The Colorado Rockies' Dan O'Dowd: Buiilding the Worst Rotation in the MLB

Mike SavinoContributor IJune 11, 2012

DENVER - APRIL 06:  Dan O'Dowd, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Colorado Rockies looks out onto the field before the MLB game between the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field on April 6, 2008 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

After passing the first third of the season, let’s review the mistakes made in regards to the building of the starting rotation.

Dan O’Dowd, as the general manager and architect of the Colorado Rockies, has often chosen to accumulate reclamation projects in regards to the pitching. Over the past two seasons, we have seen the arrival and/or departures of Felipe Paulino, Aaron Cook, Jamie Moyer, Josh Outman, Guillermo Moscoso, Tyler Chatwood, Ubaldo Jimenez, Jason Hammel and Jeremy Guthrie, plus the collapse of Jhoulys Chacin and, finally, the latest Jeff Francis sighting.

That is an exhaustive list considering this all happened in the last year. What is even more disheartening is that not one of these transactions has improved the team.

The common thread to every player on this list is the same. Pick up a pitcher with little to no real success and attempt to turn him around…most times on the cheap.

More often than not, this dumpster-diving approach is seriously flawed, and like most things in life, you get what you pay for.

Any sensible baseball fan could see this season’s rotation was a disaster in the making, unless two or more of the prospects were to step up and make a difference along with Chacin taking the next step forward. This was needed more than ever considering De La Rosa’s delayed return. As we have seen, no prospects have shown more than the occasional flash, Chacin crashed and burned, and Gutherie is hanging on by a thread.

What really made me shake my head was O'Dowd’s latest transaction this past week. Instead of learning from the mistakes of the past, Dan opened the dumpster lid one more time and pulled out none other than Jeff Francis, who was languishing in the Reds AAA system. After his first start, not so shockingly, he provided batting practice to the Angels and left prior to four innings pitched and eight runs later.

Why does Dan O’Dowd continue to use the same technique over and over, expecting better results in regards to the pitching?

I could understand the Wandy Rodriguez claim made during the last trade deadline (especially over the Guthrie pickup) or even the rumors of Wade Davis from the Rays. At least both have had good success at this level. Edwin Jackson was another free agent that signed late with Washington but never seemed to be linked to any Rockies interest.

My assumption is that Dan just does not want to part with any homegrown talent until there is no value left in the player; therefore, trading partners are few and far between.

Finally, instead of being known as Dealin’ Dan for his trading prowess, I would suggest a new moniker—Dumpster Diving Dan seems more appropriate.