Colorado Rockies: Does hitting coach Duane Espy deserve some blame?
My most recent article “Looking at the Roller Coaster 2018 Season,” received a great comment from reader John. John wondered why the coaching staff, specifically hitting coach Duane Espy, has not gotten any blame for the Colorado Rockies’ offensive woes?
Most of the focus, to this point, has been on the struggles of Ian Desmond, Carlos Gonzalez, the catching position, etc. etc. but little finger pointing has been towards Duane Espy. Now why has this been the case? Shouldn’t he also be held accountable for the lack of offense?
One reason for the Espy’s lack of blame is for how well the Rockies played last year in his first season as hitting coach. In ’17, the Rockies led the NL in both runs and batting average and it wasn’t all because of Coors Field. Even on the road the Rockies still managed to end the season sixth in batting average in the NL, which lead to a 41-40 road record. The Rockies were able to do this, even with a Carlos Gonzalez in the middle of the lineup, who was a complete dumpster fire for most of the season.
More from Rox Pile
- A Colorado Rockies Thanksgiving
- Colorado Rockies: What if Todd Helton had played football instead?
- Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the season
- Colorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers series
- Colorado Rockies: Has Sean Bouchard earned a second look in 2023?
The two most important reasons is because of the who that is struggling and the mismanagement of the roster. Rockies fans and Ian Desmond got off on the wrong foot last year and Desmond’s play has made that relationship much worse. Now there is a huge hole at first base and GM Jeff Bridich had the opportunity to retain Mark Reynolds or trade for one in the offseason.
CarGo’s ’17 season left a bad taste in fans’ mouths and we are now seeing that his re-signing was a mistake. The Rockies now have two struggling veterans (Gonzalez and Parra) who are both taking playing time away from promising youngsters David Dahl, Noel Cuevas, and minor leaguer Raimel Tapia. These lack of roster moves have frustrated us all and that has kept the heat off of Espy.
Don’t worry, I have a strong suspicion that the heat will be coming, not because Espy has done a bad job, but that the Rockies organization needs to find a scapegoat for this absolutely horrendous offense. Jeff Bridich has $30 million (Desmond and CarGo’s ’18 salary) burning a hole in Dick Monfort’s wallet and he refuses to admit that he made a mistake.
Next: Our own Kevin Henry talked to Espy a few weeks ago...
My biggest fear is that Espy will be shown the door before Bridich does anything with either Carlos Gonzalez or Ian Desmond. Duane Espy, this is your notice to watch your back.