It seems in every post or conversation about the shortfalls of the Rockies in 2011, the main subject comes down to A; injuries, and B; pitching. In my last post, I covered both of these things, but I did not cover the answers to these troubles, besides the coming back of Juan Nicasio, and the farther away, rejoining of Jorge De LA Rosa. The Rockies have some men they are looking to cultivate at the majors, in Spring Training, and the regular season, but if they want to eliminate their problem, those players will not be the complete answer. In the past, and in the future, free agents and trades will dramatically change the roster for the Rockies, in the season, and offseason. During the season, second and third basemen were both acquired, as the Rockies picked up Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Mark Ellis, in during-season trades. The Rockies will also need to have some trades in the offseason, as they may with pitcher Roy Oswalt. There are always many, many rumors of trades around the internet and the conversations about the major leagues, but only some are true. I try to keep to information from MLB official sources, and indeed this report is founded on the facts of information from the Rockies.
The Rockies are considering picking up former Phillies pitcher, Roy Oswalt. The Rockies have had some problems getting their pitchers to pitch deep into a game, and Oswalt may be able to keep the bullpen mostly out of the games. Oswalt has been good for the Phils, but they declined his large $16 million option for the 2012 Season with the Phillies. Oswalt did not have a great season, going 9-10, with only a 3.69 ERA. Those numbers are OK, for a pitcher but the one of the really big numbers for the Rockies at the moment, as they consider him, is the innings pitched. Oswalt has an impressive 139 innings, on only 23 starts. The 2011 Season with the Phillies, included two times on the DL, with some back problems for Oswalt. Those two stints keep his future looking somewhat iffy, as the Rockies look to make sure there are as few people on the DL in the Seasons to come.
Oswalt is not one of the Phillies real young pitchers, at a middle-aged 34 years old. He was at one point quoted as he was thinking about retirement, but I doubt he is close to leaving baseball, this early. Some reports seem to show that Oswalt is looking for a multi-year deal with a team, and the Rockies could sure use a strong pitcher in the coming seasons, so a multi-year deal would not be out of the picture for the Rockies.
The Rockies really need some reliable pitching, and given the amount of seasons Oswalt has racked up, several more than many other of the Rockies’ men in the bullpen, he is a good bet for a reliable starter. The Rockies do have some young talent, and they have been good for the Rockies, but the 2012 Season could hold better or worse performances from those relatively unknown ability.
The Rockies will most likely try to make some deals in this offseason, with pitchers, including possibly Roy Oswalt. If they do, it could mean a very different outlook for the 2012 Season, pitching, and generally game wise. If they do make some big deals, the Rockies may have the making of a successful young ballclub, in the seasons to come.
During the 2011 Season there were two major things that held the Rockies back; injuries, and starting pitching. In some cases these two things were together, as the Rockies endured some bad injuries to some pitchers, who could have been part of the backbone of the bullpen. The Rockies had many injuries in the 2011 Season, sometimes resulting in call-ups from the minors. ALthough players from all parts of the field, such as Carlos Gonzalez, who had major wrist problems, to second base that was a constantly changing part, as players were injured or just needed a break. At the end of the year, even as those games were not all that important, the Rockies were faced with some troubling injuries to Cargo, Tulo and Todd Helton, in my opinion the biggest parts of the lineup. All the injuries took a toll on the Rockies, but some of the worst, and most important were to the Rockies’ starting rotation.
The first starting rotation injury was a ligament tear in Jorge De La Rosa’s arm. Jorge was a solid man on the mound for the Rockies in some previous seasons, but the plan for his starting pitching appearances changed, when he had a bad injury in the very, and too, early season. De La Rosa tor his ulnar collateral ligament in the very early season, and had to undergo Tommy John surgery to help repair the ligament. De La Rosa was a solid pitcher for the Rockies in the past seasons, and was a big loss to the bullpen. The Rockies at the beginning of the season felt that they could have a solid rotation, with previously amazing pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, De La Rosa, and Aaron Cook. Both Cook and Jimenez were both great at one point in their careers, but had been slowly weakening in the recent seasons. As the season progressed, the rotation became one of the biggest headaches for the Rockies, as all their pitchers were not very consistent, making the loss of De La Rosa an even bigger one.
