Starting Pitching-enough already!

December 17, 2011 | 6:08 am | 98  

The consistent refrain from Rockies fans after the Cuddyer signing is that the Rockies now have to acquire (trade is by far the most likely as FA starting pitchers won’t sign on at Coors Field) more starting pitching to be successful in 2012.  I am not so sure about that, although I do acknowledge the time tested and often used baseball adage that you can never have too much pitching.

As it stands today (and this could easily change), I think your 2012 Rockies Opening Day rotation looks like:

1. Chacin, 2. Pomeranz, 3. Slowey, 4. Nicasio, and 5. Hammel.

While there is no established ace in that group and each pitcher is a slot or two above where you would ideally like to see them in the starting rotation, they each have the ability and some history to perform adequately for at least a few months.

Now if you fast forward to July 31, 2012 (the trade deadline), by then the Rockies should have DLR, White, Chatwood and Gardner ready to seriously challenge Slowey, Nicasio and Hammel for their positions in the starting rotation.  In addition Bettis, Cabrera and Friedrich could also be in a position by then to make the jump to the MLB – long shots yes but Nicasio proved last year that it can be done.

That leaves the G Reynolds, Mortensen, Scahill and Houston type pitchers to provide some organizational depth that MLB clubs need at various points during the year, however relying on those type of pitchers to take regular turns in the starting rotation is probably not ideal (see 2011).

So if all goes well and getting some positive injury and recovery luck, the starting rotation at the end of 2012 heading into 2013 should look like this:

1. DLR, 2. Chacin, 3. Pomeranz, 4. Nicasio, and 5. White – with Hammel, Slowey, Chatwood and the new rookies (Gardner, Bettis, Cabrera and Frierich) fighting like heck to break into that group.  Not too bad at all, very young, talented and most importantly cost controlled. 

For me the bott0m line is that I don’t want to see an older and expensive Pavano or Cook type pitcher taking innings away from these young pitchers that really need MLB experience to get better for 2013 and beyond (older and cheep like Millwood would probably be ok, however).

So maybe the Rockies have enough pitching already, if we can just be patient just a few months longer?

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98 Comments »

  • progmatinee | December 17, 2011 | 7:21 am

    I think we have a lot starters, but too much is never enough, as long as what you add is better than what you have. I’ve read the rumor of looking at Jonathan Niese from the Mets whom I think is pretty good young player. Something like Alex White, EYJ and Seth Smith for him would work for me.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 17, 2011 | 8:13 am

    Rich, here is the latest from Tracy Ringolsby. “Jonathon Niese is believed to be available in a package built around Rockies outfielder Seth Smith”

    Prog we do have a lot of starters. Guys that might be the #5 or #6 person in the rotation on some clubs.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 17, 2011 | 10:53 am

    Well ESPN seems to disagree: “The Mets aren’t actively shopping Jonathon Niese, and despite an earlier report that they were interested in trading him for a package around Rockies outfielder Seth Smith, they have “zero interest”.”

  • Julian | December 17, 2011 | 11:07 am

    I think that we have a lot of starting pitchers in the second half of 2013. I think that we’re still an arm or two short in the beginning of 2012. I hear that Nicasio is making good progress, but is he a sure bet to be able to be in the starting rotation in April? Is Pomeranz ready to be in a starting rotation in April, or does he need a little more team in the minors and ideally would the team like to push his timeline back a year in terms of arbitration and free agency? Hammel lost his starting job in the latter part of last year, so he’s a question mark. I would like to see the team sign Millwood as a free agent because I can’t imagine that will cost very much, and if the best return we can get for Smith is a starting pitcher, rather than Prado or another 2B, then that may be worth it.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 17, 2011 | 3:32 pm

    Too bad it wasn’t the Rockies that got Matt Latos. I would have been really happy. Talk about a Padres rebuilding season.

  • rockymountainhigh | December 17, 2011 | 5:33 pm

    I was PO’ed when I heard that Yonder Alonso was in the package to SD especially after I made a comment elsewhere on this site to work with the Reds to get Alonso.

  • Wayne | December 17, 2011 | 5:52 pm

    RMH, I couldn’t agree more, and I agreed at the time that Alonzo should be a target. San Diego just got better, but we’ll see what Petco does to Alonzo’s bat, while it should help the pitcher like it helps all pitchers.

  • Ryan | December 19, 2011 | 8:13 pm

    I am not sure if I could disagree with this any more than I do. The Rockies may have a lot of talented pitching prospects, but the rate of attrition is huge. Some of those guys will probably never pitch in Denver, and others are likely headed to the bullpen. If the Rockies don’t intend to add more pitching the Cuddyer signing makes even less sense.

  • egossage | December 19, 2011 | 9:24 pm

    And the dbacks keep showing they mean business by signing Kubel

  • Anonymous | December 20, 2011 | 4:53 am

    Counting on a rookie, a guy who has thrown 71 career MLB innings and is coming off a broken neck, and a guy who just made the most starts without recording a win since 1951 sounds like a recipe for a 20 game deficit in July.

