Saturday Rockpile: How the Rockies Should Put Their Young Assets to Proper Use

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 06: Tyler Colvin #21 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 6, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Last night was one of the few times this season that we've been reminded of some of the good young assets this team has. Assets like Drew Pomeranz, whose ERA+ now sits at 154 after tossing 6.1 innings of one-hit ball. Assets like Tyler Colvin, whose OPS+ of 143 now only trails Carlos Gonzalez (and by a slight amount, at that) for the team lead. Assets like Dexter Fowler, who hit an impressive opposite-field shot off of Tom Gorzelanny and sports his own high OPS+ (130). Hell, even assets like Rex Brothers who, despite getting lit up by four consecutive batters (even the out was crushed), remains a very quality bullpen arm going forward, as his career 13 K/9 would suggest.

This team does have some good young pieces, and everyone knows that every good team generally always has a mix of good young talent and role-playing veterans. I believe that's what Dan O'Dowd and the Rockies brass tried to accomplish this year, but it failed. It failed, and they need to come to terms with the fact that it failed. As the team sits at 19 games below .500, now is the time to begin reassessing things. They have no shot at winning this season. Especially now that Juan Nicasio will likely be out for the season (if the team handles the situation correctly, at least) after having surgery on his knee later this month. As Keith Law mentioned yesterday in his chat, this team, as currently constructed, will not be winning anything anytime soon.

So where do we go from here? The Rockies have said publicly that Michael Cuddyer is part of the solution going forward. Look, by all accounts, he's a stand-up guy. But what is the "solution?" His appearance on the cover of Rockies Magazine this month? If you're a team in need of a rebuild (even if it's not necessarily a full-blown rebuild, which this is not, in my opinion), why would you willingly say that about a guy who makes $10 million a year and is decidedly league-average? His production will likely only decline from here, so now you're left with an Aubrey Huff situation, as Cuddyer is currently robbing playing time from a combination of Fowler and Colvin as Huff is/was of Brandon Belt. Cuddyer, of course, is nowhere near the asshole that Huff is, but from a pure baseball prospective, it's pretty much the same thing. It's not like Cuddyer isn't drawing interest from other clubs, either; many people have said the Rockies won't listen to calls on him.

O'Dowd should cut his losses, realize the veteranny clubhouse culture thing didn't work, and try to salvage some (or all) of that money, while freeing up time for young players to continue to thrive. With the team in its current situation, I'd be saying this even if Colvin wasn't red-hot (1.426 OPS, 6 HR in his last 10 games). It just does not make sense to have that guy on the roster. Same goes for Jason Giambi, who isn't actually providing ANY value to the club at the moment. Even with my pleas, it's doubtful that Cuddyer and Giambi will be going anywhere, unfortunately. However, the club could ultimately decide to deal Marco Scutaro, Jeremy Guthrie, and Ramon Hernandez (who will be back with the big club after the All-Star break, most likely). I only say that, though, because O'Dowd hasn't come out and said that he won't deal those guys. As they say, we shall see...

More links after the jump...

Moss: Edwar Cabrera bounces back from dismal showing at Coors Field - The Denver Post
Irv Moss details Edwar Cabrera's ridiculously dominating Triple-A debut in which he struck out 13 batters. Once Cabrera is actually ready to pitch in the major leagues, he has a very good chance to be a solid #4 guy in a rotation. That change-up is just too big-league, so any command of the fastball will result in good things like what happened earlier in the week in Sacramento.

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