DENVER, CO - JULY 2: Pitcher Greg Reynolds #37 of the Colorado Rockies warms up prior to the game against the Kansas City Royals at Coors Field on July 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images)
The Colorado Rockies traded former No. 2 overall pick RHP Greg Reynolds to the Texas Rangers for , the 26-year-old son of manager Jim Tracy. It marks the end of a long, strange journey for the big man, the Rockies, and fans.
I remember clearly the day the Rockies drafted Reynolds. I had to go to jury duty that day. Oh, great, miss hearing who the Rockies are going to take with the No. 2 pick! I was hoping for North Carolina LHP Andrew Miller -- hey, lefties need to support one another. But then there were reports that Miller didn't want to join the Rockies because that USA Today article about the Rockies being a "Christian" ball club was still stirring people.
Whatever. I was thinking I would be fine with whomever the Rockies drafted. Surely Dan O'Dowd and his scouts would make the right decision.Jury duty that day, a Tuesday, was a total waste. The lawyers weren't able to make it to the court house so we were let go early. It was still early in the day but late enough that I wasn't going to get back in time for the start of the draft. It was a good thing; I would likely have bashed my computer upon hearing, "The Colorado Rockies draft ID No. (XXXXXX), right-handed pitcher Greg Reynolds, Stanford University." The Rockies are drafting a one-year wonder who is big and beat Tim Lincecum during the season? One win doesn't make a season, but Dan O'Dowd was at that game in Seattle, as the Denver Post's Troy Renck reminded us two years later during Reynolds' 2008 time with the Rockies:
"It was an electric atmosphere. Reynolds really showed up from a competitive standpoint," O'Dowd said. "Our guys felt like over the long haul that they liked his size and how clean his delivery was. There's no question he would have been up last season before (Ubaldo) Jimenez and (Franklin) Morales in our pecking order if not for his shoulder injury."
The entire 2006 draft turned into wasted opportunities. The selection of David Christensen in the second actually confused me more than Reynolds' selection. Christensen was a clear predraft selection that ultimately faltered, as I suspected he would. The best pick of that draft class was Andrew Cashner, and he went back to school before being drafted by the Chicago Cubs two years later in the first round. Among those the Rockies drafted and signed that year, Michael McKenry, who is now in Pittsburgh. All kinds of suck in that draft.
And so we know the rest of the Reynolds story. He comes back from his shoulder injury in 2007 to reach the majors in May 2008. The season was turning south fast so Reynolds was rushed to the majors and was praised for his composure in his starts. Composure. That's like praise a hockey player constantly for his puck poise but does nothing to impact the game.
Reynolds went 2-8 in 14 games (13 starts) with an 8.13 ERA. That's bad, y'know. He allowed 14 home runs in 62 innings (17.7% rate). Ugh. Then injuries struck him over the next couple of years until the 2011 season. Ubaldo Jimenez goes on the disabled list after he pitches injured in Opening Day (thank you very much for ruining my first game ever at Coors Field), allowing Reynolds to be back in the majors.
But all was not better. Despite being 3-0 (all he did was win!), Reynolds finished with a 6.19 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. He was, as Junction Rox wrote in a player review, the Rockies' very own Tim Tebow.
I guess, in the end, I'm just glad that it's over. It's finally over (and I don't want to look at this page ever again, sorted by WAR).
(Oh, and trading for Jim Tracy's son must be the most Jim Tracy thing ever.)