    I also don’t see the exceptional depth you are talking about. Chatwood is probably a reliever and nobody considers Gardner or Friedrich to be big time prospects. I hope you’re right, but this seems more than a little optimistic.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 20, 2011 | 11:16 am

    ESPN: The Mets have expressed interest in Eric Young. The Mets may be able to obtain Young by sending Justin Turner to Colorado.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 20, 2011 | 12:17 pm

    Oswalt only wants a 1 yr deal? SIGN HIM. Give him a shot.

  • Pooter | December 20, 2011 | 12:27 pm

    ESPN: The Mets have expressed interest in Eric Young. The Mets may be able to obtain Young by sending Justin Turner to Colorado

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rich M | December 20, 2011 | 1:18 pm

    Pooter I really feel your pain here, however it is really interesting that another team (Mets still qualify I think?) seems to see a lot more value in EY2 that most of the esteemed ITR posters here can see.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 20, 2011 | 1:26 pm

    Sorry Pooter, Renck is being sourced on MLBTR: “All signs point to a trade involving Young before Spring Training.”

  • rockymountainhigh | December 20, 2011 | 3:48 pm

    It’s a numbers game, Pooter, which is not a reflection of EY. We have a set OF and at least three candidates (LeMahieu, Nelson, Hererra,possibly Prado) at 2B. EY is an OF and we need power more than we need speed which makes him a bargaining chip.

    It is a rumor that a Tim Wheeler along with Seth Smith will be enough to get Prado. I don’t quite get what the Rox are thinking hanging on to Wheeler when he will be blocked by Fowler, CarGo, and Cuddyer for at least three years. We are better off using him as a bargaining chip to get Prado than letting him languish in Tulsa or Springs or be the 25th man.

    The Rox management needs to look at the Nuggets management. They traded away a me-first player (Melo) and got a plethora of great talent(Galinari, Wilson, Mozgov, and Koufos) that can play defense, shoot the ball and are great team players. In addition, they resigned Nene and Affalo along with getting Rudy Fernandez and Andre Miller to replace the moody JR Smith. Nuggets also did well in draft getting Jordan Hamilton and Kenneth Farried (replacing the aging Kenyon Martin). Please buy the Rockies Stan Kroneke and have Josh Kroneke, Masai Ujiri, and George Karl take over the Rockies in place of McGregor, DOD, and JT.

  • Bill | December 20, 2011 | 3:51 pm

    Rockies have lots of pitchers who are starters or projected to be starters but they have few (if any) proven quality starters. Jason Hammel is not a question. He’s proven in 3 years that he is not the answer. Get rid of him and if somebody wants to give the Rockies anything for EY, Jr., take it. He is not the answer.

    I think Oswalt would be a great addition, and I would sign him for 2 to 3 years, but does he want to be here? I had heard he had no desire to pitch in the Mile High City. Maybe I’m wrong.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 20, 2011 | 4:23 pm

    Bill – “Oswalt has an open mind about the Rockies. He has always pitched well at Coors Field but was unwilling to waive his no-trade clause for Colorado when Houston shipped him to the Phillies during the 2010.”

    SOURCE: Troy Renck

  • Bill | December 20, 2011 | 7:26 pm

    RMH I agree with your Nuggets comparison except I think they should have let Nene walk or perhaps they can trade him. He’s got the hands of a soccer player which is not good. Great athlete but not a great basketball player. But I’m off topic.

    I Mike Raysfan is right about Oswalt. I’m not a true believer in Troy Renck. He’s been talking for a year about Carl Pavano coming to the Rockies. And he’s been wrong so far (and I hope he stays wrong about him). Oswalt is a bulldog and is mentally tough. I would love to see him here.

    By the way in the KOA interview this afternoon Cuddyer was real complimentary about Chatwood. Hope he’s not just blowing smoke.

  • steve c | December 20, 2011 | 7:55 pm

    Agree about trading Wheeler (or Blackmon). If packaging those guys can get Prado – do it.

    Fundamentally, if you commit to your Farm System, you either bring the kids up, or trade them to fulfill needs. At this point, the Rox seem slightly reluctant to do either.

  • progmatinee | December 20, 2011 | 9:28 pm

    right on there steve c. The Rockies seem to relish having fully loaded AA and AAA teams and then have them blocked by mediocre players.

    Rockies = never ready to commit to the short term by moving prospects and meanwhile never quite ready to commit to the prospects by moving established players.

  • Julian | December 20, 2011 | 10:19 pm

    The signing of Cuddyer does raise the question of what happens to Wheeler. Assuming he’s not traded, then I think that he starts the year at AAA. He’s probably a Rockie by the end of this coming season. Then the following year he’s probably the fourth outfielder. I think that Todd’s contract goes through 2013, so if he retires after that season, then perhaps Cuddyer becomes the starting first baseman for the third year of his contract and Wheeler could become the third outfielder. Of course, by then Matthes and Parker may be nipping on his heels, but I saw some magazine post a Rockies lineup for 2013 or 2014 that had Matthes as the starting first baseman.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 20, 2011 | 11:47 pm

    Who knows what the current believable rumor is but you can go back to early Dec. and read Mr. O’Dowd comments regarding Tim Wheeler. There were direct and alleged comments. The rumor at that time was the Braves wanted Wheeler in addition to Smith for Prado and Mr. O’Dowd said no.

