The Rockies have narrowed in on six candidates, but the truth is clear that their real decision is down to a much smaller sample of choices. Also, don't count on Jorge De La Rosa being 2013's salvation just yet.
Patrick Saunders reports that the Rockies are heading into the evaluation stage of their managerial search and will decide which one of six interviewees will lead the team in 2013. It's actually likely one of three internal candidates, given that the three outside candidates mentioned Sunday that the Rockies have reached out to, Matt Williams, Jerry Manuel and Pete Mackanin, aren't likely to top anybody's list this year. The Rockies supposedly had interest in the Giants Ron Wotus, but have not interviewed him, and may not be allowed to by San Francisco, possibly because the Giants are cheating and they don't want word of how they're doing it to spread around. Kidding. Stupid Giants. But I really do hope the Rockies interview Wotus before getting to this interview stage.
If the Rockies don't add Wotus or a more serious threat to the internal choices, the press reports on the various candidate interviews would indicate that leaves the Rockies basically with a Jason Giambi vs. Walt Weiss decision, which is probably where most of us who've followed the team closely over the years would have guessed the front office would end up at anyway. Both Weiss and Giambi are popular with the press and players, both are familiar with the organization, and since both played with the Rockies, fans will be more sympathetic to their candidacies than they would be with Tom Runnells.
One thing that should be made clear, the manager, whoever it is, won't fix this team. They can help with certain aspects that the Rockies have been lacking severely in, but expectations should be kept pretty low for 2013 without signs of a significant talent shifts on and off the field. It is apparent that the Rockies need more than a manager with an "edge" (from Troy Renck's article today) to compete with the world champion Giants and the $200 million payroll Dodgers, or even the Diamondbacks, who have pitching talent coming out the ears and are stabilizing a young lineup. Having simply an edge doesn't get you very far in this modern game, where intelligent teams like the Giants can slowly overwhelm you with their superiority on a host of small parts of the game that teams like the Rockies seem to take for granted.
As yesterday's post by Greg Stanwood pointed out, Jorge De La Rosa did the expected and exercised his player option and will be returning to the Rockies in 2013. In reference to the talent shift above, the Rockies absolutely need a healthy and effective JDLR to start closing the gap with the leaders in the division, and there's no guarantee they'll get this. This is part of why expectations for next year can't get raised too high, as in order to be competitive again, several pitchers will have to elevate their games to points that they haven't been to for awhile, if at all. While a bit unlikely, the possibility that the JDLR of 2012 will be what De La Rosa is going forward has to be kept accounted for in any projection.