Jorge’s surgery went as good as the Rockies could have hoped for, but even as they hired one of the best surgeons for this, there is no guarantee that De La Rosa will be able to pitch as he was before the surgery. The surgery was clean, and went very well, but it is surgery nonetheless, and the human body takes its time when recovering from things like this, as it will with De La Rosa. With this complicated operation, which MLB pitchers have undergone for many years, there is a good probability that De La Rosa will never be the same that he was, in fact this statement is almost always true. Although there have been some comebacks for pitchers after the surgery, the chances of returning to your previous level of pitching is low. At the moment, according the Rockies, Jorge will not be ready to start out on the Roster in 2012. De La Rosa has been training to get back to the majors since only a few weeks after his surgery, and has been making progress, towards hopefully the Majors again. The Rockies will need De La Rosa in the coming seasons, so hopefully he recovery is on-track, and he will be able to pitch in the near future. De La Rosa may not be able to start the 2012 Season, but there is another light for the Rockies in their 2012 season, as Juan Nicasio should be ready to start this coming Spring Training.
The other big starting rotation injury for the Rockies was the extremely unfortunate injury of Juan Nicasio, a young pitcher, new to the U.S. Nicasio, as Jimenez edged closer and closer to trade, seemed like the future bright spot of the Rockies rotation, and with the inconsistency of the present rotation, maybe the only one. Nicasio was not perfect, but he was in some ways more consistent than anyone else the Rockies could have on the mound. He went 4-4, not an ideal game record, but some of those losses were due to the lack of offense in his starts. Nicasio was a big arrival for the Rockies, a young player with promise and hard work, who seemed like a major future in the 2011 Season, if he improved his skills in the Majors with the Rockies. Then, on August 5, 2011, an event that would forever change his life, and his baseball career occurred. With Ian Esmond up-to bat Nicasio was struck with the ball on a line drive off Desmond’s bat. Nicasio had little time to react, and took the blow directly to his head and neck. Not only that, but on the way down, Nicasio fell on his head, on the dirt of the mound. Trainers, medical personnel, manager Jim Tracy, and players all rushed to the mound to help him. The fact of the matter was, there was little the players could do but watch, and offer the young, talented pitcher support. Juan was wheeled off the field on a medical cart, on a stretcher, where he was transferred to an ambulance, and then sent directly to the hospital.
Nicasio had broken his C-1 vertebrae, the top vertebrae of your spinal cord, and also had very bad damage to his skull. Although the mood was of worry in the Rockies clubhouse, and obviously in the hospital, the wonders of modern medicine were then put to work, as Nicasio underwent tests, and eventually had surgery on his head and neck. The doctors placed a metal plate in the back of part if Nicasio’s skull, and several metal screws on the back of his neck. Nicasio was aware of the decisions he had to make involving his health, and was always in the interest of being able to play in the big leagues again. This surgery, was the best shot Nicasio had at getting back to being able to pitch again, so he was very interested in the operation. After being able to leave the hospital, Nicasio went to the Rockies Clubhouse, where he was greeted with smiles, support, and his teammates, as they saw him again after a terrible incident, on the field. One of Nicasio’s concerns was his neck brace, showing that he really did want to be able to get back to normal, as the talented and strong young major league pitcher he was.
The Rockies will need Nicasio to help out in the Starting Rotation, if some other pitchers don’t come around to the Rockies, but even if some do, the talent and attitude of Nicasio would greatly help the Rockies, as they look to erase a 2011 Season, that had disappointment and pain some of the characteristics, looking back. Although this season lacked the flourish the Rockies were hoping for, there were good parts, as well, and some great players from the minors called up, but not all of them made it out of the season with full health.
