So after a completely disheartening 8 game losing streak, the wave of losing finally broke and has given us what hopes to be the beginning of a nice steady upturn that at the very least puts us back in some semblance of winning ways. The thoughts from some are that we are done, that the losing streak put all 8 nails in the coffin of the 2010 season, and that anything we do here is just death throes. There's some who think that the losing streak was just the conglomeration of the bumps and bruises of baseball all rolled into one horrible road trip.
We have 2 more games at home, and as it stands, the worst we can do is finish at .500 ball. Sweeping the Giants at home would probably give us some solid momentum going into the road trip, and that would be for the absolute best, because this road trip WILL be the make-or-break of this season.
Another thought process is that sitting pat at the deadline was a sure sign that the organization has decided the season is finished. That by not acquiring somebody of the caliber of Roy Oswalt or Adam Dunn, the team just doesn't have the oomph that we need to really be taken seriously by our division rivals, who all made moves to improve their organization.
Is it possible, though, that sitting pat at the deadline IS a way of improving the team without making a move?
Think about it this way, and a lot of this will be reiteration of yesterday's Rockpile, but darnit, I want to write too.. The Dodgers moved Blake Dewitt, James McDonald, Andrew Lambo, along with a large amount of other minor league talent to acquire one big rental player (Ted Lilly) and 3 players (potentially) under 2011 control (Octavio Dotel, Scott Podsednik, and Ryan Theriot). Granted, McDonald may never really pan out, and Lambo is still a ways away, but this could leave them with a lot of question marks past this season (for example, if they don't resign Lilly, they still have that rotation spot as a question, not to mention the fact that Hiroki Kuroda and Vicente Padilla will be free agents). They sacrificed a decent chunk of the future to make a big push for 2010, and this looks very much to be a "window of opportunity" move, if you consider the McCourt's divorce and financial insanity.
The Rockies, however, aren't in that same spot. We don't have any massively glaring NEEDS to fill. We still have the best rotation in the NL (per Fangraphs WAR), 2nd best bullpen, and a top-5 lineup. The gloves could use some work, but that's also assuming that UZR is to be trusted. Any moves we needed to make weren't really feasible and weren't guaranteed to improve the club. The obvious position to address would be 2B, but when you think about the fact that Ryan Theriot might have been our best potential acquisition, I'm not too horribly excited about trading talent for a guy who very well might not even match our current production from the position (Ryan Theriot wRC+: 74; Jonathan Herrera: 72; Clint Barmes: 80; Eric Young Jr: 97), and that's not even factoring in the fact that our current gloves far outweigh Theriot's.
We could complain about the hole in the rotation that seems to move slots every week or so, but even then, we have a potential replacement pitching 90 minutes down the road in Jhoulys Chacin (if our hands are really forced). Nobody was willing to give us a good return on Aaron Cook, and there's really no urgency in trading him.
When you consider Brad Hawpe as being one of our primary trade chips, we're somewhat thrown back in time about 2 years, when Todd Helton's career was in jeopardy due to his trick back. Garrett Atkins was retained as the potential incumbent, but he proved to be unneeded. The difference between Hawpe and Atkins is that Atkins was on a steady decline since 2008, and the holes in Brad Hawpe's 2010 have been mostly injury-related. He's posted nearly a 1.200 OPS the past 7 days, and while that can't really be something to stand on too securely, it's something to think about - maybe he is adjusting to the position and finding a new groove to fit into. Not moving Hawpe basically gives us a guaranteed #2 option if Helton proves that it's time to hang 'em up.
Moving Joe Beimel or Randy Flores wouldn't have been a guaranteed success, either. Teams love them some left-handed pitching, but not enough, apparently, to bring back a return better than the guys we already have roaming AAA. They are inexpensive and are team-friendly players, so trading either of them just for the sake of trading them seems completely pointless.
Allow me to recap and summarize: We didn't move Hawpe because there wasn't a good return offered and we have no idea what's left of Todd Helton - a 1B-go-round circus wouldn't help the team. Moving Cook would be a blatant salary dump and probably be a rough move as far as clubhouse/player morale goes. Nobody would offer anything real for Beimel or Flores, and they're pretty cheap anyhow, so why not just keep them? Acquiring Ryan Theriot would have cost us warm bodies for somebody who probably wouldn't outperform anyone we currently have.
So while we missed out on the glitz and glamor of the trade deadline, we also didn't break up the 2012 rotation or put ourselves at a disadvantage as far as our own depth goes.
Couple of links post-jump
A quick beat-sheet from Jimmy Armstrong. Dexter Fowler MIGHT hit the DL, after sustaining hip and rib contusions while robbing Alfonso Soriano of a game-tying home run. He could get a precautionary X-ray/MRI today. We'll have more when we get it.
Armstrong also mentions that the team is 3-0 with Clint Barmes in the 2-hole.
Finally, this nugget:
Your eye-opening Carlos Gonzalez stat du jour: According to Stats LLC, he is the only left-handed hitter to hit for the cycle solely against left-handed pitchers since Stats began recording the data in 1974. CarGo hit for the cycle Saturday night, including a walkoff homer in the ninth.
While Joey Votto has already retaken the lead, it should just be noted that Carlos Gonzalez is pretty much awesome.
Fun fact: Carlos Gonzalez has more hits in fewer plate appearances than Votto. Cargo is hitting at a .300 H/PA rate, while Votto is only at .273. Shows how much a 13.8 BB% beats a 4.6 BB%. Hey, Carlos: Take a freaking walk sometimes too, it'll help inflate that average a bit!