The big news in Denver sports over the weekend has been the stunner that all of the active Denver Broncos quarterbacks will be held out of Sunday’s home game against the New Orleans Saints. What would the Colorado Rockies do in that hypothetical situation?
OK, maybe it’s a stretch, but let’s think about it. In football, the most important position on the team is quarterback and the Broncos will be without all of the quarterbacks on their active roster in Sunday’s game because of COVID-19 issues. Wide receiver Kendall Hinton, a former quarterback at Wake Forest is expected to be elevated from the practice squad and take snaps under center for the first time in a competitive game since 2015 (when he was a freshman and started two games).
So, using that scenario, if the Colorado Rockies were completely out of pitchers and had to figure out some kind of Plan B, who would they use in that role if they were forced to play a game?
While we’re playing hypothetical scenarios, let’s hypothesize that Ian Desmond is returning to the Rockies for the 2021 season. We still don’t know if Desmond will actually return for the final year of his five-year, $70 million contract in 2021, but, if he did, we know that Desmond can make his presence felt on the mound.
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It was September 2, 2019, and the Rockies were being hammered by the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Desmond took the mound in the bottom of the eighth and proceeded to allow one hit in one inning. Of his 15 pitches, 10 were called for strikes in Desmond’s only Major League mound appearance.
So maybe Desmond starts as the opener and other Rockies players take their turn on the mound as well? Why not give All-Star shortstop Trevor Story a chance to hurl the ball again? After all, as a high school pitcher in Irving, Texas, Story hit 96 on the radar gun.
What about Nolan Arenado? He’s mentioned in the past that he wouldn’t mind taking the mound to see what he could do. Arenado on the mound would be must-see TV.
And hey, knowing the relationship between the Rockies and Drew Butera, maybe, just maybe, they could figure out a way to sneak him back into action. After all, he’s likely the position player the Rockies could draw upon with the most experience on the mound, pitching in seven games (covering six innings) in his career. That includes once for the Rockies last season, in a 23-5 blowout home loss to the San Francisco Giants. Butera threw 1.2 innings (31 pitches) and allowed three hits and a run. Sadly, he was Colorado’s most effective pitcher that day.
Let’s be clear, this is absolutely a hypothetical situation since the Rockies have rarely been known to put a position player on the mound. When Mark Reynolds took the mound in mid-July 2019, he was just the third position player to ever pitch for the Rockies. Desmond and Butera bumped the number up to five.
Would the results be pretty for the Rockies? Likely not. Broncos fans are hoping Hinton will look better under the center than Butera or any other Colorado position player has on the mound.