One of the biggest questions heading into the offseason will be the future of Walt Weiss as the manager of the Colorado Rockies. Will he stay for another season (at least) or will a new skipper lead the Rockies toward a potential playoff berth in 2017?
If the last few games are any indication, Weiss will not be back in 2017. With Colorado having a chance to play spoiler and possibly finish with a .500 record, the Rockies have fallen flat. Colorado has lost five straight games, including a 12-3 bashing on Tuesday night at the hands of the San Francisco Giants. The loss was also the eighth straight for the Rockies on the road and the seventh in their last eight outings.
It’s also a stretch where the Rockies have been outscored 30-7 over their last three games. The losses haven’t just been losses. They’ve been brutal to watch. It was a close game, but Sunday’s 4-3 extra-inning loss to Los Angeles was just as painful as any blowout … if not more. A two-out homer in the ninth off Adam Ottavino tied the game and a 10th-inning round-tripper off the bat of former Rockie Charlie Culberson won the game and gave the Dodgers the National League West title.
Colorado has not looked inspired or even competitive in recent games, helping the Rockies fall to 9-15 in September.
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Certainly it’s not all the manager’s fault. Colorado’s ERA has ballooned this month to 5.35, the next-to-highest number in the league. The Rockies are also just 3-for-8 in save opportunities this month. Some of that can be blamed on bullpen management, but a lot of it is simply based on Colorado’s inability to get outs. I’m guessing you’ve probably heard that line before about Rockies pitching.
The Rockies have plenty of talent right now. A lineup that features Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu is not one to overlook. Rookies such as David Dahl and Raimel Tapia have been impressive in their debuts.
The pieces are there … but they haven’t come together at a time when the Rockies perhaps needed them to the most. Heading into the offseason, Colorado fans were hoping to see some momentum and signs that would carry over into 2017 spring training. They simply haven’t been there as of late.
As was shown when Ben Paulsen was designated for assignment in early September (and I discussed here), baseball is a business. This will be the fourth losing season for Weiss in four years at the Rockies helm. It’s the franchise’s sixth consecutive losing campaign and 17th in their 24-year history.
At 73-84, the Rockies have a chance to win their most games under Weiss, topping the 74-88 mark Colorado posted in 2013. Is that enough to bring Weiss back to the dugout in 2017? More than likely, no.
The Rockies didn’t rise to the occasion against contenders in late September. Of all of the black marks against Weiss, that fact alone might be the one that might be the most damning of all.