BY LESLIE MONTEIRO
The Rockies can’t be delusional to think their starting rotation is good enough for them to qualify for the playoffs.
They don’t have a starter that can dominate every fifth day, and they don’t have a starter that will go seven innings a start.
What they need to do is acquire an ace this summer if the Rockies want to be a playoff team.
To expect Tyler Chatwood, Roy Oswalt and Drew Pomeranz to be an upgrade is too much to ask. They are pitchers that last five or six innings, and that’s it.
The Rockies need to find someone that is better, and that would be acquiring either Cliff Lee, Matt Garza or Ricky Nolasco.
Lee is going to be tough to get. The Phillies would ask for a ransom, and they are not in a rush to trade him since he is a free agent after the 2015 season. They can trade him in the offseason or next summer’s trade deadline.
Getting Garza or Nolasco is feasible since they are free agents at the end of the year, so there won’t be a ransom for either of them.
Nolasco would be the best option for the Rockies.
He can be counted on for quality starts. He has a better command when he is out on the mound. He goes seven innings when he is out there.
He is everything that a Rockie starter aspires to be.
He is the type of starter that knows he can win every fifth day. It’s that type of mindset that can make a difference in the Rockies’ rotation.
They should do whatever it takes to get him.
If Pomeranz is what the Marlins want for Nolasco, that deal should be made now.
As good as Pomeranz is, it remains to be seen if he has the mindset to pitch in the altitude. He certainly has the stuff, but one wonders if he can trust his stuff to pitch.
When he started last year, he was thinking too much, and he was nibbling rather than attacking the strike zone.
He hasn’t made progress the Rockies thought he would in spring training.
It’s interesting the Rockies are hesitant to call him up despite pitching well at Triple-A Colorado Springs. That speaks volumes.
If the Rockies don’t think he is a fit for them, there’s no reason to have him on the roster.
Maybe the Marlins feel Pomeranz can do well by getting out of Colorado. That’s why it would not hurt to ask them if their young starter is enough to get Nolasco.
Pomeranz certainly has the talent. He is young, and he can get better as he gets older. It would be a good risk to take for the Marlins.
Now, odds are good Nolasco would not resign with the Rockies as a free agent next year if he is acquired. He is going to want to be overpaid, and he wants to pitch for a World Series contender. The Rockies don’t fit that criteria for him.
The Rockies need to go for it here. Anytime a team has an opportunity to make the playoffs, they should go for it. It’s hard to get opportunities like that every year.
Once a team makes the playoffs, they have a shot to go to the World Series. The Rockies demonstrated that in 2007. Maybe if they get there this year, they can finish the deal by winning the Fall Classic.
That’s why there has to be a sense of urgency to get an ace.
By getting Nolasco, the Rockies would send a message to their players that they are going for it. That approach can fire the players up, and that would put pressure on them to play well. It’s something they would embrace.
By getting Nolasco, the Rockies would send a message to fans that they are about winning rather than settling for less.
With Todd Helton being in his last year, how about sending him off as a champion by getting an ace? It would be a nice sentimental reason to make a move.
By saying the Rockies think Chatwood and Oswalt can do well, they are hoping rather than feel good about their starters doing well. It’s no different than hoping Jon Garland can be an upgrade, and we all know that did not turn out well.
Rather than going for prospects and hoping for the best with projects, they should go for a proven starter that knows what he is doing.
It’s the best move the Rockies can do.
It has been a long time the Rockies made a big move.
The timing is right to do something.
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