The Colorado Rockies have hinted that as they continue to use the four man paired piggyback system thing, they might make “ace exceptions” for one pitcher and hold the others to the 75 pitch count. The merits of that idea are another item for another day, but suffice it to say that early indications are that Jhoulys Chacin will be a candidate for that exception. He was dominant through
5 6 7 innings last night as the Rockies defeated the streaking San Diego Padres 9-1 at Coors Field.
Chacin needed only 74 pitches to complete those innings, meaning he would have been well on pace for a complete game had it not been for the Rockies’ current plan with the rotation. He is the first to pitch 7 innings since Christian Friedrich did so back at the beginning of June. For those of you keeping track, that includes a number of chances for Rockies starters before the new pitch count was implemented. If you wanted to make the argument for the philosophical change, you might want to start with that depressing little statistical tidbit.
Tyler Colvin keyed the offensive charge by the Rockies as they pounded Padres starter Edinson Volquez early and often. He knocked a 2nd inning home run and then an RBI double off of Volquez as he continues to make his case for a larger role with the organization moving forward. Hows does everybody feel about a Michael Cuddyer/Todd Helton platoon at first base next season? It might sound crazy, and it definitely sounds expensive. But the fact is, it will be a disservice to this team if Colvin enters next season as the 4th outfielder.
Look at it this way: the young core that is emerging in the midst of the Rockies’ winning ways in August consists of Dexter Fowler, Eric Young Jr., Jordan Pacheco, Josh Rutledge, Wilin Rosario, and Colvin. Others have contributed as well, but those are the players that simply must be central to the Rockies’ plans next season. You add Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez to that mix, and you have got something. Jim Tracy, Bill Geivett, and company need to be creative in making it work rather than resorting to the ineffective status quo and mindlessly plugging Helton and Cuddyer back in, every single day, next season.
Don’t get me wrong, because I absolutely love Helton and Cuddyer. One is on the short list of my all-time favorite athletes, and the other was the subject of my very first Rox Pile post . But the brutal truth is that the Rockies, who are claiming to think in non-traditional ways now, need to show that commitment next season when it comes to finding playing time for players like Colvin.
Before we put this game to bed, we must discuss Dexter Fowler’s grand slam. I have been known, more than once, to admonish Fowler for pimping his home runs like he is Ken Griffey, Jr. or something. But I was OK with it last night, and I think we can all enjoy seeing a little swagger from this group, especially if they find a way to sustain the results entering next season.
The Rockies will send Jeff Francis, aka the King of the Paired Pitching System, to the mound for today’s finale with the Padres.