The Colorado Rockies sit at 39-49 at the All-Star break. For many, that isn't much of a surprise; many readers and staff members here projected Colorado to win somewhere between 72 and 78 games, and that's roughly the pace the team is on.
Many of the same issues that have plagued past Rockies teams are currently biting the 2015 version in the buttocks. The starting pitching has been awful, the bullpen got worn out early and it showed, and there hasn't been much of a semblance of road offense, especially as of late. Bridich should take some heat here given that offseason acquisitions Kyle Kendrick and David Hale, as well as aging bullpen stalwarts Rafael Betancourt and LaTroy Hawkins, have been part of the problem.
But Bridich and the front office deserve some credit for a few things, too. Holding off on trading Troy Tulowitzki seems to be a good decision. The star shortstop is headed to his fifth All-Star Game and is in the midst of a long on-base streak that has materialized during a month-plus during which he's posted the type of production we've come to expect. And, much more importantly, Tulowitzki is healthy and on pace to play 145 games.
The decision to allow Carlos Gonzalez to rebuild his value is beginning to pay dividends, too. CarGo's line of .259/.314/.452 with 13 homers seems modest, but he's picked up the pace rapidly over the past few weeks and is showing signs of being his old self again. A few more weeks of that could result in a team such as the Kansas City Royals or Los Angeles Angels, both of which need some outfield thump, seeking a player like Gonzalez.
Jorge De La Rosa, who is signed through next season, is also getting back on track after a poor start. The 34-year-old southpaw has whiffed almost a batter per inning while posting a 4.34 ERA during the season's first half. Over his last 10 starts, De La Rosa is 6-1 with a 2.97 ERA and 50 strikeouts against 27 walks in 60⅔ innings. The Rockies could see offers once again for their ace, though it's unlikely they'll get anything like what the Orioles dangled last year, when Dick Monfort reportedly nixed a trade for Eduardo Rodriguez, now a promising young starter for the Boston Red Sox.
Despite all of that, the Rockies haven't even been mentioned in so much as a rumor to this point. The team's strategy of standing pat at the deadline regardless of contention status can't be in place again -- can it?
At least Bridich and company seemingly nailed the draft. In his first chance as general manager, Bridich got two of the top 15 talents in the entire draft in Brendan Rodgers and Mike Nikorak before grabbing some good value with Tyler Nevin, Peter Lambert, David Hill and others. What's more, the Rockies signed all of their top 30 picks in what is widely being considered as their best draft in years.
Of course, there are some things that the first-year GM missed the boat on. Drew Stubbs, Justin Morneau and, to some extent, Wilin Rosario were no brainers to be dealt prior to the season, but all three remain in purple pinstripes. That hasn't exactly gone swimmingly; Morneau is on the 60-day disabled list while dealing with the after effects of a concussion and Stubbs has just 11 hits -- and 38 strikeouts -- in 77 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Rosario has been nothing short of a train wreck defensively and he's not hitting quite enough -- .282/.303/.481 -- to make up for it in limited duty.
Additionally, promising young hurlers Tyler Matzek and Eddie Butler took massive steps back under Bridich, and Jon Gray, the club's top prospect, continues to face development hurdles at Triple-A, though it appears he's getting closer to the point of big league readiness.
A few other things to consider:
- Nick Hundley, the Rockies' best free-agent acquisition of the offseason, has accumulated 2 WAR in the first half while managing a .309/.349/.466 line.
- Charlie Blackmon wasn't as much of an obvious trade candidate as Stubbs, Morneau and Rosario during the offseason, but his name was mentioned in a few rumored deals and he would have been a solid sell-high candidate. But the Rockies' center fielder has gotten even better this year, heading into the break with a .291/.360/.463 line that is way less fluky than the gaudy numbers he put up early last season.
- Daniel Descalso is giving the Rockies extreme negative production, and what's more, is doing it at a cost that is about five or six times what Cristhian Adames, a decent utility prospect currently playing in Triple-A, would provide similar or better numbers for.