Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Rodrigo No More
2007-08-01 08:54
by Mark T.R. Donohue

Colorado looked unusually lean and purposeful last night while dismissing the Marlins, 6-3. I suppose if I were the sort of person who wanted to look on the downside of things I could mention that immense terror of empty orange seats has made Florida one of the worst home teams (23-30) in the majors, but... well, I guess I am that sort of person. And I guess I just did. But in any case I can't keep redefining my terms just to make my predictions look better. I want the Rockies to win more games on the road, and they just won one, so good for them.

Rodrigo Lopez has a torn labrum and is out for the season. It seems to me as if Dan O'Dowd probably had some idea that this was going to be Lopez's fate before the trade deadline came and went, but the Rockies still elected to stand pat. None of the other teams in the NL West made significant additions, but the Braves may have sewn up the wild card with their deal for Mark Teixeira. Does O'Dowd deserve an earful for not pulling off any last-day deals? Woody Paige thinks so, but I don't. What the Rockies really needed was a starter, even before news of Lopez's injury came down the pipe, and look at the starters who moved: Matt Morris and Kyle Lohse. No thank you and no thank you. In a few places you may read that the Rockies talked to the White Sox about Jon Garland, but unquestionably that was a deal that would have cost them three megaprospects (Ubaldo Jimenez, Ryan Spilborghs, and another major-league ready guy, maybe Clint Barmes or an outfielder) the way Kenny Williams' mind is working right now. Small-market reality is, folks, the Rockies need to hold on to as many players whom they control for the whole of the arbitration period as they can, even ones now seemingly redundant like Barmes or Ian Stewart. I know it's hard to imagine, but better miss out on the playoffs this year and contend for the next several than trade the future for another one-per-decade four-game postseason cameo.

2007-08-01 12:28:45
1.   Xeifrank
is losing Rodrigo Lopez really a back breaker? Who will replace him in the rotation? I don't think the Teixeira and Dotel deals give the Braves the wild-card. It will be a dogfight... oops probably shouldn't use that term with all the Vick stuff going on. Ok, it will be a catfight or perhaps a fishfight.
vr, Xei
2007-08-01 12:37:50
2.   Mark T.R. Donohue
1 Not so much, but Lopez has been better than replacement-level and now the Rockies are going to rush Jason Hirsh back from his rehab, which might not be such a great idea. Right now the rotation is Cook-Francis-Fogg-Hirsh-Jimenez, which is still one more veteran seat-filler guy than you want to see and two guys who should really still be in AAA. If anyone gets hurt, things get really dicey -- probably Taylor Buchholz goes back into the rotation, and that's not what anyone wants.
2007-08-02 12:59:33
3.   jasonwrites
That trade did not give the Braves the wild-card... it gave them the NL East title. The Mets will feature the same collapse they had in the NLCS last year, except this time it will come in September. I imagine the wild-card is coming out of the West, but now the Central race is complicated as well.

I love the Rockies, and I'm glad that having so many teams "in contention" is setting new attendance records for baseball, but I agree with you-- a team that hovers around .500 all year is not a contender. Inevitably someone will look at the Cardinals championship after an 83-79 record last year as "proof" against this point, but I still believe that was more exception than rule.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.