The Rockies have a decision to make: They have to decide right now how winnable the NL West is in 2014 based on how things are breaking. If they do believe they can win it, then Franklin Morales can't make his next scheduled start. It's that simple.
Morales has always been a maddening pitcher to watch, but he's been especially bad this season. His ERA is up, his strikeouts are down, he's allowing home runs at a higher rate than ever, and opponents have an .875 OPS against him compared to the .758 number he's allowed for his career. After another awful start yesterday, his fifth in his last six outings in which he's given up at least four earned runs, the Rockies can't claim they are truly serious about 2014 and allow him more starts. He's had plenty of chances this season, and he's crashed and burned more often than not.
The Rockies don't even have to call somebody else up for nearly two weeks if they don't want. With off days coming Thursday and next Monday, they could just go to a four man rotation without starting anyone on short rest or making a call for another arm until June 7th. The solution doesn't need to be calling up Eddie Butler if the team doesn't think he's ready yet, but but the solution does need to involve a plan that doesn't include Morales starting next Saturday's game in Cleveland. The guy just doesn't deserve another chance.
Even before yesterday's stinker from Morales, Patrick Saunders went over some of the options Colorado has is they want to give somebody else a chance at the bottom of the rotation, and of course the list includes the "Tulsa Trio" of Dan Winkler, Eddie Butler, and Jon Gray.
Saunders also touches on how Carlos Gonzalez thinks he's ready to break out soon, which would be really nice the way things are going offensively for this team right now. That "unstoppable offense" the Rockies apparently have has failed to score more than three runs in 11 of the last 15 games. Juan Pablo Zubillaga however is not as optimistic about the path Cargo's season is headed down.
One final note about that Saunders link regarding Cargo. It has a brief note on Matt Belisle who's put together a recent run of solid games. Not many have noticed, but Belisle has a 2.50 ERA in his last 18 outings.
I guess I'm obligated to mention the fact that Josh Beckett threw a no hitter yesterday, but I really don't care about this one outing. No hitters are highly overrated as they involve large doses of luck, pitchers (not intentionally walking but) sort of intentionally walking hitters they fall behind or don't want to face late in the game, and official scorers sometimes calling hits "errors" late in games to preserve what often turns into a charade. (Perfect games are different. Those require the pitcher to come right at every single hitter regardless of if it's a guy they want to pitch to or not.)
The far more compelling story surrounding Beckett is the totality of his nine starts this season as he's resurrecting his career. This is unfortunately very bad news for the Rockies though who can't afford the Dodgers and Giants to find great pitching that appeared over the hill within their organizations.
The Red Sox have now lost ten games in a row and the frustration led to them picking a ridiculous fight with the Rays yesterday. With Tampa up by five in the seventh, Yunel Escobar took third base on defensive indifference which irked some members of the Boston squad (because apparently no team has ever come from from more than five runs down to win a game before). This led to a pointless benches clearing skirmish which likely had a lot more to do with these two teams being a combined 14 games south of .500 than anything that happened on the field.