The dice are feelin' the pitchers so far, I tell you what. Today I rolled Ramon Ramirez, one of the two relief prospects Colorado received from the Yankees in the Shawn Chacon trade. I didn't expect very much from either Ramirez or his cohort Eduardo Sierra, so frankly I haven't looked at their stats all year. Was I right to be so dismissive?
Well, according to the early returns on Ramirez...yes. The righthander started the season as a starter with AAA Columbus, where he gave up 32 hits and nine walks in 27 innings. That "earned" him a demotion to AA Trenton, where he continued to start and was 6-5 with a 3.84 ERA and an improved 1.28 WHIP. He reported to Colorado's Tulsa affiliate 7/28 and worked as a swingman. His ERA jumped back up to 5.33 (coincidentally the same number it had been in Columbus) and his WHIP trended back upwards. He's in the Arizona Fall League playing for Peoria, again as a swingman, and he's been no better, posting a 7.53 ERA in seven games (one start). The AFL is a notorious hitters' league but his WHIP is back near 2.00 and that's not good anywhere.
The good news about Ramirez is he's not super old (24) and wherever he goes, he strikes guys out when he's not getting pounded by them (a composite 8.27 K/9 on the year). Sporadically effective righthanded middle relievers, however, are just about the least valuable commodity in baseball. I haven't looked at Sierra's numbers yet (the dice haven't told me to), but unless he's pitching like Felix Hernandez the Rockies got out and out rooked by NYY.
Update: Tracy Ringolsby says that Colorado could be a possible landing place for ousted Dodgers GM Paul DePodesta. One word: yes. Do this! I promise, adding DePodesta's player evaluation acumen to O'Dowd's respected old-school scouting skills would do more to make the Rockies better than any possible free agent player signing you might care to name. Pull the trigger on this one, Dan! We Rockies fans accept that we don't sign superstar players any more, so give us a superstar front office guy.