  • SteveinAurora | December 21, 2011 | 7:51 am

    Does DOD’s stance on Wheeler change now that he’s signed Cuddyer?

    There’s some pretty convincing arguments here that the Rox OF is close to loaded for 3-5 years??

  • Rich M | December 21, 2011 | 8:01 am

    With just a little better plate decipline and R/L splits, Wheeler becomes an All Star type center fielder, and DanO doesn’t want to take the chance that Wheeler won’t be able to make those improvements to his game.

    Excellent fielding power hitting center fielders are a rare baseball asset. I tend to agree with DanO on this one – trade Blackmon but not Wheeler. Wheeler may never be as good as his baseball ceiling, but it is just too soon to say that he won’t be either.

  • SteveinAurora | December 21, 2011 | 11:17 am

    I wasn’t lobbying to jettison Wheeler, specifically. However, it would still seem that the Rox continue to stockpile OF’s and mid to low level SP’s. Surely, DOD can come up with some sort of attractive package that would help secure another key piece, or two.

  • Jim | December 21, 2011 | 6:53 pm

    You only go as far as your pitching will take you. Chacin is a pitcher. Pomeranz has not proven anything yet. Who is Slowey? His record is very mediocre. Nicasio?? A broken neck?? Hammell?? A 5th at best if the right guy shows up. JD? Best you can hope for is he makes a positive contribution the last third of the season. Help in the minors has not been a bright spot for us lately. If I look at it optimistically, I hope we have a legitimate shot at 3rd place in the west. Maybe 2014 is our target to get it all put together.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 21, 2011 | 7:29 pm

    There is a good article on MLBTR on the remaining “innings eaters”. Interesting that Kuroda is still available. Now that Danks is staying in Chicago I guess the Yankee rumors will be all about Kuroda.

    Speaking of Chicago, Cubs were talking to Jeff Francis but now that they did the trade with the Reds who knows if they will sign him.

  • Rich M | December 22, 2011 | 8:21 am

    Jim, it is snowing right now BUT I am pretty sure that the sky is not falling necessarily.

    You are right Slowey is a just solid mediocre MLB starter, however Nicasio by all reports is throwing full throttle and will begin facing hitters within weeks – serious injury yes but he will be fine by opening day. Pomeranz showed plenty of stuff in a handfull of 2011 starts with a solid 4.50 ERA as well – maybe not Cy Young but that will play for the Rockies.

    If your point is that Chacin and Hammel are not #1 aces as starters, then I would have to agree with that also, but I am pretty sure the Rockies are going to score more runs in 2012 than they did in 2011.

    BTW, I think you just stole my mantel as the resident ITR pessimist around here!

  • Mike Raysfan | December 22, 2011 | 12:26 pm

    Rich, scoring runs is not problem. Consistency is. Others are better at stats than I but I think you will find the Rockies scored the 2nd most runs in the NL for 2011? Maybe I’m wrong.

  • Rich M | December 22, 2011 | 2:03 pm

    If you just heard the screem outside my snowy window, it is because that stat absolutely drives me crazy – and I have seen it repeated and written everywhere! First of all the Rockies were “tied” with Cincinnati for second with the most runs in the NL 2011 season (seveth in the MLB).

    What that stat fails to recognize is that the Rockies still play half there games at Coors which despite the humidor remains a huge “runs” oriented MLB ball park.

    Here are some better stats for you to consider in the 162 games played in 2011 by the Rockies and their opposition. In the Rockies games teams (both) scored an average per team of 4.66 runs (5.35 at Coors and 3.97 away from Blake Street). That’s roughly a 15% advantage for both teams playing at Coors Field where the Rockies play half their games. So if we subtract the runs scored at home due to the Coors factor then the Rockies would have scored a total of 669 runs for the season which puts them solidly in eight place in the NL (15 teams) just above the Dodgers.

    Bottom line once the stats are adjusted for the ball park factor, the Rockies were a very “average” offensive team in 2011 in the NL. So the next time you hear that stat please scream along with me.

  • Rich M | December 22, 2011 | 2:55 pm

    Or to look at the Rockies “average” offense another way:

    Rockies runs scored by year:
    2007 = 860 (World Series)
    2008 = 747
    2009 = 804 (Playoffs)
    2010 = 770
    2011 = 774

    Or in other words all things being equal, the Rockies have to score more than 800 runs to have a serious run at the playoffs, and they haven’t scored that many since 2009.

    The Rockies were by no serious measure one of the top offensive teams in the NL in 2011!

  • Ryan | December 22, 2011 | 3:56 pm

    The Rockies scored 735 runs last season. They allowed 774.

  • Julian | December 22, 2011 | 4:50 pm

    Jim and Rich M, I bet that the Rockies add at least one more starting pitcher in addition to having Chacin, Pomeranz, Slowey, Nicasio, and Hammel. Even signing Millwood would be helpful insurance.

