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Tuesday Rockpile: Rockies Have 99 Problems But Chacin Ain't One

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The Rockies lost again last night, dropping them back into a tie for the 9th worst record in Major League Baseball. However, Jhoulys Chacin provided an encouraging effort, ending his up and down season on an upward run. In it, he walked just one and allowed two runs in seven innings, while inducing a season-most 15 ground ball outs.

Chacin's (11-14, 3.62) first full year has had bright spots to be certain, though regression and inconsistency ran rampant as well. His strikeout rate plummeted. His walk rate spiked to a ridiculous high before settling in September. His home run rate spiked. His BABIP dropped. His GB rate skyrocketed. His HR/FB ballooned. It's tough to know what we have in this guy. But at the end of the season, it is worth remembering two things. One, he is 23 years old. Two:

Jhoulys Chacín, only Rockies pitcher in franchise history besides Ubaldo Jiménez with ERA under 4.00, 140+K, 180+IP and opposing .240 or less ave.

Overall, that's pretty darn good, and the Rockies would take that from a middle of the rotation pitcher every single year. Even though Chacin pitched better in 2010 than 2011, Chacin was not the problem. Once Ubaldo Jimenez was traded, Chacin was forced into the "ace" role in his first full season in the bigs. Jhoulys did fine. The rest of the rotation did not.

Jhoulys Chacin's 2.4 fWAR is the 2nd lowest team-leading fWAR season in franchise history, better only than 2005's Jeff Francis (2.2), in Francis' first full season.

The Rockies are not in the market for an ace this offseason, but this goes to show just how much a good and dependable middle to back end starter (~3.0 fWAR) could mean to this team, especially if there is notable growth from Chacin, Pomeranz, and White. The Rockies will need that, because no Ricky Nolasco or Wade Davis is enough to save the whole pitching staff.

Right now, the rotation has 9.4 fWAR, worse than every full season in franchise history except 2002.

Rockies' starters are ranked dead last in MLB in K/BB ratio at 1.78.

Colorado has used 29 different pitchers this season, one shy of the franchise record set in 2007. That includes 13 different starting pitchers, tops in MLB.

So yes. It has been an unmitigated disaster in the rotation, and that must be addressed this offseason. In house growth from the youth in tow will inevitably help. But Mr. O'Dowd has his work cut out for him to stabilize the rotation, which was this team's strength not too long ago.

The Rockies must score 19 runs in their final two games to avoid being the lowest scoring offense in franchise history.

Oh yeah, there's that too. The offense is a train wreck. Good luck Dan. You'll need it.

Links after the jump.

Tracy Ringolsby: Twitter

Put a lid on speculation that Rockies will shop Chris Iannetta. Look for him to be behind plate when Rockies open 2012 season in Houston.

Manager Jim Tracy will announce Rockies' coaching decisions on Wednesday - The Denver Post Troy Renck suggests that bench coach Tom Runnels is a lock to stay, but that hitting coach Carney Lansford and pitching coach Bob Apodaca are in trouble. This brings no pleasure to me, as I have a hard time pinning the failures on this team to a first-year hitting coach or a long-tenured pitching coach who has overseen the best pitching staffs (by far) in franchise history. On the roster alone, he's overseen the transformation of several Rockies pitchers into better hurlers than when they arrived: Matt Belisle, Matt Lindstrom, Huston Street, Jason Hammel, Jorge de la Rosa... But heads must roll after this season, and if it isn't Jim Tracy's and it isn't Dan O'Dowd's (it will be neither), where would it start?

Tracy mum on Street's potential role in '12 | ColoradoRockies.com: News Dan O'Dowd must be regretting that huge contract given to Street. Jim Tracy won't say what Street's role will be in 2012, he just raves about Rafael Betancourt and Rex Brothers instead.

Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez has deep bone bruise on his injured wrist - The Denver Post That definitely warrants rest. Owed $66million through 2017, Colorado can't afford to wreck CarGo's wrists unnecessarily, making him an 80-game player.

BaseballAmerica.com: Prospects: Rankings: League Top 20 Prospects: 2010 Two very interesting lists will be coming out in coming days, with the South Atlantic League (tomorrow) and California League (Thursday) being published this week. Look for your Tourists and Nuts to get recognition.

THT’s top 100 prospects, part 1....THT’s top 100 prospects, part 2 Three Rockies made The Hardball Times top prospects list. Drew Pomeranz (18), Nolan Arenado (20) and Wilin Rosario (40).

Baseball Prospectus | Divide and Conquer, NL West: Is There a Draft in Here, or is that Just 2006? Geoff Young battled to find a fresh angle to Clayton Kershaw, and he believes he found it....the 2006 draft. Yeah...that's not so fresh around these parts.