Jun 2, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies relief pitcher R. Betancourt (63) reacts after giving up a grand slam in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. The Dodgers defeated the Rockies 9-8. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
If we’re going to watch the Colorado Rockies lose (and face it, we are), wouldn’t it be better to see young guys lose and, ya know, maybe learn something for next year?
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This has been true for a while, so let’s not act like the Colorado Rockies should’ve only now realized they have a bad bullpen.
But after watching another tough loss on Friday night — and a tough few weeks for the pen — why is the club still running Rafael Betancourt, John Axford, and Boone Logan out again, and again, and again?
Granted, Axford — who had a brutally bad stretch a couple weeks ago — has gotten… kind of… (?) better. Logan is now on the disabled list, so for the time being he’s out of the picture (more on his future coming this offseason). And then there’s Betancourt.
Look, Raffy’s been great for the Rockies in the past several seasons, and he’s had a remarkable big league career. But we’re at that point, as Bryan Kilpatrick tweeted Friday night, to cut and run. Or at least bury him in the back of the bullpen and let some young guys learn on the job.
I don’t mind that Scott Oberg, Justin Miller, on Friday night Kenny Roberts, and on Saturday night Tommy Kahnle have faltered recently in the ‘pen, because those guys will learn from their mistakes and have upside. But I do mind that Betancourt, Axford, and overpriced Logan are three of the top four Rockies’ relievers this year. And I especially mind that they seem to be due for more chances as the year ends. Why?
The Rockies are now 20 games under, and another season has gone down the drain. Instead of letting those three play out the year as “veteran leadership,” why not throw Oberg, Miller, Roberts, Kahnle, Brooks Brown, Christian Friedrich, Christian Bergman, Nelson Gonzalez, Miguel Castro, Simon Castro, Yohan Flande, Gonzalez Germen, — hell, even Rex Brothers (!) — to the wolves and let the young guys jockey for position in 2016?
This is hyperbolic, but the Rockies might get more value out of their bullpen by losing every single game the rest of the year with young guys learning the ropes, than letting veterans (who’ve been awful anyways) play it out with nothing on the line.
Like the rest of you, I appreciate and admire Betancourt’s determination, Axford’s resilience, and Logan’s, um… well, Logan can sometimes get lefties out. Yeah. But there’s absolutely no sense in using Betancourt, Axford, and Logan in remotely close games any more since (a) they’ve been bad anyways, and (b) they have no role with the club next season.
At the end of the day, with as bad as the bullpen is with the three veterans, how much worse could it get when the young guys start blowing games for a change? (OK, don’t answer that.) But seriously… youth movement: commence. You’ll thank me in 2016.