The Rockies are stuck. With a 47-52 record, 5.0 games back of the second wild card spot in the National League, and having won just three of their last 15, the team is quickly sliding out of the playoff picture. It’s clear they are in dire need of change.
Yet in an article posted to the Athletic on Monday, general manager Jeff Briditch seems content to just wait and see what happens.
At the risk of being chastised for not understanding the game of baseball, here’s how I see it: Waiting is the last thing this team needs to be doing. Almost 100 games into the season, we know what the Rockies are and we’re well beyond the point of just letting the issues work themselves out.
Just for reference, the starting rotation is the worst in baseball by almost half a run (their ERA sits just shy of 6.00). The bullpen is overworked, beaten down and struggling to put away the occasional game that the starters keep them in. The bats, four of whom just made the All-Star Game, are talented but inconsistent and have struggled mightily of late. The team needs a jumpstart, a burst of energy that just isn’t going to come from inside the clubhouse.
So what is the front office waiting for? Is something in the next two weeks going to drastically change the course of this season? Not likely.
The hard truth is that waiting is just a sorry excuse for not being able to make a decision. If the business of baseball truly is as intricate as brain surgery, I can guarantee I wouldn’t want my doctor prescribing a wait-and-see approach. I’m not a general manager, and I’m nowhere near smart enough to be one, but I do know this: Waiting will get you passed by.
Now for the obvious question: What do the Rockies do?
Just do something.
If you’re truly convinced you have a shot to make the playoffs and push for a World Series (which I’m not), trade away the prospects necessary to jumpstart the pitching staff and the lineup. Now. Two weeks of winning baseball could be the difference in hosting the wild card game and giving yourself a better chance of actually making the postseason.
If you don’t expect to be playing baseball come October, find a contender to take some veterans off of your hands and bring back young talent in return. Prepare yourself for the future and minimize the amount of time needed to retool.
I’m not naive to the fact that personnel decisions are much more nuanced than just tossing names into a trade generator and coming out with a deal, but here’s the point: It’s time to make those decisions. Waiting two weeks for the sake of being “timely” is unnecessary.
The baseball season is a 162-game roller coaster and on their ride, the Rockies have watched teams like the Giants, Diamondbacks, Phillies and Cardinals pass them by in the standings. There’s not much track left and if the organization isn’t careful, they’ll watch talented players pass by them as they head to other organizations who understand where they are in the pecking order and are preparing to make a run at a title, either this year or in the future.
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