BY LESLIE MONTEIRO
The Rockies do many things that make it easy for anyone to complain.
They hired a rookie manager who does not make decisions in Walt Weiss.
They create a roster that features too many nice guys that show no emotion.
They are at it again by instituting this stupid pitch count rule for their starters, which they can’t go past 100 pitches no matter how much of a groove they are in during the game or if they pitch well for seven or eight innings.
This comes after they came up with a rule last year about the starters not going past 75 pitches. That rule came as a way for the starters to be in a position to succeed.
That didn’t work out in the end. The starters struggled, and the Rockies continued to lose games. In the end, Jim Tracy decided to resign as Rockies manager rather than taking orders by the organization on managing a ballgame.
Not many managers want to be told how a team should be managed by Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd, but first-year Rockies manager Walt Weiss was okay with it. He’s only doing it, so that he can gain experience of being a manager in the majors.
How else can one explain Weiss not letting his starters go past 99 pitches?
Jhoulys Chacin’s night was done after he threw 98 pitches in the seventh inning last night in the Rockies’ 4-2 loss to the Marlins at Coors Field. While it’s great he pitched seven innings last night, he could have gone one more inning.
Weiss used Josh Outman in the eighth inning with the Marlins holding on to a 3-2 lead , and to no one’s surprise, the Rockies middle reliever’s night was over after he gave up a home run to Giancarlo Stanton and a hit to Logan Morrison. The game was over for all intents and purposes, too.
This whole pitch count is stupid, and it’s time for the Rockies to abolish that rule about a starter being done after 99 pitches.
Jorge De La Rosa, Tyler Chatwood and Jhoulys Chacin are good enough to pitch past 100 pitches and throw for seven or eight innings. It’s not like they are Juan Nicasio, who tends to struggle in the middle innings.
The Rockies are making them look like wimps by not going deep in games. It’s a good bet those guys are not happy about going past 100 pitches. These guys have pride, and they want to pitch seven or eight innings a start. If they throw 98 pitches in the seventh inning, they would love to go for a complete game.
No starter likes to be taken out of a game, especially if he is having a great night.
The rule makes sense if the Rockies have mediocre starters, but they don’t.
The problem with having starters go on a pitch count is the relievers such as Edgmer Escalona, Wilton Lopez , Adam Ottavino and Outman get hit by being used everyday. There’s no way Weiss would use Matt Belisle and Rex Brothers in the seventh and eighth inning respectively unless the Rockies take a lead or if the game is tied late.
It does not make sense to keep destroying the arms of middle relievers. Escalona and Ottavino could develop into good relievers for years to come if they are used properly, but if they pitch every game, their arm will be burned out.
No one is saying the starters should throw 120 pitches a start. That’s stupidity, especially if these guys are tired by then.
That said, no Rockie starter is going to fail by going past 99 pitches unless his name is Nicasio or Drew Pomearnz.
Starters become good the more they go deep in games. Their confidence is at an all-time high when they go eight or nine innings. It should be a good thing if De La Rosa, Chatwood and Chacin throw at least 110 pitches per start if the situation dictates it.
Too many times, teams are fixated with pitch counts. It’s hard to understand why.
Sure, teams worry about starters getting hurt, but they can get hurt even with a limit on their pitch counts. There’s no magic potion in keeping a starter healthy other than praying he is not hurt.
With the Rockies, they are worried about their starters failing once they get past 99 pitches. Their starting pitching deserves credit than that.
It would be nice if Weiss would rebel by keeping Chatwood, De La Rosa and Chacin on the mound once they get past 99 pitches, but that’s not his nature. He is going to go by what the organization tells him to do, so that he can stay on as a Rockies manager and get his managerial experience.
It’s hard to believe the rookie manager likes this idea.
What can he do if the organization is stubborn about this stupid pitch count philosophy?
The Rockies can talk about how it’s working with De La Rosa, Chatwood and Chacin being effective this season, but one has to think it’s because those three are competent starters, not because they go past 99 pitches.
It’s ridiculous why the Rockies do this, but then again, it’s hard to figure out what they do when it comes to operating a baseball team.
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