Manager Walt Weiss went on Denver Sports 760 with Dave Logan and Susie Wargin earlier this week and let’s just say things got ambiguous. Walt has been around the Rockies organization for a long time and I’m sure he feels close to the people who work alongside him trying to make this team better. But even this year, when the Rockies are sure to far exceed (almost) everyone’s expectations, Weiss has continued to show himself to be unreliable at the helm of a major league team.
The team has played a far more aesthetically pleasing brand of baseball compared to the previous three, but how much do we credit that to Weiss and how much do we credit that to having more talent on the roster? The bullpen has been an insult to dumpster fires over the past month plus and key injuries have limited what he’s been able to do with the lineup (Gerardo Parra played first base yesterday, which certainly says something about this season and this team), but he’s still struggled to make the most of what he has there anyway. And the fact that the Rockies are at the top of the league in sacrifice bunts at home—for a team that plays in Coors Field, where outs are so much more valuable—is Exhibit A in the case against Weiss as an in-game tactician.
2016 seems to be a pivot year for the Rockies: a year where they show that they can be successful in the near future. This is the year where the team needs to identify where changes need to be made lest they fade quickly back into obscurity. Fixing bullpens is a volatile endeavor; even in a shallow market first basemen can be found for reasonable prices; Nick Hundley’s contract is up in just a few months. These problems are relatively simple to identify and correct but will all be for naught if the Rockies continue to employ a manager that frequently makes decisions that lowers the team’s odds of winning baseball games.
The front office has been non-committal on Weiss this season (his contract is up soon), but maybe they would consider keeping him a part of the family the same way your well-intentioned-but-slightly-clueless uncle is kept away from the small children at Thanksgiving.
Speaking of the bullpen, Kevin Henry channels our angst about the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad experience of watching the Rockies bullpen. Laugh through the pain.
Nolan Arenado hit his 34th home run yesterday, re-taking the National League lead over Kris Bryant of the Cubs. It’s certainly fun to see the Rockies superstar locked in a chase like this, but it’s even more fun knowing it doesn’t matter to Nolan as much as wins.
"It's nice to swing the bat well, but when you don't win, that's the ultimate goal, right?" Arenado said. "So I'm not going to say it doesn't mean anything, because I know I'll be able to sleep a little better knowing I'm swinging the bat like I know I can, but it's tough knowing we got swept like this."
Yesterday’s home run was the only run the Rockies managed in dropping their third straight game, getting swept by the Brewers. The playoffs are a distant dream at this point for the Rockies but Nolan still wants those wins more than anything else.
With the contraction of the High Desert and Bakersfield franchises, the California League is set to reduce to just eight franchises starting in 2017. And since the Modesto Nuts are being purchased by the Seattle Mariners, the Rockies seem to be the odd team out for a High-A affiliate. Could an expansion team happen? Maybe, but every proposed solution brings up more problems.