Butler’s Demotion The Right Move For The Colorado Rockies


Jun 5, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher E. Butler (31) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Eddie Butler has been demoted to AAA Albuquerque, with the Colorado Rockies recalling OF Kyle Parker; it’s the right move at the right time for the club. 

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If you missed it yesterday, the Colorado Rockies demoted Eddie Butler to AAA Albuquerque, choosing to keep Chris Rusin, David Hale, and Chad Bettis in the rotation, and calling up Kyle Parker from the Isotopes to serve as a bench bat and reserve outfielder.

Butler had some interesting things to say about the demotion and his potential return (however unlikely it may be, I love the playoff talk and the assumption the team will be in the hunt in a few months – only thing to do is wait and see whether that will actually happen).

But above all, he and the Rockies both understand it’s time to work on some things down on the farm and come back a better pitcher.

That is, at least in Butler’s case, a luxury the Rockies have. Not only does he obviously have an option to burn in this move, he’s also got the ability to develop along side Jon Gray while the Rockies attempt to find out if, hey, they actually might not be terrible this year in the big leagues.

Chris Rusin, Chad Bettis, and David Hale have all been varying degrees of effective the last several weeks, and it’s a great move for the Rockies to realize that they need to go with the hot hand right now. Sure, Rusin may fade, Hale may regress, and Bettis may end up being the Bettis we though the was the last several seasons.

But knowing what the Rockies know right now today, those three hurlers are all out-pitching Butler, and all three deserve to stay in the rotation at least for another turn or two to prove themselves and give the Rockies the very best chance of winning every night. (Yes, having said that, I realize Kyle Kendrick is still in this rotation, but that’s another story for another time.)

As he alluded to after his demotion, Butler will be back. He will be fine — he was actually doing just fine at times this year, except for the fact that he hasn’t been able to consistently miss bats and he’s walking too many hitters.

In the long run, I can’t imagine there being a problem with him, at least not with how much we’ve seen him grow over the past two months already compared to last year.

Are the Colorado Rockies in win-now mode having demoted prospect Butler to go with hot hands including Rusin? I think they think that; I (and probably you) can’t see them as “win-now,” despite the playoff talk, until they do a few things: rise above .500, get out of the cellar, and beat good teams.

But — and it’s a huge but — at least the team seems to be making (some) moves with winning in the short term in mind, as opposed to perennially building for “the future.”

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