Blake Street Stroll: Is the Rockies front office serious about contention?

Is a Herrera for LeMahieu swap on the horizon? - Thearon W. Henderson

Some Rockies fans have been hesitant to trust the front office's desire to put a winner on the field. Should that perception change for this season?

It's no secret that there are factions of Rockies fans that believe and may always believe that the Rockies front office does not always have winning as their top priority. They question everything from roster moves and coaching decisions to loyalty and willingness to spend big money in free agency. Whether the perception is valid or not is irrelevant to me at this point. I believe that Rockies fans should trust that the organization is clearly trying to win this year.

This off-season was not one in which the Rockies made any significant moves. They acquired Wilton Lopez, Reid Brignac, and Jon Garland (just naming players that are on the club). Moves that showed the confidence the franchise had in the talent that already existed here in Colorado, a smart move in my opinion. As many believed, health was the key for the Rockies going forward and so-far-so-good.

But here's why I believe the Rockies really are trying to win this year from an organizational standpoint. First, was the move to send down Chris Volstad and call up Josh Outman. Volstad wasn't particularly sharp out of the gate so the Rockies quickly brought up Outman who had been pitching very well in the minors. This isn't an alarming move by any stretch, but it showed early in the season that if there are people out preforming you elsewhere in the minors your seat could start to get hot. A healthy fear for less marquee players to have.

Next, was the move to DFA Chris Nelson and bring up Nolan Arenado. The Rockies weren't exactly doing terrible with Nelson and it wasn't a move that necessarily screamed "make this move now or else!" Had the Rockies given Nelson another week or two to regain some traction and he did, I don't know that too many fans would be upset. Sure, Arenado seems to be ready, but giving him another couple weeks in the minors and giving Nelson a little bit longer wouldn't be an unprecedented move by any means. Instead, the Rockies acted and gave manager Walt Weiss what they felt was the best possible lineup by bringing up Arenado. A move that shows a desire to win.

Then we have the low-risk high-reward signing of Roy Oswalt. Oswalt is the type of guy that the Rockies have no business to sign unless they are trying to win and win now. He's 35 years old and signing him is clearly a move that shows the Rockies want to make sure they have MLB ready talent waiting in the wings in case of injury or failure from the big league club. They could have easily relied on the continued development of Drew Pomeranz and Tyler Chatwood or said that they already had an established veteran in Aaron Cook. Signing Oswalt says to me that the Rockies really believe in this team this year.

There are just two moves left out there that I would like to see happen for the Rockies to convince me that they are really trying to put the best possible team on the field. Send down Jonathan Herrera and bring up D.J. LeMahieu, or Tyler Colvin. Another option would be to send down both Herrera and Brignac and bring up LeMahieu and Colvin, however, the Rockies probably don't trust D.J. to play SS in Tulo's absence. Come up with your own scenario here, but I do think somebody from Triple-A, whether it's Colvin, LeMahieu, or Blackmon, deserves to be called up.

The other move I would like to see is to replace either Nicasio or Francis with Pomeranz and/or Chatwood. Nicasio might just need a minor league tune-up, but he needs to find a way to get more length out of his starts. Francis just doesn't have the stuff anymore that makes me believe he can consistently get it done. He can still have his control freak moments where he makes an opposing team look off-balance all night, but I am in favor of potential at this point. Francis is a known commodity that might be serviceable at best right now. Chatwood and Pomeranz could be electric if they continue to figure things out and they provide the Rockies the better option going forward.

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