  • Rich M | December 22, 2011 | 6:48 pm

    Your’re right but that makes the Rockies “runs scored” table look even worse:

    2007 = 860 (World Series)
    2008 = 747
    2009 = 804 (Playoffs)
    2010 = 770
    2011 = 735

    You might say that’s an “offensive” trend right there!

  • Mike Raysfan | December 22, 2011 | 10:57 pm

    Sounds like the Braves are not looking to trade anyone yet, if you believe their GM.

    “”This was not a good free-agent year, not a lot of players that impacted teams, especially in the areas we would like to get better in.” Wren said the Braves wait to see how their players perform during Spring Training before deciding if they need to bring in some new acquisitions.”

  • Julian | December 22, 2011 | 11:21 pm

    OK, so if we don’t trade for Prado, who’s still available as a 2B who can be had on a one year contract who would be an upgrade on who we already have?

  • Rich M | December 23, 2011 | 7:31 am

    Call me skeptical, however I smell a public bluff by Wren so the Rockies will include Wheeler or Fowler in the Prado deal. Prado and JJ are currently spare parts for the Braves going into 2012, and they can solidify that outfield, I am pretty sure they will make a deal.

    Recently the Braves wanted CF Adam Jones, and the Orioles asking price was Prado, JJ + two top pitching prospects – Braves understandably said no thanks. Now Dexter may not be quite as good as Adam Jones, but I would do the deal if the Rockies could get “just” Prado & JJ.

    While Wheeler’s bat may take some time to develop (see Adam Jones) but I think that he will be able to hold his own as a defensive center fielder in the MLB.

  • progmatinee | December 23, 2011 | 8:17 am

    I hate to see Fowler go, but I would agree with you Rich M. Fowler (throw in EYJ) for Prado and Jurjenss works for me. Then keep Smith in left field and move Cargo to center. Or if Smith had to be part of the package as well Wheeler or Blackmon would have to step up. Also could resign Spilly at that point of we lost 2 OFs.

  • Wayne | December 23, 2011 | 9:05 am

    I think that Prado and Jurgens would be worth giving up Smith, one of our 17 CF’s, and maybe Hamells and another pitching lower end prospect.
    Make the deal happen. Surely we can part with somnone who is a CF but will probably not be contributing because Dex blocks them.

  • rockymountainhigh | December 23, 2011 | 9:26 am

    Answering Julian about available free agent 2B-men: I like Kelly Johnson except that it’s yet another left-handed bat. Really, I don’t think any free agent are enough of an upgrade over DJ LeMahieu, Chris Nelson, and Jon Hererra. I don’t know about LeMahieu’s leather, but I guarantee Tulo would be comfortable with Nelson as his DP partner. And I like Nelson’s power potential.

    I’m guessing that DOD is trying to get a veteran innings eater first; if nothing comes up then he’ll go after Prado.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 23, 2011 | 11:52 am

    Scroll down to mlbtr and click on “Rockies Seek Pitching; Kuroda Saunders unlikely.” Interesting read.

  • Rich M | December 23, 2011 | 12:43 pm

    Let’s see now, Kuroda & Saunders are free agents, correct?

    How many times do we have to remind writers and posters, good free agent starting pitchers will NOT sign a contract to play at Coors Field. Assuming that there are at least 29 other options, they will easily get paid to play in a pitcher friendly park somewhere.

    If you want a stud starting pitcher for the Rockies, you are going to have to TRADE for that, and that will require losing some prospects, which DanO is not likely to do, either.

    Francis, Millwood, etc – now you are talking about guys that will accept a smaller major league contract to play at Coors Field, because their other available options are either non-guaranteed or minor league contracts.

  • Rich M | December 23, 2011 | 12:51 pm

    Wayne, what the Braves want is power RH bats and some outfield depth. Since they have a boat load of pitching to trade, the Rockies potentially trading them Hammel and a another lower end pitching prospect won’t help you make a that deal.

  • Wayne | December 23, 2011 | 1:06 pm

    Rich M, everything I read says that the Braves wanted Smith and Dex or a CF prospect for Prado. We have like 17 CF’s (exaggeration)we should be able to part with one of them for Prado. I threw in the pitching to see if that would be enough for Jurgens. Not that I think they would do the deal but I was just trying to put some names out there.

    What do you think it will take to make a Prado/Jurgens deal?

  • Rich M | December 23, 2011 | 1:50 pm

    Fowler or Wheeler plus something else, but I don’t really think that the Braves want the LH Seth Smith or any of our extra pitching prospects. Their pitching prospects easily out shine the Rockies by a fair margin.

    DanO has “so far” stubbornly refused to part with either Fowler or Wheeler, which is somewhat amusing since Wheeler figures to be blocked by Fowler in a very short period – say in about a years time.

    The Braves also seem to have some budgetary contraints which is also kind of interesting, but in any event dumping Prado and JJ salaries allows them to spend some serious money on the outfield and the bullpen.

    Most interesting is that the Braves are a very good team that is only a couple of deals away from being World Series caliber, but Wren is moving so painfully slow, that if you believe him he is ready to stand pat at least until the trade deadline. I don’t believe him for a minute!

