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Wednesday Rockpile: Bob Apodaca Is First Head To Roll -- Will Others Follow?

Bob Apodaca's gone (sort of). Will Jim Tracy follow?
Bob Apodaca's gone (sort of). Will Jim Tracy follow?

Juan Nicasio is 2-3 this year with a 5.28 ERA and 1.62 WHIP over 58 innings. He has been Colorado's most valuable starting pitcher in 2012. That's no doubt a big reason why Bob Apodaca asked for a reassignment from his post of pitching coach for the Colorado Rockies -- a job he had held since 2003. Apodaca will remain on board in the position of special assistant to the regional general manager.

Things have gotten so bad for the Rockies that they *gasp* thought outside the box a little and went to a 4 man rotation -- but of course they had to ruin it with a 75 pitch limit. According to Dan O'Dowd:

"Bob and Jimmy Wright were probably the two biggest creators and supporters of the concept," O'Dowd said. "That had nothing to do with his decision."

So it doesn't seem likely that dissent stemming from the 4 man rotation was the cause of the ouster -- though we might never know the full story behind it. I think that Jhoulys Chacin put it pretty well:

"I feel really bad for him. I don't think he's a bad pitching coach at all. He taught me things I will never forget," said Jhoulys Chacin, a right-hander currently on the disabled list. "But I guess somebody had to pay for what's happened this season."

Apodaca will be replaced by a tag team of Jim Wright (current bullpen coach) in the bullpen and Bo McLaughlin (current team pitching coordinator). Considering that the 4 most valuable Rockies pitchers per Baseball Reference are all relievers, this might be a step in the right direction. Wright was also credited by Jason Hammel as the instrument in his resurgence, so we can only cross our fingers and hope for more of the same with the current crop of starters.

Ultimately though, Colorado is replacing a voice that had been in place for 10 years with...two voices that have been in the organization for 16 and 10 years respectively. Craig Baker may have more to say on this later, as he has actually had experience dealing with all three men, but I think that the organization would be well served by seeking out a new voice for these guys in the off-season. Then again, all of these pitchers just might decide to pitch well during the season's second half. Right?

Bob Apodaca's Legacy

Say what you will about Apodaca, but he did oversee some of the best rotations in franchise history. Part of this was the fact he had Ubaldo Jimenez in beast mode, some was the implementation of the humidor right before he got on board, and a piece of it was the fact that he was a pretty good pitching coach.

When I think of Apodaca's tenure, I will remember both the resurgences (Jorge De La Rosa, Jason Marquis, etc.) and the failures (problems developing young talent like Franklin Morales, questionable decision making with players like Felipe Paulino). I thank the man for the good pitching in 2009, but I'm perfectly okay with sending him to an early retirement after the performance put forth so far this year from Colorado's starters.

Edwar Cabrera, Major League Pitcher

In the wake of Alex White's demotion earlier this week, Colorado will bring up #11 PuRP Edwar Cabera from AA. Cabrera will make his major league debut tonight. That would give Colorado a rotation completely comprised of lefties -- hopefully that's the secret key to dominance at Coors Field.

I wrote about Cabrera last week when unveiling the Spring 2012 PuRPs List if you're interested in finding out a little more about the 24 year-old lefty -- who led the minor leagues last year in strikeouts.


Other News

Geoff Young at Baseball Prospectus has an article on Dexter Fowler, though it's behind the paywall.

Jon Bois' treatise on watching baseball with people who hate baseball is well worth your time.

Glenn DuPaul writes about dynamic duos at Beyond the Boxscore -- and since the Rockies happen to have one, it might be worthwhile to read.