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Monday Morning Rockpile:

Troy Renck has a new mailbag and answers a question about pitching coaches and Leo Mazzone:

Why is it that Leo Mazzone hasn't caught onto a team since he was let go from Baltimore? With the future of the rotation needing direction (Ubaldo Jimenez, Franklin Morales, Greg Reynolds), could you see the Rockies shaking things up by replacing Bob Apodaca with Mazzone?
-- Chad, Kearney, Neb.

Chad - Anytime a team struggles, there are understandable calls for new coaches. And Leo Mazzone is considered one of the best. For starters, I don't see Apodaca going anywhere. Since he filled out his first staff for the 2003 season, manager Clint Hurdle has replaced only one coach based on performance -- hitting instructor Duane Espy after the 2006 season. Apodaca has known Hurdle for nearly 30 years and has coached for him at both the minor and major league levels. Hurdle is loyal to him. Apodaca, in my opinion, has grown into the job, communicating better by communicating less. He's the same coach that led the Rockies to their lowest ERA ever last season.


That last sentence before I cut off the answer is just sitting out there alone in a pond. Let's also take a look at what Apodaca's done each season since he started his job with the Rockies:

  • 2003: 5.51 R/G (worst in the NL), 5.20 ERA (worst in the NL), 95 ERA+ (7th worst in the NL)
  • 2004: 5.70 R/G (worst in the NL), 5.54 ERA (worst in the NL), 89 ERA+ (2nd worst in the NL)
  • 2005: 5.32 R/G (2nd worst in the NL), 5.13 ERA (2nd worst in the NL), 93 ERA+ (tied for 3rd worst in the NL)
  • 2006: 5.01 R/G (tied for 4th worst in the NL), 4.66 ERA (4th worst in the NL), 105 ERA+ (tied for 3rd best in the NL)
  • 2007: 4.65 R/G (8th best in the NL), 4.32 ERA (8th best in the NL), 111 ERA+ (3rd best in the NL)
  • 2008 (through 126 games): 5.19 R/G (2nd worst in the NL), 4.88 ERA (2nd worst in the NL), 95 ERA+ (6th worst in the NL)

So, yeah, he is the coach who led the Rockies to their lowest ERA ever in a season, but he's also consistently led a pitching staff that ranked at the bottom of the league. Not that we didn't already know that. Apparently Hurdle's loyalty blinds him to what's actually going on.

Renck also fills us in on some attendance numbers and tackles a question about when the best time to let a manager go.

Patrick Saunders sees moving Jorge De La Rosa back into the rotation as a move for 2009:

The decision to go with De la Rosa was made as much for 2009 as for the present. De La Rosa is eligible for arbitration this winter and the Rockies want to get a long look at him.

Might want to pencil in JDLR's name as a guy battling for a rotation spot come next spring.

Terry Frei muses on the Rockies's triumvirate of power, hoping that regime change is a complete one if things don't change for the franchise.