Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rockies News - 10/26-11/1

This past week in Rockies news has been dominated by declarations of free agency, due to the deadlines set by Major League Baseball. Some notable moves that will affect next season's roster:

  • Aaron Cook declared free agency and the Rockies denied his 2012 option. This can only be a good thing in my mind. Though he may yet re-sign with the team for next season, his free agency gives both the Rockies and Cook the chance to shop around for better options. The Rockies desperately need to solidify their starting rotation, and they're in the market for a veteran pitcher, preferably a lefty. If they can find that pitcher, they can afford to cut Cook loose for good. I wish him well, but it's better for everyone if he moves on.
  • Jason Giambi will return to the Rockies in 2012. I like him with our team, but more because of his mental approach than anything else at this point. He has the right attitude about the game, and the clubhouse is sorely lacking in quality leadership. I think it's important for us to hold on to veterans like Giambi and Kevin Millwood (also a free agent) because they can teach the younger guys something about toughness and dedication.
  • Thrilling news about Juan Nicasio's recovery: he is making incredible progress and is already throwing off a pitcher's mound. This is stunning when you consider that less than three months ago he broke his neck on a pitcher's mound. I'm over the moon for him personally, that he's gotten strong enough to actually be doing athletic things, and that he's overcome whatever mental barriers might have prevented him from working on a mound again. It remains to be seen how it will feel for him to pitch in a real game, but I think he's much further along than we had any right to expect.
  • A few other things that happened in October: Kevin Kouzmanoff was released, and J.C. Romero and Mark Ellis also became free agents. I'm glad about Kouz, because the situation at third base needs to be addressed for the long-term, not with a mediocre stop-gap. I don't have any strong feelings about Romero, but I'd love to see the Rockies hold on to Ellis. He's a professional player and he proved very consistent both offensively and defensively in 2011. Second base is only slightly less of a worry than third, and bringing back Ellis could help considerably. Of course, much is dependent on Jim Tracy committing to Ellis as the everyday second baseman and putting him in the lineup consistently. And we all know how unlikely that is.
  • To the surprise of no one, Troy Tulowitzki won his second straight Gold Glove at shortstop last night. Congrats to him, but the only other thing I have to say is this.

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