After last night's stunning (to me, at least) 4-3 loss to the Diamondbacks, I'm going all Negative Nancy on everyone and stating that I believe the season is over for the 2010 Rockies. I'll keep watching, as there are many, many other beauties to watching this team (and baseball, in general) besides knowing they're in the playoff hunt. But, as far as contending for the division, or even the wild card, in my opinion the Rox buried themselves for good last night.
Am I bummed about it? Absolutely, but I also hold out a ton of hope for the future, and you should too. Last year was NOT this team's last rendezvous, I can guarantee you that. However, with the possibility of at least another four key members of our 2007 run departing after this season, changes will be in order. I have no reason to believe that Dan O'Dowd and the Rockies' brass won't make the best decisions in doing so, either. But, until then, say goodbye to 2010. It has been fun, it has been miserable, and it has certainly been everywhere in between. There are just too damn many inexplicably soul-crushing things that have happened to this team lately, and I don't think they're going to recover. To the links...
Kiszla: Time for Helton to hang 'em up - The Denver Post
Mark Kiszla's birthday present for Todd Helton was a piece on how the greatest Rockie of all-time should put down his bat for good. Kiszla has a lot of nice things to say about Todd, and they're all warranted. However, it's possible that his urging of Helton to give it up may be, as well. The guy's back doesn't seem to allow him to produce at a level that he's comfortable with, and being a prideful guy, I don't know that he'll want to stick around much longer if he can't contribute like he's accustomed to doing. My personal opinion is that he probably should give it up. He looks like he's in complete agony every time he swings the bat, and thus, has had a lot of downright awkward-looking at-bats this season. He doesn't hit the ball with much authority anymore, and he strikes out way more now than he ever has in his career, possibility with the exception of his rookie season.
With that being said, my gut feeling is that Helton will be back in 2011 to try giving it one last shot. There's no way he'll be back after that if next year is anything like this year, though.
More links after the jump...
The Rockies' 2011 Rotation: MLB Rumors - MLBTradeRumors.com
Ben Nicholson-Smith at MLBTR discusses possibilities for the Rockies' 2011 rotation. My guess is that it will look a lot like this year's - as in, it will be Ubaldo Jimenez, Jason Hammel, Jhoulys Chacin, Jeff Francis, and Aaron Cook. Francis, provided he can show he's healthy, has pitched like he's worth every penny of his $7 million option. Cook will be looking to get back to form. However, they're going to need some depth in the event that something happens to one or both of those guys - or anyone else, for that matter. I think (hope) that Rogers ends up in the bullpen, and nobody else in the system is close enough to the big league level to be a factor when the beginning of next season comes around.
Dan O'Dowd will probably do his usual searching of the scrap bin for possible reclamation projects instead of spending big money on a free agent like Cliff Lee (or even Jorge De La Rosa, for that matter). I can't say I blame him, though I believe there needs to be some money spent to upgrade the offense.
Tracy: Hawpe could still be in team's future - The Denver Post
This could be potentially awkward for all of us sentimentalists who have been waxing poetic about Brad Hawpe over the past few days. But, if he can help the team, there's no reason not to try bringing him back - but, as Renck says, it would have to be at a lower salary than what he made this year. Also in that piece, Carlos Gonzalez is making progress and likely won't end up on the DL, Jeff Francis may start throwing off a mound as soon as today, and Jim Tracy had some nice things to say about rookie Matt Reynolds.
Giants Could Pick Up OF Hawpe
Hawpe appears to be on the Giants' radar, according to CSN Bay Area's Mychael Urban. The Giants already face a few roster constraints, so it may not be entirely possible at this point. However, he would be a nice pickup for a team that has a propensity for struggling offensively.
Morales showing signs of improvement | Inside the Colorado Rockies
Jack Etkin checks in with a piece about Franklin Morales' recent improvement in Colorado Springs. He still needs to cut down on his walks, but he strikes out more than a batter per inning. He may never show completely adequate control, but he's still a more-than-viable LOOGY option, at the very least, for the major league club. In fact, Morales will likely get the call from Jim Tracy in a few days when he decides to add another bullpen arm to replace Randy Flores.
Setback breaks win-loss streak - The Denver Post
As pathetic as the "streak" was I would have liked to see it continue (at least for one more day for obvious reasons), rather than breaking it in such heart-grinding fashion.