San Francisco, CA – Praise the lord, the Rockies got a win last night. After losing 9 of their last 10, Colorado barely held on for a 5-4 victory over the Giants Tuesday night. The Rockies pitchers did all they could to give it away, but didn’t mess up just enough to come out on top. At 14-21 now, Colorado has won an impressive one in a row as they look to build on this streak tonight at home versus Arizona. Ok, enough with the sarcasm, but this start to the season has been brutal. More specifically, the pitching has been horrific, as they rank 29th in ERA and 30th in batting average against. So it got me thinking….which pitchers over the last ten years could the Rockies have had? I think we realized long ago that luring a big name free agent pitcher to come to Denver was rarely going to happen. They don’t really want to pitch at Coors Pinball Palace (Coors Field), which is not known to be a pitchers park whatsoever. Also, after the Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle signings about ten years ago blew up in their faces, the Rockies front office is skittish as well. So we have been left with the fact that to get good pitching here, we have to draft well, really well. It just simply hasn’t happened for the most part. I understand that every draft pick won’t end up being a star, but it sure seems like the Rockies scouts and GM Dan O’Dowd have struck out a lot more than they have hit home runs. So here are the “Top 7″ pitchers our Colorado Rockies could have drafted in the last ten years……
7 – Cole Hamels (2002) – Hamels has been a fixture in the Phillies rotation for years, and has been truly outstanding at times. He is a career 79-55 with a 3.35 ERA, and one of the better left handers in the game. Earlier in the first round of that draft Colorado selected Jeff Francis, who had a few nice moments here, but ended up being a bust.
6 – Jonathan Papelbon (2003) – The Red Sox closer for several years, who is now with the Phillies, has been dominant for much of his career. Papelbon has a career 2.33 ERA and 229 saves. In the first round of the ’03 draft, the Rockies selected Ian Stewart. Enough said.
5 – Jered Weaver (2004) – The current ace of the Angels pitching staff, Weaver has only gotten better and better. Two weeks ago, he pitched a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins. He has a career 3.24 ERA and is 86-47. Three picks before Weaver, the Rockies chose SS Chris Nelson, who is currently platooning at third base. Nelson has been hugely disappointing, and has spent plenty of time in the minors the last few years.
4 – Matt Cain (2002) – In that same draft where the Rockies chose Francis, they could have gone with current Giants stud Matt Cain. Cain has a career 3.35 ERA and just a month ago signed a new five year deal to stay in San Francisco.
3 – Phil Hughes (2004) – Although Hughes has been up and down for the Yankees, he has shown the ability to be dominant sometimes. In 2010, he won 18 games in New York. He has also shown the ability to be a starter, as well as pitch in relief. Hughes was chosen 14 spots after Chris Nelson.
2 – Clayton Kershaw (2006) – The Colorado Rockies really blew this draft. They had the #2 overall pick, and went with RHP Greg Reynolds. Now a member of the Texas Rangers organization, Reynolds has a career 5-8 record with a 7.47 ERA. Clayton Kershaw, chosen 7th overall in this draft, is possibly the best young left handed starter in the game today. The Dodgers scored big when they drafted this guy.
1 – Tim Lincecum (2006) – With a 71-44 career record, and a 3.08 ERA, Lincecum is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. The Giants selected Tim with the 10th pick in the ’06 draft, and it didn’t take long for “The Freak” to dominate opposing hitters. He won the Cy Young award in both 2008 and 2009, as the National League’s best pitcher. At only 27 years of age, Lincecum has many years left at an elite level.
So Rockies fans, wanna know why we suck at pitching? These are just seven examples of why this is the case. At some point, the decision makers for our baseball team need to be held accountable. This is the 20th year of Rockies baseball, and the “Year of the Fan”…..Well, this fan is tired of mediocrity. Did you know the Rockies have never won the National League West? Never. The times Colorado has made the playoffs, it has been because of the wildcard. Imagine if the Broncos hadn’t won their division in 20 years…..Mile High Stadium would have been lit on fire, and heads would have rolled more than a decade ago. This could definitely be a long two months until “Manning Camp” begins.
Denver Sports by J Simp