  • Rich M | December 23, 2011 | 2:10 pm

    RMH, I think that I read where the Blue Jays tendered a contract to Kelly Johnson, so it appears that he is staying put in Canada. And you are right, he is another left handed bat which the Rockies don’t really need more of.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 23, 2011 | 4:13 pm

    If I remember correctly the Braves wanted Smith AND Nolan Arenado. Prog can correct me if I wrong. By coicindence, we happened to be on the same Braves sites and I’m sure he will remember.

    Kelly Johnson. I do remember he accepted arbitration so he will be staying in Toronto.

  • Ryan | December 23, 2011 | 4:31 pm

    Ryan Theriot might be the best available 2nd baseman(not saying much, pickings are slim). It wouldn’t surprise me if he wound up with a one year deal somewhere.

  • Julian | December 23, 2011 | 5:05 pm

    Could you sign Theriot for 2 – 3 million on a one year contract? He’s probably an upgrade and a pretty good ballplayer. That would be sufficient for 2B. Then we try to sign Millwood and/or Francis to a one year contract. Then we see if we can trade Smith for a young stud starting pitcher (that’s not mandatory, and I’d be OK with Smith being the fourth outfielder and stud pinch hitter). Then we sign a left handed reliever to challenge Matt Reynolds. Do we have a backup catcher signed yet, assuming that Pacheco is not yet ready to be the backup who plays 40 – 50 games or more at catcher, and Rosario is starting the yeat at AAA? If not, we sign a backup catcher. Then I think that we’re done and ready for spring training.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to all.

  • SteveinAurora | December 23, 2011 | 8:03 pm

    Oswalt is a free agent…and, by some accounts is agreeable to pitching at altitude. Edwin Jackson is out there, but nobody is throwing his name around. Kuroda is unsigned, and Francis is available. Kevin Millwood did a nice job in a short audition, and should receive consideration (and not a week before Spring Training starts).

    I liked Gonzalez from the A’s, but the Nats gave up a hefty package for him. The one-year deal that Marquis got from the Twins wasn’t that bad.

    The trade packages for Jurrjens and Prado that are being suggested seem reasonable starting points, anyway, and would help the team out on several fronts.

    Which, if any, way will DOD go??

  • Wayne | December 24, 2011 | 9:21 am

    I just read that the Nationals may be willing to trade lefty John Lannon. He has pitched well for them averaging 199 innings per year and a respectable 4.00 era. Nats are supposedly looking for a CF (we have 17 of them) so they don’t have to move Werth over there. Might be worth a look.

    Merry Christmas to all!!!!

  • Julian | December 24, 2011 | 2:13 pm

    Do the Nationals want Colvin?

  • steve c | December 24, 2011 | 4:55 pm

    If you could get Lannon for Tyler Colvin and think you have to do it. Still leaves Smith as a chip in the Prado pursuit.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 24, 2011 | 7:52 pm

    “The talks between the Rockies and Braves that centered upon Seth Smith going to Atlanta and Martin Prado heading to Colorado have gone cold, writes Thomas Harding of MLB.com.”

  • Mike Raysfan | December 24, 2011 | 8:07 pm

    Thomas also brings back the Chome Figgins rumor I mentioned on here during the meetings. “could be gaining new life, although it’s unclear how far along those talks are.”

  • steve c | December 25, 2011 | 2:22 pm

    I would think Smith for Figgins straight up, with the M’s taking on some of Figgin’s salary, might work if:

    Figgins can/will play 2nd.
    The Rox determine 2011 was injury induced.
    The M’s take about half of his +/- 10M salary.
    It’s a one year deal (and I’m thinking he may have more than one remaining).
    Lots of “ifs.”

    As noted, Figgins 2011 was a worthless, injury impacted and shortened year. But to be fair, he’s not too far removed from his epic 2009 campaign(his last with the Halos), and his first year in Seattle (2010) wasn’t an absolute complete loss (considering the Park and the dreadful start he had). Big question to me is will/can he play 2nd? Wasn’t Seattle’s whole thought process when they brought Figgins in to move him to 2nd and Lopez to 3rd??? As I recall, it was a disaster. He’s also owed about 10M this year. I guess the good news is that he should really be intrigued by the opportunity to move to a hitters Park.

    All-in-all, I say “pass” unless he comes “cheap.”

  • steve c | December 25, 2011 | 3:13 pm

    Also – Rich M commented on Frank Wren moving slowly (which is certainly correct). Wren as the rare luxury of being solid with pitching at the Major League level, and downright stacked throughout the Minors. So he’s dealing from a position of strength.

    Lots of teams could use Jurrjens – and I expect to see him dealt. But why not wait and let the price continue to escalate. Wren can definitely get a useable CFer – and if he lets in play out, he may end up with a plus CFer.

    To me………..the easiest team to deal with (on paper) should be the Astros. They need everything, and are several years away at best. Given new ownership and GM, I would revisit the Wandy Rodriquez talks from the summer.

  • Anonymous | December 25, 2011 | 9:02 pm

    I felt that way about Rodriguez too until I saw his stats from the last 3 seasons next to each other. He is not trending in a positive direction.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 26, 2011 | 8:07 am

    So why did we sign Cody Ross?????? I’m confused. Maybe ESPN is confused and I need to research the usual twitter suspects.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 26, 2011 | 8:30 am

    Maybe tv is jumping the gun. I scrolled down and found the MLBTR story in which they source ESPN but state we are in contract negotiations.