One of these talented, but now injured players was Charlie Blackmon, a young outfielder with a lot of promise, and great play. Blackmon was brought up to the majors, as the Rockies looked to find help with their unsteady outfield, as Dexter Fowler faced injury, along with Carlos Gonzalez, and the Rockies needed a player to count on in the outfield. Blackmon only played with the Rockies for a short amount of time, before breaking his left foot, while rounding the second base bag during a game, when there was noticeably nothing very wrong with the way he ran the bases. Blackmon was not a huge loss for the Rockies, but his injury still maintained the gloomy state of mind, that came to me when thinking of the state of the Rockies’ 2011 health. Blackmon played mostly left field while with the Rockies, and may help out in the outfield in the 2012 Season, if needed. Blackmon batted a respectable .255 batting average in his Major League games, and had an impressive .296 Slugging %.
The bottom line is, in the 2012 Season, the Rockies, if they will be able to play to the extent that fans want, will need good health, luck, and fans!
The Rockies, as many fans know, have a strong farm system, with some great prospects in their system. The AFL, or Arizona Fall League, gives fans who watch MLB in the regular season a chance to see some of the products of the “A” teams around the country. The Rockies have Minor League teams from all over the US, such as the Tulsa Drillers, a team in Nashville, and others. It is not all that often, however, that fans have chance to witness the best players in these leagues, even if they have not been deemed Major-League ready. The AFL are the All-Star players in the minors, on two teams, in a series when the MAjors do not conflict with the games. The Rockies, tonight have several Minor League players on the field, wearing Rockies uniforms, along with a Minor League cap.
The Rockies most known player in the AFL would be Nolan Arenado, a big Rockies prospect. Arenado is playing third base, and doing a good job in the hot corner in a game that full of valuable prospects. Another man in the Rockies uniform is Tim Wheeler, who is a prospect the Rockies may use in the future. Wheeler has been playing Left field for the East, the second Rockies uniform on the field. For the Rockies, games such as these are important, as they look to find young players to support them in the Majors. A moment ago, pitcher Bob Schahill, a Rockies Prospect, was on the mound, and has come out of the seventh inning, one-two-three.
The AFL games are between the East and West Teams, with the Rockies prospects, Arenado and Tim Wheeler playing for the East Side. Currently, unfortunately for the Rockies Prospects, they are on the trailing side of the game, losing 2-11, against a great hitting West Team. Arenado has not recorded a hit for himself tonight, going 0 for 3. The East has had a difficult time, facing some controlling pitchers, and giving up some costly hits. Tim Wheeler, on the other hand has gone 1 for three, with a game .333 batting average, and a season .238 Average, not ideal in the minors. Schahill, a Rockies RHP Prospect just pitched a three-up three-down inning, retiring Nick Franklin, who has gone 4 for five, with a .800 game batting average.
Overall, despite the most likely inevitable loss for the East Team, and therefore some Rockies Prospects, these games are a opppotunity for teams to feature some of their great prospects, and give some fans a reason to watch baseball in November.
Since the Rockies News Blog started, one of our authors, rockiesatmosphere has posted many times. Today the Rockies News Blog is making the announcement that rockiesatmosphere, will be leaving the blog. rockiesatmosphere (as his name shows) has always been a Rockies fan,but is also a big fan of other teams, and interested in the entire MLB, and its amazing history. Because of this deep knowledge and love for the wonderful sport of baseball, rockiesatmosphere has decided to start a new blog, the Around the Majors MLBlog.On this blog, which covers all of MLB, rockiesatmosphere will write many reports on events around MLB, and the Rockies :) . The last two posts rockiesatmosphere made were actually from the Around the Majors MLBlog,and the link was on both posts.
It has been a great experience to write with rockiesatmosphere, as we have written many articles chronicling events within the Rockies, and the rest of MLB. As I said before, his love for the game as given him the want to have the opportunity to write about other teams, more than the Rockies News Blog has in the past. While he was a part of the Rockies News Blog rockiesatmosphere wrote some great stories, and will continue to, just on a different blog.
