All season long many here, and I've been inclined to believe them, have been pressing the point that the Rockies can't rely on miracle runs from
to squeak into the playoffs at the end of the season. But.., uhm, yeah, that plan, the one with a smooth and easy ride to the team's first division title ever seems to have derailed slightly. Relying on said miracle is once again all we have left for 2010. So uh, yeah, carry on with the miracle boys. There's no pressure anymore, I don't think anybody's expecting much from you now.
In the meantime, the pragmatists among us (this should hopefully include Dan O'Dowd, while Jim Tracy can remain in the hopeless optimist camp) start looking to 2011, and for this a hard look at what's handicapping the franchise needs to be considered.
Offense has been an issue all season, no? Here's the Rockies MLB rank in wOBA in the eight non-pitcher positions:
- Catcher: 1
- First base: 18
- Second base: 22
- Shortstop: 1
- Third base: 12
- Right field: 23
- Center field: 12
- Left field: 5
Let me be very blunt. If the Rockies fail to make the playoffs in 2010, it will be because three of their veterans they were relying on to be better than the naysayers were claiming they'd be, failed to even be mediocre offensively. People are getting on Todd Helton a lot this year, but to me, Brad Hawpe is the biggest contributor to the team's current position.
If we're looking at 2011, the Rockies simply can't afford to be nostalgic about all three of the Helton/Hawpe/Barmes trio anymore and must seek out consistent league average or above offense for a couple of these positions. I think the Rockies can be safe keeping one nostalgic laggard, and given his face of the franchise status, that would seemingly be Helton, but in order to do so they need to excise Hawpe and Barmes, or at the very least reduce the latter's role to utility. I know this is stuff many of us have been calling for, but until Hawpe's offensive breakdown, it wasn't as necessary for the team's playoff chances as it's become since.
What this means is that O'Dowd is absolutely correct in shopping Hawpe ahead of this weekend's trade deadline, and he should probably take the best available offer so long as it's a more likely MLB contribution than a typical supplemental round draft pick.
- Rockies season in peril after eighth straight loss - Remember a few weeks ago when Troy Renck wrote that the Rockies needed to play better against the bad teams? Yeah, about that...
- Rockies plagued by harsh Central Division blues - guess which is the worst division in baseball this season.
- Helton begins rehab assignment Friday in Casper - Todd, even though the season is in post apocalyptic ruin and some Rockies fans have resorted to cannibalism to survive, please keep Tina Turner's advice in mind and just come back healthy. We'll take you as you are.
- Rockies evaluate whether to be buyers or sellers - same goes for you O'Dowd. Just make the team as strong as you can without weakening our hope for the next few years.
- Report: Rockies more likely to be sellers - and as Steve Foster indicates from a Ken Rosenthal report, that previous evaluation has been given much clarity the last two days. Honestly, I think this will be a boon to the team and could wind up helping us this year as well as next if these reports are true. I'll miss the three players being shopped (Hawpe, Aaron Cook, Joe Beimel) and they definitely have their places in Rockies history (the first two it should be obvious why, Beimel just for his official Rox robe and Johnny Cash).