Wednesday Rockpile: Is It Time To Pull The Plug On Jeremy Guthrie?

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 05: Starting Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie #15 of the Colorado Rockies has a meeting on the mound with catcher Wilin Rosario #20 following a two-run home run by Aaron Hill #2 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of a MLB game at Chase Field on June 5, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

It stands to reason that the game after arguably their best pitching performance of the year, Colorado's pitching would have their worst outing in a 10-0 loss. Of course, we shouldn't have been surprised -- Jeremy Guthrie was on the mound. This year Guthrie has been the worst starter that the Rockies have thrown out there, with the possible exception of Guillermo Moscoso.

This more than anything else has been the reason that Colorado is 7 games below .500. Not Guthrie in particular (no pitcher is worth -7 wins), but the fact that Guthrie was supposed to be the best pitcher in the rotation this season (or at least 1b to Jhoulys Chacin) and has performed so poorly. Okay, so Chacin being hurt/terrible was pretty bad too, but at least there was an injury to explain some of it away.

Heck, not only are the Rockies are paying Guthrie about 5 times more than the rest of their current rotation combined (read that again, sheesh), they traded away two major league assets in Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom to get him. Unfortunately for the Rockies, those assets are out-performing Guthrie by 2.5 rWAR so far.

Guthrie told Patrick Saunders after last night's shellacking that he "wouldn't be surprised if he didn't make another start", but I would be. As poorly as Guthrie has pitched this year, dollars and cents are a factor here. The Rockies will show more patience with an $8 million investment than they did with the $1 million investment (Jamie Moyer), as well they should. If nothing else, a rebound by Guthrie would allow for a trade to a contending team (preferably a team that plays in a home run suppressing home park) that could help Colorado salvage something from this disaster.

Then again, it would be pretty interesting to see how a starting rotation comprised only of minimum salary players (or within a few thousand of the minimum as Josh Outman is) would do. Considering that the only pitcher in the rotation making more than the minimum has been arguably the worst of the lot, it could be in the Rockies' best interests to let the young cheap pitchers throw those major league innings.

Or they could go back to the well with Jeff Francis. While a large part of me really likes the idea of Jeff Francis pitching for the Rockies again, does he really fit in with the long-term strategy of the team, as he'd be taking the spot of either Josh Outman (who is ready for his 2nd start of the year tonight) or another young pitcher? I guess it depends on your opinion on if the Rockies still have a good chance of making the playoffs -- or at least, it would represent a chance that Francis could provide some competent starting pitching every fifth day.

Off-Topic.

2012 MLB Draft News

In the second day of the draft, Colorado took 15 players, including Florida HS outfielder Max White and Buffalo catcher Tom Murphy. On the day, 10 picks were college players , 3 were high schoolers, and 1 was from Puerto Rico. Trey Scott of MLB.com has a description of each of Colorado's Day 2 draft picks.

Most notably, the Rockies picked Colorado prep pitcher Ryan Warner (Pine Creek) as their supplemental 3rd round selection. Normally, this is a time for posturing by potential draft picks about wanting to go to college, but Warner made it clear that he would be taking the money and signing with his favorite team. If only we could all be so lucky!

Meanwhile, 1st rounder David Dahl (the first high-schooler picked in the first round by Colorado since Chris Nelson in 2004) is excited to hit full-time in Coors Field.

Other News

Troy Tulowitzki leads NL shortstops in All-Star balloting, but Carlos Gonzalez is only 13th among outfielders. I wouldn't be surprised if Gonzalez got in as a reserve, but there are a lot of outfielders having good seasons this year.

Apparently, the Rockies are drawing on the inspiration provided by a cardboard cutout of Justin Bieber to get their swag on. Of course they are.

SB Nation's Al Yellon writes about TV deals expiring for national providers -- and how this might be an ideal time to reconsider the draconian MLB blackout policy.

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