To read the new blog of rockiesatmosphere; the Around the Majors MLBlog, go to:
Thank you, rockiesatmosphere for all your great work on the Rockies News Blog!
Wandy Rodriguez has been in the Colorado Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd’s mind for a while and the Rockies will most likely make a move toward putting him on the roster. Rodriguez is a left handed pitcher for the Huston Astros. He went 11-11 this year with an ERA of 3.49. His strikeout to walk ratio was at 2.51 this year which was the best in his career. The Rockies have tried to grab him in August but very unable to. Rodrigez has $36 million still left on his contract but the Rockies were willing to absorb that when they claimed him off trade waivers in August. If the Rockies can get Rodriguez on their roster the team could do a whole lot better.
Also, Michael Young has been a named mentioned again for the Rockies. The Rockies also thought they had Young on their team but the deal in Spring Training didn’t work out so Young stayed with Texas. I wrote and article about how Young affected Texas this year. Click here to see it.
Also, Jason Giambi agreed to stay another year with Colorado but Aaron Cook did not. He declined his 11 million dollar offer to become a possible free agent. He and over 150 other players from all teams will be able to sign contracts from any team in six hours.
Originally a post from my own personal blog at aroundthemajors.mlblogs.com
This is the orginal post from my own blog aroundthemajors.mlblogs.com
Here are the 2011 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners. The Gold Glove Award is given to the best defensive player in each position in each league. There are three outfielders who will win the Gold Glove Award in each league and a pitcher from each league will receive a Gold Glove Award as well. This year there will be one award per a position (LF, CF, RF). This is new this year. Here is the list of players who have won:
AL Catcher: Matt Wieters (Orioles; 1st Gold Glove)
NL Catcher: Yadier Molina (Cardinals; 4th Gold Glove)
AL Pitcher: Mark Buehrle (White Sox; 3th Gold Glove)
NL Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers; 1st Gold Glove)
NL Left-Field: Gerardo Parra (D-Backs; 1st Gold Glove)
NL Center-Field: Matt Kemp (Dodgers; 2nd Gold Glove)
NL Right-Field: Andre Either (Dodgers; 1st Gold Glove)
AL Left-Field: Alex Gordan (Royals; 1st Gold Glove)
AL Center-Field: Jacoby Ellsbury (Red Sox; 1st Gold Glove)
AL Right-Field: Nick Markakis (Orioles; 1st Gold Glove)
AL First-Base: Adrian Gonzalez (Red Sox; 3rd Gold Glove)
AL Second-Base: Dustin Pedroia d(Red Sox; 2nd Gold Glove)
AL Third-Base: Adrian Beltre (Rangers; 3rd Gold Glove)
AL Shortstop: Erick Aybar (Angels; 1st Gold Glove)
NL First-Base: Joey Votto (Reds; 1st Gold Glove)
NL Second-Base: Brandon Philips(Reds; 3rd Gold Glove)
NL Third-Base: Placido Polanco (Phillies; 3rd Gold Glove)
NL Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies; 2nd Gold Glove)
Congratulations to everyone who won!
Hello readers! Over the past several weeks the postseason has played out, and the Rockies News Blog has covered some of the big moments in an extremely exciting, 7 Game World Series. The Cardinals took the trophy, their 11th World Series Victory, and their win meant that Texas still has no WS rings. Game seven was not as exciting as game six, in my opinion, not being a huge Cards fan. But nonetheless the Cardinals won, spurring partying on the streets outside of Busch Stadium, and in the greater St. Louis area.
But the Rockies News Blog, given the fact that it is the Rockies News Blog, still has the main subject of the Rockies. The Rockies News Blog, as our readers most likely know, is written by two Rockies fans, including me, xrockiestalk. I am a huge Rockies fan, but I am also very interested in the events around the MLB. So, given I am a Rockies fan, I am eager to write about the Rockies in this offseason. The season is over for MLB, but for several weeks to come the MLB will hand out awards to the best players, and every team will have decide what players to sign, and what players to not. In the past few days several items of news for the Rockies worth noting occurred.
