Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Just another Purple Monday...

Coors Field, Home of the Colorado Rockies
As fellow blogger Crum Cake, I am fan of a couple teams that I do not live near. Born and raised in North Carolina I have some odd sports teams that I follow. Specifically I am talking about baseball. I have always been a Colorado Rockies fan, which makes no sense to the majority of you. However, my father was born in Colorado and thus illuminates my loyalty to the team. The 2007 MLB Playoffs truly solidified my support for the squad. They ended the season by winning 13 of their previous 14 games and tied for 2nd in the NL West and wildcard lead with the divisional rival San Diego Padres. Following the wildcard tie-breaker win the Rockies proceeded to sweep Philadelphia and Arizona in route to a World Series berth. By now the Rockies had won 21 of their last 22 games and ventured to Boston for a World Series showdown with the Red Sox. The Rockies would be, for me, heartbreakingly defeated in four games. Despite the loss I was hooked even more as a fan. All of this is merely back story to get to this topic, the 2012 Rockies.

Currently the Rockies rank 5th in Runs, 5th in Batting Average, 6th in On Base Percentage, and 3rd in Slugging Percentage. The only two teams they trail in Slugging Percentage are the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers who currently hold the best and second best records in baseball, respectively. So, one would thing that the Rockies are having a pretty good season, or at least somewhat in contention. Unfortunately it is quite the opposite. The Rockies currently are tied for the 2nd worst record in baseball at 33-52. They are 13 games behind the NL West leading LA Dodgers and 13 games out of the Wild Card race. If you are wondering why a team with such great offense is one of the lousiest teams in the majors right now then your attention must turn to the bump. When it comes to pitching statistics the Rockies rank 30th, dead last, in Earned Run Average, Quality Starts, WHIP (walks + hits per inning pitched), and Batting Average Against. As a team the Rockies ERA is 5.26! Are you kidding me?! The 29th ranked, second worst, ERA in the majors is that of the Minnesota Twins at 4.86. If that was not bad enough the Rockies have played 85 games this year. Of those 85 the Rockies only have 22 quality starts. The second worst team, again the Twins, are at 30. But it is preposterous that out of 85 opportunities, only 22 times has your pitcher pitched 6 innings without giving up 3 earned runs. That means for you Rockies fans looking to hit up a Purple Monday at Coors Field there is 26% chance that the starting pitcher for the Rockies will have a quality start.

The first reaction from fans is always to make a big trade and sure who doesn't love their team pulling off a blockbuster deal. However, I don't think that is the wisest move for the Rockies here. They still have young prospects working their way up that they acquired in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal, they got 3 pitchers and a utility player. And by no means should they look to unload a big name like a Carlos Gonzalez or a Troy Tulowitzki. Those guys are the cornerstones of your franchise and without them it will be tough to sell tickets in Denver. I like the idea of trading away back up catcher Ramon Hernandez, I've heard the Mets are interested and if they offer a pitcher or really young infielder I say you pull the trigger. Hernandez is set to back up Wilin Rosario who is making his way back from the DL. Rosario is hitting .247 with 14 HR and 36 RBI  in 58 games this season. And at 23 years old the Dominican is the future behind the plate in Denver for many years to come. Contrary to the pleading of the impatient sports fan I feel like a big move is a bad idea at this point for the organization. Making a small move here or there may be just the ticket to have the Rockies back on track next year.

As a tried and true fan I can only hope that the second half of the season brings better-than-first-half baseball and the following seasons yield relevance in the NL West. But until then I will continue to wear purple and black proudly while cheering on the underdogs from around the league. Yeah, I'm looking at you Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Washington. As a Rockies fan you never lose hope because you always remember the '07 run. And as always, "Play ball, Go Rockies!"

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