historically bad ERA in 2012, and explain why they have no hope in 2013. Repeat as necessary.
The front office added no help in that department. They did not pursue a big name pitcher and they did not pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade. It will be up to the same group of underachieving young pitchers to somehow rescue this team from the bottom of the division, right?
Two pitchers can change that story. Two pitchers have proven that they can be top-of-the-rotation guys at the Major League level. They have swing-and-miss stuff and they have sustained that success over the course of a season. The big question with them is health, but what else is new? Isn’t any team’s hope attached to the question of their best pitcher’s health?
Skepticism about those two pitchers centers around their bad health in 2012. Both missed virtually the entire season. Chacin sparred with management and hid an injury. Eventually he pitched well, but 2012 was a lost season. De La Rosa faced numerous setbacks in his rehab and then struggled in limited action. Neither will be able to ease back into things. They face big-time pressure from the start. If either fails, the Rockies will be as mediocre as we all expect.
Upon their arrival to Spring Training, each is saying the right things. Start with Chacin, who talked about his new contract with the team (courtesy of the Denver Post):
“It really means so much that they trusted me like this. When a multiyear contract came up, I told my agent I wanted to do it…I love the people and city of Denver. This gives me peace of mind. I want to be with the Rockies for my entire career.”
I would have taken a cliche response about how Chacin just wants to give his team a chance to win. For him to show this kind of investment in the Rockies franchise and their success, well, that’s just kind of awesome.
“I finally feel like a pitcher again.”
OK, so that quote isn’t exactly “meaty.” But he also cited 2009 as evidence that the Rockies have surprised people in the past. So at least he has the Rockies in mind when he says he thinks they will surprise people. It’s better than if he said something like this: “Honestly, I’m just trying to pitch well and bide my time until I get traded to the Rangers or the Cardinals or something at the deadline.” If I was in his shoes, that’s what I would be thinking.
As a fan, it is great to see these two show an understanding of how important their performances will be and to hear them embrace that pressure.