First up, Jason Giambi, the former long-time Yankees slugger, signed with the Rockies for the 2012 Season, as he and the Rockies used a $1 Million dollar on his contract. Giambi played for the A’s, and was a reoccurring subject in the new movie, Moneyball. Giambi also became a fan favorite while slugging with the Yankees, before he left, and the Rockies picked him up. Giambi has started several games for the Rockies this season, as Todd Helton needed some rest or was injured for some periods of the season. The biggest change Giambi has had to except, is going from his Yankee/Athletics starting almost every day, to a bench player who has become a guy you throw in when you need a big hit.
Giambi hit a respectable .260 Batting Average, and recorded 13 homers, along with 32 RBIs. During the 2011 Season, Giambi homered every 10.08 at bats, a stat that topped MLB, for any player with more than 150 at bats. Giambi only had 131 at-bats for the Rockies this year, but came though several times, with over his current three seasons with the Rockies, hitting three walk-off homers. In his time with the Rockies, Giambi hit for a .254 Average, along with 21 home runs, and 78 RBIs. Giambi also has some impressive all-time places, at 42nd on the all-time MLB home runs list, and 71st on the total all time RBIs list, as well as 39th place in the all-time walks list.
In a relatively separate story, Giambi was nominated for a GIBBY Award, or Greatness In BaseBall Yearly Award. Giambi was nominated for his three run game, in Philadelphia, against one of the best pitching teams, the Phillies. Those three bombs made Giambi the second oldest player to hit three home runs in a MLB game, at 40 years old, following Stan Musial. Musial hit three home runs at his oldest age against the Mets on July 8th, 1962, at age 41. The GIBBY Awards are given in 19 different categories yearly. Giambi’s big game is a candidate for the year’s top hitting performance. Individual awards are given to the top: starting pitcher, setup man, closer, breakout player, rookie, top everyday player, wow factor, comeback player, defensive player, postseason performer, manager, and executive. Fans as well as executives and coaches can vote for the GIBBY Awards, and fans can vote online until Dec. 4th. Fans are allowed to vote up to 25 times per category at this link: Vote for the 2011 GIBBY Awards. The awards will be announced on Dec. 16th from 7-9 PM, MT. The video feed of the award ceremony can be found on the MLB Network TV channel, or at MLB.com.
On a different story, the Rockies decided to decline an option for long time Rockies pitcher Aaron Cook. The option that the Rockies declined was a $11 Million deal, after Cook completed a $30 Million deal over the past three years. Cook, at the hight of his days was worth every bit of the option that was in his contract, but after an injury riddled 2011 Season, the Rockies are finally saying goodbye. Cook began his career with the Rockies, and has been with them ever since. Cook was kept from the amount of starts Jim Tracy would have liked from him, but the times he started were commonly unsteady and unreliable. His unfortunate stats tell the story, as he went 3-10 with a poor 6.03 ERA. Cook began the year on the sixty day disabled list, after he broke his finger in a Spring Training mishap.
Aaron Cook is the Rockies all-time wins leader, as he made his wins number 72, leading Jason Jennings, in second place by 14 wins. Jennings was a former Rockies pitcher. Cook also holds several other Rockies all time records such as innings pitched, at 1,312 1/3, as well as starts, with 206. Cook has played for the Rockies for 10 years, in which he has made a 72-68 record, and 4.53 ERA. Cook was an All-Star in 2008, the year previous to the Rockies NLCS Championship, as he 16-9 record and a 3.96 ERA. Cook is now free to negotiate with any team, including the Rockies Organization, but I think a deal between them is a little far-fetched, and would be strange.
