Yesterday night, Troy Renck of the Denver Post posted a recap of the Post's sit-down with GM Dan O'Dowd.
Right off the bat, Renck asks O'Dowd about the pitching staff, and the madhouse it's going to be come Spring Training. While O'Dowd acknowledged the rotation's lack of experience in the video, more significant were his words on Jhoulys Chacin:
"I would say he could have worked a little harder this winter. I am not really happy about that," O'Dowd admitted. " I don't think it will be issue by time it gets to camp. But it has to get to a point where he has maturity and discipline and realizes that this is his career."
Renck adds (via Twitter) that the Rockies couldn't reach Chacin over the offseason and that they were expecting him to work out in Tucson.
Tough words to hear after an offseason spent pruning a franchise of players lacking work ethic and maturity. The Rockies are looking for guys to really take the game and run with it, not need prodding and pushing from the coaching staff and management.
The upside is that other sources close to Chacin say that he has been working hard the past month, trying to improve fastball command, and that he will be in shape when Spring Training comes.
Chacin falling out of good graces does have me wondering, though: how much could he fetch in a trade with another pitching-starved team?
It's an awful question to ask, but I can't help but be curious. 2012 is a transition year for the Rockies anyhow. Should Chacin remain with the Rockies, by the time the winning starts to come to fruition, Chacin will be making more money in arbitration. It's not as if the Rockies have a shortage of bodies to fill rotation spots. Who's to say that 2nd half Chacin isn't the one who'll be sticking around next season?
Am I actually advocating this? No. But I AM thinking about it, which worries me still. Beginning of last season, Chacin wasn't goin' nowhere, ever, nuh uh. He's still likely not going anywhere anytime soon. But given the near-vengeance we saw from the front office this offseason, I can't imagine that Chacin will want to see what the organization has left in their tank.
In a video reply to Renck that was tweeted separately, interestingly enough, the back end of the 2012 Bullpen is the question that O'Dowd sees as more tricky. While Rafael Betancourt will be handed the keys to the 9th inning, there's not a clear-cut favorite to set up Betancourt in the 8th inning. O'Dowd does feel like the bullen, while experienced, has a couple of guys who can really step up and pitch an 8th/9th inning situation.
Also, the humidor. Renck talked about the humidor, both in the sit-down recap and on Twitter, citing the maintenance and logistics as a major obstacle to installation in Colorado Springs. They'd have to employ somebody to maintain it and front any other expenses as a result. Also, cigar bandits are at large down in the Springs.