The Rockies won’t update/upgrade their evaluation processes
I get it. It’s not easy pitching in Coors Field.
However, considering that the team has been around for nearly 30 years and all of the technological upgrades that teams have now, the Rockies aren’t just behind the eight ball, they are a few pool tables behind the eight ball.
How they haven’t been able to evaluate their talent, particularly with pitching, is amazing. While I personally thought the Rockies rotation would be their strength, I did not think that Kyle Freeland would pitch as well as he did in 2018. However, I did not think he would regress as much as he did.
And the Rockies did not diagnose or fix his issues.
He pitched to a 8.80 ERA in Albuquerque. He returned and pitched to a 6.20 ERA and an opponent slash line of .317/.362/.568 before he was sidelined for much of the rest of the season with a strained groin.
Him returning and looking just as bad as before wouldn’t have happened if the Rockies would have been able to diagnose his issues better … and he’s not the only example.
Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee, Antonio Senzatela, Jeff Hoffman, Chad Bettis, Mike Dunn, Seunghwan Oh, and the list can go on for a while just on the pitching front, even back to the days of Mike Hampton and Darryl Kile.
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Every organization has players that they don’t want to give up (e.g. the Cubs trading Gleyber Torres for Aroldis Chapman) but those three were on the scrap heap and have gone on to play well with other franchises. And the Rockies got Phillip Diehl back for Tauchman (the other two were let go). Those three players played to a 7.9 bWAR in 2019.
The 2019 Rockies, as a whole, played to a 22.8 bWAR. That number falls to 10.8 if you don’t include Arenado and Story.
It’s really baffling when you look at it. The Rockies, in reality, would not be in the situation that they have found themselves in if they had some more advanced evaluation techniques to diagnose problems and see what could be on the horizon for future players and draftees (e.g. Riley Pint).
This massive issue with the Rockies has not been one that has just been noticed by those in Rockies territory, as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic made it well aware that it has been perceived by many that this is the case.
This, unfortunately, is the scariest and biggest of the three topics and, unfortunately, I think that it will be the one that will go the least unanswered. And that does not bode well for the Rockies heading into 2020.