Eddie Butler has become your favorite band’s worst album. You really, really want to like this album. You were so hyped for this album to be released, you were so excited when it came out. But the album is not good, there is maybe one song on the entire record you enjoy.
You tell your friends “it’ll grow on me, I think, their last album had to grow on me a bit.” But inside, you know the truth. This album will not grow on you. Eddie Butler will likely never be an effective pitcher in the major leagues. That’s not fun to think about, but it’s something we must all come to terms with. To illustrate, a story:
It’s June 2, 2016, and Eddie Butler is getting shelled.
As Walt Weiss comes to collect the righty in the fifth, the Rockies are trailing 5-2 and Butler hasn’t gotten an out in the inning. The Reds have stacked four straight hits after an inning opening walk and the game has gone from manageable to another Eddie Butler disaster within the span of ten minutes.
It’s not the first time Eddie Butler has been in this scenario; it’s not the first time the pitcher has seen these struggles. 2016 was somehow worse for Timothy Edward Butler, he finished with a 7.17 ERA in 64 innings, he spent the majority of the season in Triple-A Albuquerque, and he took all the hope that 2015’s struggles were just growing pains and threw it in a raging fire of despair.
Eddie Butler’s 2016 will not be remembered fondly, if it’s remembered at all.
There’s just nothing there, the stuff is too hittable, and it has been his entire major league career. He’s not missing bats, he’s barely striking anyone out, and he’s allowing over a run for every inning he’s ever pitched. Eddie Butler had some good songs, but this album is not good.
We all want to like Eddie Butler. Eddie seems like a nice dude. He probably pays his taxes, says pleasantries to all those he meets, tries his hardest to pitch well, all the things we look for in a good guy.
He is just not a good pitcher anymore.
At only 25, the thought that he’ll reclaim some of his former prospect shine is still a valid one. But since 2014, Eddie hasn’t shown anything from that time. That dastardly change up in the Future’s Game feels like it was implanted in our brains by The Matrix to make us believe in something again. Butler’s K/9 is under six since his 2013 finished, those 149 innings split between three levels during that year where Eddie went from good prospect to potential future superstar are all we have to remind us of the days now gone.
But, in the perils of Eddie Butler, there is a semblance of hope.
Eddie’s rush through the minors and subsequent failure at the highest league has become the cautionary tale of the Rockies front office. Bridich himself has pointed to his rushing of Butler as a mistake on his part, a regret he has since taking over the job. Like a train wreck that leads to improvement in safety measures, the consequences of Butler’s implosion have been positive in the long run. Rockies pitching prospects spend more time in Triple-A, the organization makes an effort to keep them there even when the pressure is on to call them up and make an impact. Jon Gray and Jeff Hoffman spent nearly their entire seasons in Albuquerque before being called up the last two seasons.
The organization sees the value of a pitcher learning from mistakes in a league below the majors instead of in them now. Eddie Butler’s star may have exploded in a very public event, but his memory will live on forever in every pitching prospect the Rockies develop from here on out.
We all want Eddie Butler to be good, we all keep hoping he’ll grow on us, but maybe we just need to accept he’s a bad album.