At What Point Do Colorado Rockies Fans Admit Yohan Flande Is… Good?
Jun 25, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies pitcher Y. Flande (58) walks off the field during the fourth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Why Any Of This Matters
Let’s be real — all this actually may not matter; Flande could have two or three terrible starts in a row, get booted from the rotation in early September, struggle in the bullpen the rest of the year, and eventually be a Spring Training afterthought in 2016.
There’s still a lot of baseball left to be played this year, and Flande has a ways to go to prove he ought to be in the bullpen (and, presumably, the emergency starter) next season. As much as I like the guy it’d be irresponsible to anoint him with a 25-man roster spot next year.
But come on. You’ve seen the stats; he’s pitching better than the majority of Rockies’ pitchers this year (I know, that’s not saying much). And he ought to have passed your eye test; he goes after hitters, doesn’t walk many guys, and doesn’t back away from whatever role the Rockies place him for the day.
[ Related: Here’s What I Did While The Rockies Were Getting Killed ]
Yes, against all logic, Yohan Flande is my favorite player, and I am thus biased towards him and this post probably isn’t the most sensibly-written thing. You’ll survive (I hope?). But I don’t like the guy because it’s fun to tweet about him; I like him because he pitches the right way.
Fill out your starting rotation with power pitchers like Gray (and Butler?), veterans like De La Rosa, and whatever free agents you can find.
Create a bullpen of power arms and get Adam Ottavino healthy again. Those are the most important parts, and we’ll be writing a ton about that this winter.
But any team that plays its games at Coors Field needs a swingman like Flande who will shove the ball in the strike zone no matter the score, role, or game.
He’ll never going to be the team’s most important pitcher, and Thursday night’s start against Washington might well be his one shining moment.
But if you try to put together a team without a utility pitcher like Flande, you’re missing a key component that becomes valuable in July and August when everybody else starts dropping like flies.