Butler (PuRP No. 3) recently finished his minor league campaign with a loss in Game 5 of the Texas League championship series. The 23-year-old right-hander allowed five runs on eight hits, including a couple of homers, in five innings. It was a disappointing end to a season that saw Butler face adversity for the first time in his brief pro career. He finished with a 3.99 ERA and just 5.3 SO/9 in 117⅓ minor league innings. Those aren't awful numbers, especially when considering Butler walked fewer than three batters per nine, but he looked particularly broken after a poor major league debut and subsequent shoulder injury in June.
The good news is that all of those struggles can be wiped away with a couple of good starts at the big league level to end the season. If Butler really was pitching with training wheels on in the minors, let's hope he can make a quick adjustment that allows him to effectively use his full repertoire. That didn't look to be the case in his early-June start against the Dodgers, but maybe he has learned. From most accounts, there isn't necessarily anything wrong with Butler physically and his stuff is as good as it has ever been, so being able to clear a mental hurdle or shake a bad habit or two that he picked up as a result of a questionable development strategy maybe isn't too far out of the question.
Right? Uh ... well ...
We hope so, Butler hopes so, and the Rockies hope so. And, particularly, Dan O'Dowd hopes so, because if Butler and Jon Gray fail to make the sort of impact in the majors that they're expected to make, it might be the final nail in the coffin for Colorado's longtime general manager.
Yohan Flande will also return to the Rockies' rotation, taking the spot of Franklin Morales on Thursday, per Harding as well as Nick Groke of the Denver Post.
Padres beat writer Corey Brock wrote a feature on The Rooftop for Sports on Earth. The Rooftop came at a price of $10 million, money which could -- I REPEAT -- NOT be spent on player payroll. Having checked it out, it's a pretty damn cool place to congregate and gives Rockies fans and frat bros alike something to turn to other than the horrific product on the field. None of this is new, but, well, you know ...
Colorado is going to be in quite a predicament next year, notes the Post's Patrick Saunders. The team will enter 2015 with the third-most top-heavy payroll in the league. And the Rockies' insistence on re-signing Michael Cuddyer will only complicate matters. Somebody's getting traded, folks.
... And that brings us to Carlos Gonzalez, whose trade value is explored by Rockies Zingers' Eric Garcia McKinley. Eric proposes a highly interesting straight-up deal that would send CarGo to the Mariners in exchange for pitching prospect James Paxton.
The Rockies bullpen is still making David Martin of Rockies Review -- and everyone else, really -- furious.