June 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers designated hitter Michael Young (right) slides safely to second base for a double ahead of the throw to Colorado Rockies shortstop Jonathan Herrera (left) at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Rockies defeated the Rangers 11-7. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE
Both Jerry Crasnick at ESPN and Troy Renck at the Denver Post have articles about the return of pre-humidor levels of offense at Coors Field, a wildly divergent from the past few years phenomenon that's getting used a bit as a scapegoat by the front office to explain 2012's misery. There's no doubt some truth there, but the bigger issue with this season's team is that too many key components are simply unready for competitive MLB play.
As it happens, Renck agrees, suggesting more playing time for young players as the season continues. I think we're in disagreement about Josh Outman, however, who Renck thinks should be replaced in the rotation by Drew Pomeranz. As Outman showed for four innings against the majors' best offense yesterday, he has an ability to get through an MLB line-up twice without difficulty, it's the third time around that's a final hold-up. While some might see this as a sign that he's best suited for long relief, or some bizarre 75 pitch starter limit, I see it as him coming closer to a final step into being an effective starter, and falling into a pretty standard type of MLB player, the late blooming LHP (Jorge De La Rosa would be an example.)
I think the better solution is to continue to monitor Outman's progress as though he's just another promising young starter that's still struggling for that last step.
Logan Burdine points out the Rockies horrendous defensive issues this season. It's tricky to separate from the park effects, and I actually wonder if defensive regression at Coors Field might be playing a factor in what we're seeing as park effect, but even on the road there's no denying that Rockies fielders are giving up more bases than they should be. Rockies pitchers have allowed 314 hits on the road thus far, the same as the New York Mets, but whereas the Mets have given up just 53 doubles, the Rockies have allowed an MLB leading 85. This from the one team that doesn't have to visit Coors Field and have those figures included in their road stats. Improving the team's outfield defense needs to be made a priority for the remainder of the season, as if it remains this bad in 2013, the team will once again be a disappointment. I'm sure pitchers like Outman would appreciate even league median help.