  • Wayne | December 26, 2011 | 8:42 am

    And now we would have, what, 23 outfielders. I exaggerate but that’s what it seems like. Surely we can package something together for a 2B and/or SP.

  • progmatinee | December 26, 2011 | 8:42 am

    Makes no sense to me!!!!!! One of my biggest peeves with the Rockies and O’Dowd is they hide their prospects away in the minors. What is the plan for Wheeler, Blackmon and Colvin if they sign Ross? Just let them languish in the minors? Stop the madness! We don’t need 32 outfielders. Find a second basemen, O’Dowd.

  • progmatinee | December 26, 2011 | 8:44 am

    What this is leading to is trading Fowler. If they trade Fowler they better be getting both Prado and Jurrjens otherwise its a bad move.

  • progmatinee | December 26, 2011 | 8:47 am

    And what sort of confidence level should our young outfielders have knowing that O’Dowd has SO LITTLE in them to improve. If that is the case trade them.

    O’Dowd is really horrible.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 26, 2011 | 8:57 am

    Trading Fowler would be all bad. Even Cuddyer mentioned how happy he is to have Fowler playing center in Coors and next to him. Giving up the speed of Fowler out there would make zero sense to me. I’m sure some will be quick to say just move Gonzalez to cf and all will be fine. I disagree.

    It’s now documented Rockies player(s) helped convince Cuddyer to come here. Lets just say 1 of the reasons he came was because of the defensive strength of Gonzalez and Fowler in left and center. Wonder how that would make him feel? Of course this is all based on the assumption they *might* consider trading Fowler. I hope not.

    Agreed prog. I wonder what Blackmon/Wheeler/ and even Colvin are thinking if the see/hear the news?

    Wayne, Prog. I’m with you. This makes NO sense and I hope ESPN is jumping the gun on a BS story. With any luck at all “negotiations” will collapse.

  • Wayne | December 26, 2011 | 9:18 am

    Excellent point prog. If O’Dowd think that highly of Blackmon and Wheeler that he won’t trade them then why are we blocking them. OF should not be an area of concern at this point. We need a 2B and/or SP more than another #4 OF. This isn’t softball where you get to play 4 OF.

    Mike Raysfan, I agree that Fowler is important and a while ago I was all for trading him, but I haven’t seen us pick up a replacement as of yet so we need to keep him. DOD won’t let the replacement be Wheeler or Blackmon because they are needed at Colo Springs and Tulsa.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 26, 2011 | 2:42 pm

    prog, I loved your directness in your post on the other site. LMAO Good stuff. Some Atlanta fans are besides themselves with all this Smith for Prado talk. Did you read the one Atlanta fan saying that Smith was actually better offensively than Prado?

    Too bad the count down is less than a week now. I will miss this site.

  • SteveinAurora | December 26, 2011 | 4:38 pm

    Cargo could certainly handle playing center at Coors, but the toll on his body would be a drain on his offense. Further, if he doesn’t have the defense that is Fowler to rely on next to him, the impact would be magnified.

    We’ve been hearing that pitching at elevation shortens a pitcher’s career. The same has to be true for playing center in the vast expanses of Coors. Okay…so there are some options in the pipeline. However, if the Rox rely on Cargo to man center for a couple of years, could it end up shortening his career??

    I haven’t always been a fan of Fowler, but I see him making strides at improving his overall-game. Provided the development continues, I’m okay with him covering centerfield (he does it well) for a couple of years, anyway, and see what transpires then. For the right piece, use a prospect in a package, in this instance.

  • Julian | December 26, 2011 | 5:01 pm

    If we sign Ross, he becomes the 4th outfielder and a right handed pinch hitter (he becomes Spilly’s replacement). I would hope we sign him for just a year, so he doesn’t block any of the young outfielders. We could trade Smith and either Blackmonn (who is from Georgia) or Colvin to Atlanta for Prado or a starting pitcher, and whoever isn’t traded becomes the 5th outfielder. Wheeler starts the year at CS and plays there for at least the first half of the year, barring injuries. So, that accounts for all of our outfielders except for Jamie Hoffman and EY. I don’t know anything about Hoffman (Is he better than Ross at this point? Does he have any options left?) and I know enough about EY to know that I don’t want to see him play outfield any more (sorry Pooter). EY probably gets traded this off season.

  • steve c | December 26, 2011 | 5:45 pm

    Agree Julian – if the dominos fall as anticipated, all outfielders are accounted for even with Ross(presuming we do in fact sign Ross – which based on what I can tell is still in the speculation stage). I’m willing to withhold judgement on this for two reasons:

    1. I’ll wait for all the dominos to fall and see the “final” product.
    2. Even though some of the moves admittedly seem lateral – I don’t know the personalities and/or club house demeanor of the individuals involved.

    I also wholeheartedly agree that EY Jr. is NOT an outfielder. It’s good the Rox gave it a shot – but he is really clumsey when the ball is in the air, and has a weak arm.

