A lot of this season’s discussion surrounding the Rockies less than satisfying season has largely been about either batting or pitching. Even though a team cannot win without scoring runs, the pitching of a game dictates the tempo, momentum and energy of the game. The energy the pitcher has impacts the rest of the team’s performance on both offense and defense. However, lately I’ve been thinking the pitchers are the ones to blame for their performances. Pitching Coach Bob Apodaca holds a heavy hand in the pitching downfall this season.
Apodaca has been with the Rockies for nine seasons under Clint Hurdle and Jim Tracy. He, like our pitching has constantly been up and down throughout the Rockies history, however, one thing I have noticed about Apodaca is the need to make the great greater. Normally this is a good thing, but with Apodaca he seems to have the opposite effect and it has become more and more of a problem the last couple of seasons.
Once example of harming rather than improving was Aaron Cook’s weight loss. Cook has never had a season with an ending ERA below .300, but in the 2008 and 2009 season he had a combined 27-15 record. Prior to the 2010 season, Cook lost about 20 pounds to help with his delivery. Ironically enough, his sinker seemed to become a struggle Cook never seemed to have before. When a pitcher loses weight, a need for relearning and applying mechanics is necessary and it doesn’t seem Cook was given the correct teacher to change the mechanics to his slimmer self.
Another example of an Apodaca mishap is the suddenly rejuvenated Franklin Morales. Traded to the Boston Red Sox back in May, Morales has finally looked like a pitcher again since the trade. He has become far more consistent and has yet to blow a win in Boston. The number of walks Morales has given up has decreased by 23% in .1 less innings than he played in with the Rockies at the start of the season.
Suddenly, pitchers seem to have been struggling with Apodaca as the pitchcing coach, and I feel if the Rockies were to let him go, the pitching horror stories surrounding the Rockies this season will appear to be only a thing of the past if the replacement can rebuild our boys at the mound.