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Rockies magic number to avoid 100 losses is eight wins

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Is asking for a 8-15 close to the season too much for the Rockies?

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

With their terrible, terrible loss last night, the Rockies are now on a 64-98 pace for the year, matching the futility of 2012 for the worst in franchise history. That projection has the Rockies going 9-14 the rest of the way, but the possibility of Colorado's first 100 loss season is still strong - the magic number of wins to avoid it the rest of the way is eight. At this point, I still hope the team does well in each individual game while not necessarily minding if the team happens to lose - I'd still like to avoid the 100 loss mark though.

Rockies Mailbag: Would 100 losses spark major changes in front office? - The Denver Post

Speaking of 100 losses, Patrick Saunders handles the above question and several others in his mailbag. We've covered this ground pretty extensively at Purple Row already, so I won't belabor the point, but I think Saunders has an answer to the question that mirrors what I would say.

The other questions are more interesting - particularly when Saunders addresses a point that I've brought up in the past about the upcoming 2015 payroll. Basically, if the Rockies look to bring back Jorge De La Rosa (they'll at the least extend him a $14.1 million qualifying offer) and exercise the $12 million option on Brett Anderson, they'll have about $62 million tied up in those two plus Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki - a $13.5 million raise from what Colorado is playing those players this year. That doesn't include the impending free agency of Michael Cuddyer and upcoming arbitration raises to several players either.

If the front office believes that this team as currently constituted is a playoff contender when healthy, they'll have to pony up a lot more money to run the experiment with the same group in 2015 or they'll need to spend even more to shore up their deficiencies - something I'm not sure the team is willing to do. It's why Saunders writes (and I agree) that the Rockies will be farther away from contending in 2015 than they were this year. Sure, the record might be better if the injury luck improves, but the ceiling of this team as currently constituted is still a fringe playoff contender.

Saunders also has some good insight into the struggles of Rex Brothers, the 2015 draft, why the Rockies aren't calling up even more prospects, and the level of homerism of the ROOT sports broadcasters.

Talking about shoulders

Rockies top pitching prospect Jon Gray shut down due to shoulder fatigue - Purple Row

As Drew reported in his interview with Dan O'Dowd yesterday, Jon Gray, the top Purple Row prospect and the third overall pick of the 2013 draft, has been shut down for the first round of the Texas League Double-A playoffs. Gray could be made available for the Texas League finals, but his season is possibly done.

Bettis misses Triple-A start with sore shoulder | Rockies.com: News

In case you were wondering why Chad Bettis hadn't been called up to the big league team yet, here's why: Bettis was scratched from his scheduled start with Triple-A Colorado Springs on Monday due to a sore shoulder. Bettis had been re-converted back to a starter after struggling mightily as a reliever this year for Colorado and was perhaps in line to make a start in the big leagues. Now all of that is uncertain.

Kahnle returns from DL as Rox add reinforcements | Rockies.com: News

Tommy Kahnle, who as Cody Ulm notes still leads Rockies relievers (and is sixth overall) with 63 innings pitched this year was activated from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday after missing time with shoulder inflammation. He was joined on the big league roster by 1B/OF Kyle Parker and RHP Rob Scahill as Colorado attempts to play spoiler in the season's last month.

Other Rockies news

How Did Nolan Arenado Get So Good At Defense? | FanGraphs Baseball

Eno Sarris of FanGraphs takes a look into how Nolan Arenado transformed from a player struggling to stick at third base in High A in 2011 to a Gold Glove winning third baseman in 2013 (and hopefully this year). For all of the negative player development stories we hear about the Rockies, the combination of Arenado's work ethic and the diet/exercise regimen the Rockies put him on appears to have worked wonders.

Revisiting Tyler Matzek | Rockies Zingers Colorado Rockies Baseball

Juan Pablo Zubillaga at Rockies Zingers has a nice piece on Tyler Matzek and how the 23 year-old has shown signs this year of being a pitcher that can stick in the big league rotation.

News from around baseball

Expanded Rosters Exacerbate Baseball’s Biggest Issue | FanGraphs Baseball

Mike Petriello at FanGraphs rails against baseball's current lopsided roster rules in September. I wouldn't mind a move to a 30 man "game-day" roster in September, but honestly I don't have too much of a problem with expanded rosters. Ask me that question when the Rockies are back in the playoff hunt again (yeah right) and I might give you a different answer.

Handicapping the awards in the National League - SBNation.com

Grant Brisbee looks at who should/will win the major awards this year in the NL. The answer is not the Rockies.