This is like the cat that has nine lives. This is that one aunt everyone has that immediately out-stays her welcome and pinches your cheeks too often. This is a basic baseball travesty.
Am I bitter because I look silly after saying such a fond farewell to Jeff Francis, only to be one-upped by the oh-so-intelligent front office and have Francis placed/accept placement in AAA Colorado Springs? No, I am not bitter because I look silly — I look silly all the time. The bitterness comes from the fact that the Colorado Rockies just cannot seem to cut this growing emotional connection. This has become the epitomy of an abusive relationship.
Rockies Organization: “Jeffy-poo, we love you. Say you’ll never leave!”
Jeff Francis: “Baby I ain’t ever leaving. You do realize you’re paying me 1.5 million guaranteed dollars to take up roster space and toss up pancakes to professional hitters, right?”
RO: “Oh Jeff, we love your pancakes, you make the best pancakes. You are the greatest pitcher ever! Do you know how many Rockies fans have Francis jerseys?!?!”
JF: “Ok first of all you’re getting clingy. Second of all, 47. There are 47 Francis jersey’s sold. And I was talking about the wiffle ball speed pitches I throw, not the pancakes I made for you this morning.”
RO: “Shoot, right, got it. Don’t be mad at us. We just don’t want you to go.”
JF: “Whatever. I’m leaving. I am about to go out and give up 3 homeruns. Your move.”
RO: “WAIT! WAIT! Don’t go! Would it be ok if you went to Colorado Springs? It’s only 45 minutes commute down I-25 from Denver! What do you say, huh Jeff?”
JF: “Ok, fine. But you’re still paying me, got it?”
It has gotten that sick, people. This type of a conversation is the only one that makes sense as to how Francis ended up in AAA Colorado Springs. Let’s just be real for a second: Francis isn’t going there to “work on stuff”. He literally has no stuff left. It doesn’t even bother me that the Rox had to release Chris Volstad and his 10.80 ERA to make room for Francis at AAA. No, it bothers me that Francis is seen as “starting pitching depth” down in Colorado Springs. And it just downright drives me insane that the Rockies signed either of these pitchers to contracts, sinking a total of $3.0 million into them!
Thankfully Jeff is pouring salt into his own gaping open wound at AAA. Yesterday Francis went a measley 3 & 1/3 innings against the Sacramento River Cats, giving up 9 hits and 6 runs. Are the Rockies brass afraid to add to the unemployment line? Do they just not want to admit they made a royal mistake in bringing him back? What exactly makes this a good baseball move?
Unfortunately the Francis debacle is not the only past relationship that the Rockies are trying to rekindle. Relief pitcher Manny Corpas, who has been decent for the Rockies in only 7 appearances aside from taking the loss on Friday in Washington, is another former player the Rockies can’t quite seem to part with. Corpas had a 5.00+ ERA at AAA in 17 games, and has seen his average fastball velocity fall to 89 mph, far from his hey day in 2007 (93.4 average fastball). He has dropped the cutter that, while very hard to locate, may have been his biggest ally when he was successful. Instead Corpas has relied on a slider that seems to be off more than it is on (Pitch F/x gives his slider a -0.9 runs above average rating, far below MLB average).
And we can’t brush aside nor forget Aaron Cook’s short soiree with Colorado Springs. Cookie appeared in 5 games at the start of the season, pitched 24 & 1/3 innings while posting a 7.40 ERA. He has apparently been on the AAA disabled list since hist last start in early May. In reality the only player back for his Rockies encore that is making an impact is catcher Yorvit Torrealba. The veteran backstop is hitting .294 in limited action and has undoubtedly impacted the catching defense of the young Wilin Rosario.
In light of this, the Rockies front office are 1 for 4 in this emotional game of roster roulette. So let me pose a question to all of you passionate Colorado Rockies fans out there: Is this acceptable? Are you happy with these types of moves being made on your ball club, or would you rather see younger talent cultivated and given a shot to perform? OR would you have rather seen these dollars poured into a single free-agent signing that could have actually helped this organization? I have spent most of the year in total frustration at these moves, something you all are likely tired of hearing about. So then what are your feelings? Give me your pulse Rox Pile nation!