On a day when the Rockies lopped off a decent chunk of the roster, cutting Chad Bettis Tyler Anderson, Pat Valaika, and Sam Howard, while also outrighting Tim Melville to Triple-A, Nick Groke appropriately sandwiched this story with a tribute to Bettis.
Bettis’s recent struggles are beyond dispute, as he got clobbered as a starter and reliever this season with a 6.08 ERA in 63.2. innings with 78 hits given up (10 homers) with 21 walks and 42 strikeouts. His career and health, as well as the Rockies success, were a roller coaster of highs and lows over the last seven years with Colorado. He was a guy we were proud to have on the roster. His brave battles against cancer, his comforting messages to others, and his overall great-guy presence in the clubhouse will be missed. His story was inspirational and brought tears to my eyes more than once. Groke is optimistic Bettis will land somewhere and be an asset. We definitely wish him the best in all avenues of life.
Anderson, an often-hurt, but key cog in the rotation as the Rockies made back-to-back playoff appearances, was quickly scooped up off of waivers by the San Francisco Giants. In 2019, Anderson only threw 20.1 innings (with an 11.76 ERA) before his season ended in June and knee surgery will keep him out for a good chunk of the upcoming spring.
Valaika, better known as Patty Barrels due to his 2017 pitch-hitting prowess, has lost his major league hitting skills ever since. He goes down to Triple-A and tears it up, and then comes up to the majors and lays a three-month 0-for-30 egg. We only got a small glimpse of Howard, but apparently the left-handed reliever’s 19-inning showing this season with 6.63 ERA, 23 strikeouts, and 10 walks was enough to catch the eye of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Wednesday’s cuts were probably good ones for the team’s future and not all that surprising, given that Scott Oberg, Jon Gray, and Brendan Rodgers all need spots on the 40-man roster, but it did bring back a flood of memories, some sadness, and then that feeling of dread—you know the one.
The one where we wonder which formerly-struggling Rockies player will go on to achieve greatness on another squad. It just seems inevitable. If it’s Anderson doing it against the Rockies in the NL West, it’s gonna hurt even worse. If this happens, the Rockies might have to reckon with the growing ideas that the organization struggles to develop talent or isn’t applying the best strategies in the ever-changing game instead of just blaming Coors Field.
Of the four Rockies players who got cut on Wednesday, which one will go on to achieve long-term success (at least a few years) on another roster?
This poll is closed
None of them
All of them
With the openings on the roster, does this mean we can get excited about a signing or big name coming to the Rockies? Groke says no, just as most of us know deep down, and Dick Monfort has made clear. Even though the 40-man roster is now four men short, with Gray, Oberg, and Rogers returning from the injured list, that leaves just one spot, even with the looming cuts of Drew Butera and Yonder Alonso.
This will continue to develop as the Rockies have to have their 40-man winter roster set by Monday, Nov. 4 and the approaching December Rule 5 Draft is making the team think about which prospects they need to protect. Any predictions or wishes? Any way we can get closer to the Rockies celebrating a World Championship like the Washington Nationals did Wednesday night?
Even though it’s wildly anticipated that soon-to-be free agents Drew Butera and Yonder Alonso won’t be back in black and purple in 2020, Patrick Lyons writes that the veteran catcher and first baseman would like to remain Rockies. Both also offered up a lot of praise for the franchise, as well as belief in the team’s future success. They also believe they still have a few years left in them to add depth and experience to any potential suitors. This is a good dive into Butera’s influences and future aspirations in coaching and Alonso’s reflections on the Rockies picking him up after he was cut by the White Sox in July.
Obviously, money and a precious spot on the 40-man roster are both in limited supply. I for one would rather have Alonso than the first basemen of the last two seasons, Daniel Murphy or Ian Desmond. While the Rockies might have to continue to eat their big contracts, it would be better to see Alonso and not have them wasting a spot in the starting lineup or fumbling catches on amazing plays from Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story.
DNVR also has a breakdown about the Rockies roster-opening waiver day on Wednesday.
In a down year for Rockies pitching, Carlos Estevez was a bright and consistent presence with a 3.75 ERA in a career-high 72 innings of work and team-leading 71 appearances with 81 strikeouts with only 23 walks and 12 homers given up. That was all for a payout of about half a million, as opposed to the $35 million combined salaries of Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee, and Wade Davis (Davis $18 million; McGee and Shaw $8.5 million each). This positive feature by Luke Mullins highlights Estevez’s role of a promising 7-8-9-inning bullpen trio along with Scott Oberg and Jario Diaz.
As Purple Row’s Sam Bradfield and Eric Garcia McKinley discuss in the latest Pebble Report Podcast, this wasn’t the most prosperous Arizona Fall League for Rockies prospects. However, reliever Ashton Goudeau earned a spot on the All-AFL Team, and deservingly so. The 27-year-old righty posted an ERA that’s a good as it gets: 0.00. In six appearances over 13 innings, he gave up zero walks and only surrendered four hits. He also earned the win in relief in the Salt River Rafters AFL championship victory with 2 2/3 innings of scoreless work with three strikeouts.
★ ★ ★
On Tuesday, Rockies Twitter posed a challenge to its followers: Retweet us at least 5,280 times, and social media “boss” Julian Valentin would do a jort-wearing, face-down snow angel at Coors Field in the middle of an October arctic storm. Then came the picture later that night: jorts, purple cleats, and Colorado socks laying in a bed of snow. On Wednesday, while most people woke up in Colorado to delayed starts to school or work because of a nice layer of snow and a chilly 8 degrees on the thermometer, Valentin awoke to visions of bare-legged snow angels. Little did he know, he wouldn’t have to do it alone. He was joined by “the boss’s boss,” Dick Monfort. It is a video, with a fittingly seasonal soundtrack, that is a must see.