The rain delay during Sunday’s Rockies vs. Tigers game seemed to come from a higher power. God himself was stepping in and giving Rox fans a break from Jeremy Guthrie. The 33-year-old acquisition from Baltimore was supposed to give Colorado a steady, reliable starter in the rotation. Instead, Guthrie has proved to be nothing but a weak link on an abysmal team. He has suffered five losses in his last six starts, and his ERA has climbed to over 7.00. In his three starts in June, Guthrie flaunts an embarrassing 13.50 ERA.
Colorado’s intent to trade Guthrie surfaced just hours after his latest performance. In fact, there’s a very good chance we will not see Guthrie make another start in a Rockies uniform. The Rox will likely receive only a marginal prospect in return, but are dead set on shipping out the pitcher. In other words, they’re ready to pull the plug on yet another failed experiment.
The offseason Guthrie trade was viewed favorably by many baseball analysts, but the respective teams involved have gone completely different directions. The Rockies are fourth in the division and 15 games under .500. Jeremy Guthrie’s career is on life support. The Baltimore Orioles and Jason Hammel are in contention for first place in the league’s toughest division. Hammel’s 7-2 record and 2.84 ERA has been an integral part to the O’s success.
So do we chalk up this failed trade to bad luck, or did the scouting department make yet another mistake? Revisiting the Ubaldo Jimenez trade makes you question the scouts even more. Drew Pomeranz was the key return in the deal, but the “other” pitcher involved in the trade (Alex White) has been much better than Pomeranz. In fact, Pomeranz is still tinkering with his command in Triple-A, and has not been overly impressive since his demotion.
Since the pitching staff cannot get any more hopeless, here are a few facts to sink your Rockies depression even deeper...
- If Guthrie is finished in Colorado, the lone remaining starter on the Rox opening day staff is Juan Nicasio.
- Colorado has used 10 different starting pitchers thus far. By comparison, the Denver Nuggets used 12 players in the entire postseason. And three of those players were used in garbage duty in a blowout.
- The Rockies own the league’s highest era, at 5.35.
- Concerning the starters… the average ERA is 6.28. Opposing batters are hitting at a .319 clip (also the MLB’s worst). The third-worst starting rotation in baseball is Kansas City, and the opposition is hitting a measly .278.
Is Tulo the Next to Go?
Colorado’s baseball depression has dipped so low, some fans are becoming delusional. A select few are suggesting trading Troy Tulowitzki. It’s hard to imagine the toast of the town and arguably the state’s top athlete would ever be brought up trade scenarios. But as bad as Dan O’Dowd may be, he will never deal the cornerstone of the franchise.
Tulo may be off to a less-than-stellar start, but there is zero reason to ring the trade alarm. For one, his value is at an all-time low. Such talk has surfaced only because we haven’t seen him in action in three weeks, and the Rockies may finally have an idea of what’s causing his lingering groin problems.
Hypothetically, if the Rockies were to trade Tulo, who would they get in return? Receiving a fielder would make little sense, so you’d have to guess they’d aim for a pitcher. But would you want to risk trading away an All-Star shortstop in hopes your new arm could dominate at Coors Field? Even if Colorado were to successfully bring in a high profile starter, only a fraction of the pitching woes would be addressed. But at the same time, you’d have to rely on Dan O’Dowd to make a savvy trade. And such odds are slim, to say the least.