Rox Pile Christmas Edition: One Year Ago And Now
Last year at this time we wondered about a number of things.
Could Casey Blake (yes, Casey Blake) serve as a veteran bridge to young talent, namely Nolan Arenado, at third base?
We did not wonder if a platoon/combination of Jordan Pacheco and Chris Nelson could get the job done.
Could Todd Helton come back, be effective and be healthy for enough of the season to matter to the overall success of the team?
Today we are still wondering that.
Whatever. Image: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
One year ago we wondered if Jason Hammel could finally turn things around, reach his potential, and be a solid member of a Major League starting rotation. After all, he had just completed a woeful season on the Rockies in which he struggled with an inexplicable dead arm and overall ineffectiveness that forced him into the bullpen.
Today we know that Jason Hammel cannot just be part of a Major League rotation. He can lead one. He can be a stud at the top of a rotation. There’s just one problem: he plays for the Baltimore Orioles now.
Last year at this time we wondered if Kevin Millwood might be the answer for one of the 5 spots in the starting rotation.
Today we are wondering if Derek Lowe might be the answer for one of the 5 spots in the starting rotation (or maybe more like a long reliever spot, but still…)
Last year at this time we rolled our eyes at Jim Tracy and hoped that he would either start managing better or be removed as manager.
Today Jim Tracy is no longer the manager of the Rockies, although neither of the aforementioned things happened. He stepped down on his own.
One year ago there was not the Director of Major League Operations setting up his office in the freakin’ Rockies locker room.
Today there is.
Last year at this time we wondered just how important Jorge De La Rosa is to the Rockies.
Today that question seems just as pressing.
Last year we wondered if CarGo and Tulo could both stay healthy for a full season.
Today we are wondering if CarGo and Tulo can both stay healthy for a full season.
Last year we wondered how long it would be until this team had enough pitching to be competent again, let alone competitive or a playoff contender.
Today we are wondering the exact same thing, and when you consider the answer, it is as depressing as ever.
As we reflect on Christmas day about the events of the year, some things are significantly different and some things are strikingly similar. But it boils down to this: the depressing state of the Rockies, sadly, remains exactly the same.