Time For Colorado Rockies Fans To Overreact On Jon Gray!
Mar 1, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Colorado Rockies pitcher J. Gray poses for a portrait during photo day at Salt River Fields. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
It didn’t even matter how the prospect pitched last night, the overreaction is going to happen and Colorado Rockies fans need to temper expectations for a little while.
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If you will, allow me a confession: I’m writing this before Jon Gray takes the mound for the Colorado Rockies Tuesday night.
Don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of Gray coverage between me and Michelle Stalnaker, who was at the game on Tuesday evening and will discuss it in depth later today.
But I sit here on Tuesday afternoon writing this, because it literally doesn’t matter how Jon Gray pitches on Tuesday night. No, but really, short of a perfect game or a horrible injury, the difference between him throwing seven scoreless innings, and him getting tagged for ten hits in three innings is absolutely nothing. And assuming the games proceeds normally, I can already tell you what conclusions to draw from Gray’s first start for the Colorado Rockies: absolutely f*****ng none!!
[Aside: a couple days ago I wrote a long piece about how I didn’t think Eddie Butler was much of a prospect. Unfortunately, Eddie Butler proved me right — in the short-term — with his Monday night start. But Butler is 17 big league starts and nearly 100 big league innings ahead of Gray. To answer the question I already know some of you are asking, it’s not hypocritical to blast Butler while mocking those who blast Gray. We can revisit a comparison after Gray tosses nearly 100 big league innings.]
It really didn’t matter how Jon Gray did last night. People will overreact (some already have). Not smart people. Talk radio people will, though. Certain pundits at a certain paper of record in Denver will absolutely overreact. The people who need to drive eye balls and ears and advertising dollars solely on overreaction.
But smart folks who actually know baseball will not overreact, because they understand what’s really going on in this, especially with a hyped prospect: dominate or get shelled, you’re really just trying to get it out of the way.
Jon Gray’s not here to create hype; like all pitchers, he’s here to find a rhythm, set a routine, and get outs. His one and only objective tomorrow is to figure out his routine — be it on the mound, facing hitters, between starts, on mornings of days he’s starting, whatever. The quicker he gets the first one out of the way, the further along he is towards figuring out a routine. No matter whether the first one goes well or poorly; Gray has it out of the way and that’s all that matters. The seal is broken.
George Frazier (of all people) said something very smart on the ROOT Sports TV broadcast on Monday night. He mentioned in passing that he spoke with Gray at the field Monday, and told him something along the lines of being yourself, pitching to your strengths, and not letting the media dictate what type of pitcher you are.
In other words, even though Gray may be able to reach back for 100 mph, that doesn’t mean he needs to do it. Even if the fans want to see a flamethrower or the media wants to salivate about the next Rockies’ prospect, that doesn’t mean he needs to give that to them at 98 mph, so long as he can accomplish it at 92 mph pitching his game.
Anyways, I’m interested to see the overreactions on Gray throughout the morning. Throw seven scoreless innings? Rockies should’ve brought him up much sooner, and Jeff Bridich is at fault. Gray gets shelled? Rockies will never develop pitchers.
Ahhh, baseball “experts.”