I decided that what I'll be doing for an end of season review this October is going through all the players who have made an appearance in a Rockies uniform this year and evaluating how they performed. Grades will be based on how well they filled out the role they were expected to play at the beginning of the season or when they were acquired. I'm going to start by looking at the players that are no longer with the team, either by cut, trade or injury, or also a couple who are on the 40-man roster but are not expected to make any further appearances with the team in the last week or so of the season.
Sunny Kim - F After performing decently for us in the last half of 2005, Kim was expected to compete for the fifth starter spot or at least a long relief role right out of Spring Training. He didn't, but thanks to injury he got the job anyway. The horror. In six appearances and seven innings with the Rockies, Kim allowed fifteen runs, twenty-five base runners and was a prime cause of global warming. Okay, so that last fact is still in dispute, but what's not in dispute that he was sent to the Springs to work things out and it took him most a season to do so, by which time we didn't need him anymore anyway. As a kind hearted professor, I will give Kim leniency and raise his grade to a passing D- if the "future considerations" we get from Cincinnati in trading him merit anything worthwhile.
Zach Day - F Much like Kim, Congress and everything else we get from Washington, what at first seems like a pretty good deal can quickly turn sour. Add Day to that category. In three starts with the Rockies at the beginning of the season he was abysmal. So abysmal that no other team would touch him and we let him go for nada. Day's intended role was to compete with Sunny and Josh Fogg for the back end of the rotation, but like Sunny he didn't really make much of that competition.
Scott Dohmann - D Scott struggled with his control with the Rockies before he was traded to the Royals along with Ryan Shealy for Jeremy Affeldt and Denny Bautista. In early returns out of the bullpen he was quickly overtaken by the stronger performing Ramon Ramirez and David Cortes leaving him on the outside of the right handed reliever mix and he stopped getting innings. In a mid-season both he and Cortes were sent down to the Springs to make room for the emerging Manny Corpas. Once expendable, Dohmann was used to help pry Bautista from the Royals.
Miguel Ascencio - C Technically he's still with the organization, but Ascencio likely pitched his last with the Rockies in April. His performance with the team in three appearnces and seven and two thirds innings wasn't bad, it just wasn't good enough to overtake Rami's breakout year. In retrospect, I think the Rox would have been wise to more seriously consider Ascencio for an early season starting role as we waited for BK to return. It would have avoided the disaster of Day, who clearly wasn't on from the get go.
David Cortes - C+ Cortes wasn't too bad out of the pen in the first half and had some shining moments as the Rockies raced to an early surge. When things started to fall apart, however, the team decided to go with Corpas instead. Wise choice. In nearly an identical amount of innings and appearances Corpas has almost halved Cortes' ERA (2.25 to 4.30) and has nearly twice as many K's (26 to 14). Having the out pitch is what really separates these two, Corpas can get the K when he needs it, Cortes can't.
Mike DeJean - Incomplete Nice way to make a pay check: two games, one and two thirds innings, $1.15 million dollars. That's what the Darren Dreifort makin some money program can do for you, folks. Operators are standing by.
Ryan Shealy - C- Nine AB's, two hits, both doubles. Really the sample size is too small to evaluate him by his Rockies plate appearances, but he also gets measured by the retrun he got in trade. Jeremy Affeldt and Denny Bautista. So far the results arent spectacular for this season, but this is another grade I might have to revisit in 2007.
Omar Quintanilla - F Twice now in two seasons Q's gotten cups of coffee in the bigs and failed to make anything positive of them. Hopefully Dan O'Dowd is getting a restraining order placed on Billy Beane and any middle infield prospects he might have in his possession.
Jorge Piedra - F I actually wish Jorge and his family the best, but his 59 AB season with the Rockies was truly awful. Sadly, there's a taint and a spectre over Piedra with the rest of the league due to his positive performance enhancing drug test last year, which might mean his MLB career ended striking out for JJ at Dodger Stadium on August 10.
Eli Marrero - B+ How good was Marrero for the Rockies? In April he was amazing and after that he was mediocre to bad at the plate for a month, but then on June 10 he gave us one more sweet gift in netting Kaz Matsui straight up in a trade with the Mets. The combined line for the two this season thus far:
149 AB, .295/.371/.463, 24 R, 25 RBI, 10 SB, 1 CS
For a regular player in the middle of the infield those are pretty good numbers, for a bench player they're fantastic. I'll have more on Kaz another day.
Miguel Ojeda - C For a backup catcher who wasn't even necessarily supposed to be on the team at the beginning of the year, Ojeda performed as well as could be expected. We got cash for him from Texas.
Jason Smith - D+ Another replacement player who performed pretty much as a replacement player should. Smith didn't get us anything upon his release in August however, and as part of the general inadequacy of our post-April bench his score is lowered a bit.
Danny Ardoin - F-- Ardoin's defense couldn't come close to making up for the sinkhole his appearance would make in the lineup. In one final cruel stab, he couldn't even net us some decent pitching prospects from the Mets through trade, getting claimed off waivers by Baltimore instead.
Luis A Gonzalez - D While not as truly abysmal as others on this list, Luis was the only hitter expected to get major at bats and was pencilled in as the starter at second before the season began. Luis was anticipated to be an upgrade over Aaron Miles but proved merely his equal. Eventually with a surge from Jamey Carroll he was permanently benched and never regained his past form as a super utility player. With Carroll and Kaz Matsui playing so well at second this season, and with Troy Tulowitzki possibly taking over for Clint Barmes at shortstop, there's a chance that the team will look to move Gonzalez in the offseason. It's questionable whether he'll return with the Rockies in 2007.