So here we are. The Colorado Rockies followed up a satisfying victory on Monday night with a hollow loss on Tuesday night. They now enter a rubber match against the dreaded San Francisco Giants that features a headlining pitching match-up: Jhoulys Chacin opposite Madison Bumgarner. Interestingly that game only holds part of our interest, as we start to look ahead to September, 2014 and beyond, while assessing the big picture for this franchise.
Here’s what else is happening with the Rockies and around the rest of the league:
Carlos Gonzalez‘s silky swing sent four balls over the fence during batting practice Tuesday afternoon. Two shots landed in the upper deck beyond right field.
“It was an encouraging step for CarGo, who was taking batting practice for the first time since going on the disabled list Aug. 5 with a sprained right middle finger. So encouraging, in fact, that Gonzalez hopes to be back in the Rockies’ lineup soon.”
Likely candidates: Kyle Parker
“The Rockies have already dealt with some of the more significant players that were going to be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this offseason. Nolan Arenado, Corey Dickerson and Chad Bettis have already found comfortable homes on the major league roster this year. In a large field of candidates that includes mostly pitchers not ready for the majors, Parker stands alone as the player likely to see his name on the 40-man roster before the year is done.”
With expectations low for the Rockies pitching staff, the majority of the wins were supposed to come from a robust lineup that was as good as anyone in the National League. No one predicted that the opposite would be true. While there is a large gap from the first three starters to the last two, the reality is, the Rockies starting pitchers have done their job. The offense has failed.
“Would a consistent lineup have changed the approach that the Rockies take at the plate? Any answer to that question would be pure speculation. However, it couldn’t hurt. Having players know their rolls and having a consistent lineup would give each player a role. Once they know their roles they can improve upon that role, instead of guessing what position or where in the lineup they will be the next day.”
We’re not going to go too far in playing doctor here. Every pitcher is different, and we don’t know how ‘partially’ torn Harvey’s UCL is. Still, just about any pitcher you can think of who had this injury has required Tommy John surgery at some point. Most pitchers, like the Dodgers’ Chad Billingsley, won’t make it more than a few months before being forced to go under the knife. Someone like Adam Wainwright, who pitched more than five years with a partial tear, is an extremely rare exception. Given that Harvey is just 24 years old, with multiple potential big years and massive potential earning power ahead of him, it makes lots of sense to get the procedure done in the near future.”