    As much we all want to be the GM (at least I do!) – I think we have to let this play out and see what we get for Smith. If DOD can pull off Prado for Smith and Blackmon, I say do it and don’t look back. Prado is good when he plays 2nd.

  • Agbayani | December 26, 2011 | 8:09 pm

    Cody Ross just isn’t a very good outfielder. If he’s brought in as outfield depth, well, I guess that’s not horrible. He’d have to do better than Spilly did last year.

    But I imagine the plan is to let Cuddyer start to split time with Helton at 1B. If Helton’s back flares up again, guess what: Cody Ross is a starter.

    Which is where this gets really weird, since you could almost certainly find a better backup at 1B than Cody Ross (who, since he’d be taking Helton’s spot in the lineup, will effectively serve as Helton’s backup). Again, some of the weird roster management caused by the re-signing of Giambi.

    After the Cuddyer/Blake signings I mentioned that O’Dowd’s theory must be that a bunch of old guys just might have a little bit left in the tank. I suggested that once in a while you can catch that lightning in a bottle — the Giants did in 2010. But I didn’t think O’Dowd was literally trying to reconstruct the 2010 Giants in Colorado in 2012. If Miguel Tejada winds up on this roster we should be very, very afraid.

    2007: Todd and the Toddlers. 2012: Giambi and the Geriatrics.

  • Agbayani | December 26, 2011 | 8:25 pm

    An invitation to all ITR friends: While we wait for Jaredean and others get a new site up and running, please join me at the Rockies bulletin board on Fox Sports.

    Go to community dot foxsports dot com. [I won't include the link since that would get this post sent to moderation.] There’s a banner there that includes “forums” — click on that and scroll down to MLB, then the Rockies forum. It’s been dormant for 9 months, so it’s ours for the squatting.

    I haven’t set up my profile yet, but I’ll try to do it by the end of the year. Not sure if I’ll be Agbayani (naming oneself after a lousy player on a crappy team from your team’s past seems to be wearing thin), but you’ll know it when you see it.

    As I said, I’m not wanting to compete with whoever sets up a new site, but if Steve is going to have to stop maintaining this one, I want to make sure the ITR community stays intact somewhere in the cyber world. We’ve all said it many times before, but a big thanks to Steve, Jack, the Cowboy, and all the contributors here for fostering (hah!) a great sense of community and respect. You may not know it, but my respect for our organizers has caused me to tone down the snark considerably … and that’s a good thing.

    See you there!

  • Mike Raysfan | December 26, 2011 | 8:29 pm

    Julian, just to recap. Troy Renck has already alleged EY will be traded before spring training.

  • Trip | December 26, 2011 | 9:16 pm

    I just created a new thread on fox community. Post something to ensure it’s working for us.

  • Agbayani | December 26, 2011 | 11:16 pm

    Trip, working fine. community dot foxsports dot com, follow the menu to Forums, MLB, Colorado Rockies. I just started another thread there too.

  • GARY | December 27, 2011 | 12:47 am

    trip/ag[occupy blake st.],I tried for 20 frustrating minutes and couln’t respond to ur posts at Fox.Sometimes being 65 and less than techie can really be frustrating.I signed up,but every time I tryed to comment it bumped me back to sign up-then shifted me to main page-had to search for forum page-tried to comment-kicked me back to sign in page,etc.etc.etc.HELP!

  • Wayne | December 27, 2011 | 9:05 am

    Agbayani, just posted on the fox site I am “mucs10″ since Wayne was already used). Not sure I like it as when I am commenting I cannot scroll up and see all the previous posts like I can on this site. Maybe Jaredean and others can make sure that that is incorporated into the new site. I hope that is coming along, because in a week I will have serious ITR withdrawal.

  • Luke | December 27, 2011 | 11:06 am

    That rotation is pathetic. Chacin is the only legitimate pitcher out of all 5. If we are running that out there, we will be getting rocked and cruise to another 70ish victories. Weak.

  • Eric W. | December 27, 2011 | 12:08 pm

    The Starting Pitching is weak. That rotation is weaker. They need to go out and acquire someone like Wandy Rodriguez or Wade Davis. Jair Jurrjens would be a possibility if the price tag isn’t high. I would worry about that and getting Martin Prado.

    Rotation (2012) with Davis

    1. Chacin
    2. Davis
    3. Nicasio
    4. Slowey/ Pommeranz/ Chatwood/ White
    5. Hammel

    Bullpen:
    CL- Rafael Betancourt
    SU- Rex Brothers
    SU- Matt Lindstrom
    RP- Brad Lidge (sign to 1 Year deal)
    RP- Matt Belisle
    RP- Josh Roenicke
    RP- ??

  • progmatinee | December 27, 2011 | 12:14 pm

    Its really hard to be supportive of this management when it seems they spin their wheels on aspects of the team that don’t need work and don’t do anything to improve the parts that do need work. Its then further compounded when the players they add actually make it harder for the current roster to achieve their goals.

    We have the deepest competition for 5th outfielder and 5th starter in the majors. And the competition for the utility man is really going to be contentious!!!

