It's the last week of August (essentially), the Colorado Rockies are sitting at 63-68, a mere 9.0 games behind the 1st place Diamondbacks and 6.5 behind the Giants. Yet this week has been somewhat crazy, with rumors flying, suddenly competent baseball being played (well, for the most part), new players being brought in, it's just crazy.
So the first lesson we've learned is that this organization seems to think they're still in it. Bringing in any sort of new talent and putting in a waiver claim on another organization's best pitcher (and another's star-caliber 3B) are tell tale signs of an organization that hasn't yet given up on the season, especially after winning their past 5 games. In the most horribly optimistic way, I see what they're driving at. In their last 10, the Diamondbacks are 4-6, as are the Giants. The Diamondbacks are on a 3-game winning streak as well, but were 1-6 in the 7 games before that. The Giants just lost to the Astros as well. This division does not look locked up to me.
The next thing we learned is that Dan O'Dowd is still going to attempt to be the crafty, opportunistic acquirer of talent, even late in what seems to be a lost season. Just because a trade/waiver claim didn't go through, the Rockies still made an offer on Wandy Rodriguez. The Astros wanted Wilin Rosario or Drew Pomeranz, and that's just silly. The Rockies countered with either Jason Hammel, Christian Friedrich, or Casey Weathers, plus eating all of Rodriguez' salary. My first reaction to that is "why on earth would any team want Casey Weathers?" Is the "former first round pick" luster still there? Jason Hammel kind of makes sense, and there's still value to Christian Friedrich, despite his setback 2011.
If Colorado had somehow acquired Wandy Rodriguez for Casey Weathers, I'd have laughed quite out loud.
But the whole Wandy thing kind of leads us into the next thing we've learned: the team recognizes the need for pitching next season. Pitching depth right now is in a good place, but there's no telling what Drew Pomeranz will be capable of, if Juan Nicasio will return to the majors, when Jorge De La Rosa will be MLB ready, what will become of Aaron Cook/Kevin Millwood, and whether or not Jason Hammel will return to being a viable starter. That leaves Colorado with a Jhoulys Chacin - Alex White rotation. No, I don't see Rogers as a part of the rotation, but given the general lack of arms, he might be. Wandy would've made September REALLY interesting in the NL West, but more importantly, he would've answered at least one question for the 2011 season.
Finally, Kevin Kouzmanoff. Acquiring Kevin Kouzmanoff and cash for a PTBNL doesn't seem like much of a move, and really, it isn't. But given the season we've seen from 3B, what's the worst that could happen? From this move, we're essentially learning that: Ian Stewart is all but done in a Rockies uniform (and yes, I know he's injured, but the fact that he's on the AAA DL kind of reinforces the point), the organization doesn't see Chris Nelson as much of anything, and something ambiguous about Ty Wigginton not being a world-beater or a season-saver.
So we've learned a bunch of things, but I'll be honest, I don't think we KNOW any more than we did before this week. My money is still on a 3rd place finish. But who knows, maybe the infamous Aberle Guarantee will hold true. But as a certain poster among us said:
These sons of [guns] are going to suck us all back in again, aren't they?
'Duk from over at Big League Stew seems to think that the Rockies have the gumption to make this September absolutely riveting. Oh, and he also included a picture of Tulo skipping. At least that's what it looks like.
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