Last night, the Rockies gave away an opportunity to go up 1.5 games in the Wild Card standings, as the bullpen had a large hand in squandering a three run lead to the Diamondbacks--ultimately losing 6-5.
This debacle came after calling up Ryan Speier to replace Joel Peralta yesterday, and it may be that the Rockies are not done shuffling their pen. How the Rockies should go about this has been a hot topic for the Purple Row community, with several FanPosts devoted to the issue.
Dave Krieger believes that games like last night increase the likelihood of the Rockies acquiring a set-up man to shore up the bullpen. He mentions George Sherrill (as has PR) and Rafael Betancourt as possibilities. Here's Krieger's conclusion:
Not wanting to mortgage the future is one thing. Not wanting to trade any prospects at all, even for the one piece that might get you into the postseason, is something else.
If the Rocks are serious about the wild-card race, they will go get a setup man in the next nine days. In games like Tuesday night's, baseball is showing them their weak link as clearly as it can.
I tend to disagree with Krieger and those saying that we need to add a bullpen arm through trade. Instead, I'm in the camp of Redhawk and others who believe that there is a homegrown solution to this problem. And contrary to this news bulletin, it's not Mike Timlin (though in the notes Jim Tracy confirms that Seth Smith is his starting left-fielder).
In my opinion, the Rockies' bullpen booster shot should be Esmil Rogers or Samuel Deduno--both starting pitching prospects who are putting up great numbers (Rogers in AA and AAA and Deduno in AA), have power arms, and are already located on the Rockies' 40 man roster. Are they the key to healing the Rockies' bullpen woes? Maybe not, but they're a better alternative to trading two top prospects for a middling reliever performing over his head (like Sherrill) or some of the pitchers the Rockies have been trotting out there recently (I'm looking at you, Joel Peralta, Randy Flores, and Matt Belisle--as well as current pitchers Ryan Speier, Matt Daley, and Josh Fogg).
Converting these guys from starters to relievers is much easier than the reverse, and has been a relative success in the case of Franklin Morales this year. Why have these power arms if you're not going to use them?
Putting on my optimist hat:
We do still lead the NL Wild Card standings by 0.5 games--so we've got that going for us, which is nice. In addition, BP gives us a 60% chance at the playoffs while CBS ranks us 7th in their power rankings.
Finally, the Rockies' top Latin America signing, 16 year old shortstop (and $550,000 man) Rosel Herrera worked out at Coors Field and flashed his tools.