    Those sound like good problems to have when you’re a 90 win team. If you struggle to win 70 that’s a bit of a concern!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike Raysfan | December 27, 2011 | 1:22 pm

    Prog, it seems Buster Olney is now saying the Rockies interest in Ross is based on trading Smith????? Ok, great. I’m guessing yesterday must have been slow for those “insiders”. After all, to be an insider you have have to pay. You got them something to read.

  • EdtheUmp | December 28, 2011 | 8:51 am

    Gary…you must check your email for a message from Fox to authenticate your account…it works…keep trying.

  • egossage | December 28, 2011 | 8:54 am

    I have been speaking with Jaredean through email and he tells me he almost has the new site ready to go!!!

  • rockymountainhigh | December 28, 2011 | 11:22 am

    Hurry up! tick tock 72 hours to go…. Thank u very much Jaredean for your dedication to getting the replacement site up and running.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 28, 2011 | 11:47 am

    HAHAHA I thought Buster Olney was an “insider” People had to pay to get his Cody Ross story.

    “There is absolutely no truth to the Cody Ross stories,” an excellent Rockies source told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. The source also told Saunders, “The Rockies have always liked Cody as a player but we have no fit at all in our outfield.”

  • progmatinee | December 28, 2011 | 12:39 pm

    I hope my freakout over a Ross signing prevented the horrible move! Not because Ross is horrible, but I just can’t believe any reason to not have Blackmon and Colvin as the 4th and 5th OFs. If Smith is not traded then 1 of them has to be the 5th OF. You can’t keep quality players in AAA forever. Must find out if they can be consistent MLB guys or “these are not the droids you’re looking for”.

  • egossage | December 28, 2011 | 6:42 pm

    The new site Jaredean is working on looks awesome!!!!!!!!! Almost done!!!!

  • GARY | December 29, 2011 | 12:12 am

    Thanks Ed,but no joy.Fox recognizes me but hasn’t sent me an e-mail,even after I repeated the process.WTF,I’ll just wait for our new site and hope it likes me better.Thanks for reply.If Jardeen doesn’t have it up and running by Jan 1,will this site go dark immediately?

  • Rich M | December 29, 2011 | 8:24 am

    Gary, new site is up and running – looks fantastic!

  • Mike Raysfan | December 30, 2011 | 11:06 am

    Thank You Dave Krieger! In the middle of all the Tebow/Pro Bowl/playoff talk you actually talked about the Rockies! Wow.

    Like you I am also waiting for the “other shoe to drop”. I’m also wondering what is coming regarding the starting rotation. Did they dump Huston just to get a Cuddyer or are they seriously looking for a real solid starter? I agree with you. Why dump Huston if your not looking to bolster your starting rotation. Yes we have a ton of starters “projected” to be pretty good. How many proven veterans do we have? How many guys do we have that would be solid #5, #6, or even #7 starters.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 30, 2011 | 4:01 pm

    Prog, I know you had to LOVE this statement. “Colorado has been one of baseball’s busiest teams this offseason, which Renck says is a reflection of the club’s “great disappointment with last season” rather than any sense of 2012 being a “final chance” for GM Dan O’Dowd.”

  • progmatinee | December 30, 2011 | 4:33 pm

    Yeah, I can’t quite jump on board there. I do think its the last ditch effort for O’Dowd and I think he’s been given certain leeway to move as many of the players he needs to shake things up minus a couple of names the Monforts excluded.

  • jaredean | December 30, 2011 | 8:17 pm

    Gary, just to let you know – Doc has said that it takes about “1/8th the effort as figuring out FOX” posting on the new site…if you can’t figure it out or need help, i’ll be putting up a little “how to” tonight or tomorrow on posting on your own, but you don’t have to sign up to put comments…it is like it is on here, just need a name/e-mail address…

  • jaredean | December 30, 2011 | 8:22 pm

    mike, that statement about 2012 being the final chance vs disappointment to me is “two sides of the same coin”…i believe they are making moves based on the lousy season we just had, but i also believe if this season is the same/worse/only a little better – then we will for sure be hearing of major shake-ups in management, from Tracy to DOD…it is a shame watching that stadium fill up each night with fans begging for magic, only to watch them walk away defeated…they wont be coming back in droves if we put another bad couple of seasons together back to back…

  • GARY | December 31, 2011 | 1:43 am

    Thanks,Jaredean.Loved the site view I took earlier,and will be adding my two cents over there soon.I second all the kudos from all the posters,which you richly deserve.Thanks for the hard work,and caring about this community of die hard ROX/baseball fanatics.See you on the otherside.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 31, 2011 | 8:19 am

    agreed jaredean. Wow, you have put a lot of effort into making a seamless transition from ITR to Rox Walk Off. Thank you very much. The site looks and feels awesome.

    Again, I really need to thank Steve, Jack and and Jim. Whoops wrong Tracy :>) (feeble attempt at humor) Mr. Ringolsby. This has been an absolutely great site that I have thoroughly enjoyed over the last 3 seasons. I will really miss this site.

    sincerely – Mike

  • Mike Raysfan | December 31, 2011 | 2:35 pm

    I’m kind of surprised to see the Padres trade Castro AND Hernandez.