Sometime in May I read an article that the Colorado Rockies should make a deal for a pitcher because at the time, every team in the division was at .500 or worse. Of course the Rockies did not make a deal but I think they should still make a deal. I understand the Rockies are currently 37-42 and the San Francisco Giants seem to be in control of the N.L. West as they have a 6 game lead and a 12.5 game lead over the Rockies. I am not saying the Rockies should sell their future for one pitcher to try and make a 1 game playoff. That would not be a smart move for a small market team. I do think there is a way to make a move that would improve the current team and the future of the Colorado organization.
It is obvious that pitching in Colorado is no walk in the park. The ball just flies out of Coors Field. The Rockies have the worst home ERA in baseball at 6.37. It is amazing that their home record is 18-20. When you are running out guys like Chad Bettis (5.84 ERA), Jorge De La Rosa (5.98 ERA) and Eddie Butler (6.96 ERA), you cannot expect to win games no matter how good your offense is. I do like Tyler Chatwood despite his ability to stay healthy and Jon Gray has shown he has ability this season. But teams cannot expect to win when two out of their five pitchers give them a chance to win. So why shouldn’t the Rockies make a move?
Many people would say that the Rockies should be rebuilding and not making moves that would signal to go for it this season and part of me does agree with that point of view. But what if the Rockies made a deal for Julio Tehran? What about Zach Wheeler? Yes, the argument could be made that none of those guys have shown to be successful every five days in Colorado. But both Tehran and Wheeler, when Wheeler is healthy, have shown to be good Major League pitchers and are much better than the pitchers the Rockies are sending out on a nightly basis. What a deal for Tehran and Wheeler would do is not only improve this year’s ball club but it would benefit the future of the organization because both pitchers would be under team control. That is the type of deal that I think the Rockies should be looking to make. It does not have to be Tehran or Wheeler but a pitcher that could help the team now and one that is under team control for a few more seasons.
I think it is easy to assume that no big name pitcher that enters the free agent market is going to sign with the Rockies. The Rockies do not have the money to sign a big time free agent and what pitcher would want to make Coors Field his home field? If the Rockies are going to add to their rotation, it will have to come via a trade. Colorado hopes that Jon Gray can turn into a reliable frontend starter and pitching prospects Jeff Hoffman and Antonio Senzatela turn into something. But relying on prospects to completely fix a rotation is risky and not an effective strategy. What is going on in Flushing with the Mets is an anomaly and will not happen in Colorado. Eventually the Rockies are going to have to try and make a move to boost their rotation if they want to compete for an N.L. West title.
The Rockies are the top offense in the National League and are led by Superstar Nolan Arenado. Their lineup is loaded with a supporting cast of Carlos Gonzalez, D.J. LeMahieu, Charlie Blackmon, and Trevor Story. Offense is never the problem for the Rockies. My fear for Colorado is they are going to waste the prime years of Arenado to try and build for the future. Arenado will be a free agent in 2020 and will not be cheap when he is finally able to get paid. The Rockies should not be building for three years down the road but should be building to get the most out of Nolan Arenado’s prime years.