Another well deserved award went out to Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. On Thurday, he was named to the Sporting News National League All-Star team. Tulowitzki had another career year in 2011 when he hit .304 with 30 homers and a career high 105 RBIs. Tulowitzki won the Gold Glove Award last year for his spot on defense and won the Silver Slugger for his spot on offense. He’s joined on the NL team by catcher Brian McCann of the Braves, first baseman Prince Fielder and outfielder Ryan Braun of the Brewers, second baseman Brandon Phillips of the Reds, third baseman Aramis Ramirez of the Cubs, outfielder Matt Kemp and starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, outfielder Justin Upton of the D-backs and reliever Craig Kimbrel of the Braves.
Tulo also started the All-Star Game when Jose Reyes was placed on the DL. He had the lead almost until the end until Jose Reyes’s batting average soared and he beat him out in the end. Reyes was placed on 15-day DL so Tulowitzki was given the starting position.
Tulowitzki will be a Rockies favorite for generations to come. It is always nice to have him on the Rockies.
Some people are regarding the 2011 Game 6 of the 2011 World Series as one of the best Game 6 World Series games in the recent history of Major League Baseball. I, to be honest cannot disagree with this feeling. It is not often that a World Series Game 6 comes down to one strike. Twice. Many World Series will come down to one strike, but almost never does that happen in two different innings. That game included many, many astonishing parts, with all the mistakes, excitement and some substantial luck.
Of course, all those components bring certain plays to mind. I would say that most likely the most lucky, and impactful game was open of David Freese’s swings. No, I am not talking about the game ending swing, but rather the swing that kept the game alive, and the fans in St. Louis on their toes. The play I am thinking of is David Freese’s two run triple, that “cruised” over the head of Nelson Cruz (yes, pun intended). When the ball left Freese’s bat, I was thinking ‘Did he just hit it out?’, and he almost did. It flashed through my mind later that if the ball had gone out, the game would have been much more fairy-tale . I thought about that for only seconds though, remembering not to downplay a hit worthy of an MVP.
The story of that truly magical hit could might go something like this:. A player who trades to the team he was a fan for as a kid, living in St. Louis, comes to the plate with two runners on in the bottom of the ninth. The Rangers lead the game, and the Cardinals are down to their final out. David Freese steps in the box, locked in a nd ready to go. After several pitches, and two strikes Freese connects better with ball than many can do. The ball soared into deep, deep right field. Nelson Cruz runs to the wall and leaps, missing the ball as it bounces of the wall by about a foot. The crowd goes absolutely crazy, as two runs score, and David Freese makes it all the way to third base to set the St. Louis Cardinals dial to “Deep Freese”.
Freese would not score, after getting all the way to third base, but his effort deserves an A+++ from Tony La Russa and the Cardinals fans. The game was full of errors, as both teams collectively recorded a stunning five Errors. I think everyone will remember David Freese, one way or another as the most influential player of that game. The Rangers fans, I think, along with many Cardinals fans will recall Freese for years and years to come.
I could talk about some of the many plays in the game that were important, but that would take a lot of page space, and I am not sure those plays would stay in my reader’s minds given the magnitude of the last few innings. The game was looking grim for the Cards as the Rangers lead the game 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth. What occurred is the play I recalled just above, the triple that would sent the game to extras. Freese tripled, scoring some star players of the Cardinals, Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman. The game was looking a bit better for the Cardinals as they had the home field advantage, but the fans there went quite again in the top of the 10th inning. Josh Hamilton hit a tow run bomb all the way into right center field, scoring Elvis Andrus. I don’t want to go through a list of runs scored, but there is almost no way around it. The score in the bottom of the tenth inning was 7-5 Rangers, but the Cardinals, much to the joy of greater St. Louis and Busch Stadium, would not give up. The CArdinals made the almost seemingly impossible happen, coming from behind to tie the game, and extend the game into the 11th.
The extraordinary happened in the bottom of the 11th inning, as the game went into a deep Freese, and the hometown boy David Freese hit a walk-off home run to end the game, and make Busch Stadium almost literally erupt. ALmost every Cardinal crowded home plate, and after Freese touched home, Lance Berkman even celebrated with the home plate umpire. The only thing that can be said at the end of that remarkable game is: St Louis is definitely in a: