The Coors Effect

July 2, 2010 7:23 PM

Back from hiatus

Well, the Coors Effect has been on hiatus, for a few reasons -- the most recent of which was evacuation due to Hurricane Alex, which appeared to be bearing down on my house, but instead just dumped a bunch of rain.  Yeah.  In retrospect, I should have just hung around.

Anyway, did you know that the Rockies are 8-5 since Troy Tulowitzki went on the disabled list?  Yeah.  The doom-and-gloom scenarios have not come to pass, and in fact the Rockies are the same four games out of first place that they were when Tulo went on the shelf -- and are five games over .500, when they were two over on June 17.  Other players have stepped up their production in his absence: Miguel Olivo is hitting .324 with three homers; Clint Barmes is hitting .348 with two homers; Seth Smith is .323 with two homers; Carlos Gonzalez is .325 with three homers.  Even Jonathan Herrera is hitting .339.  See, we all thought that the Rockies would fold up the tent when Tulo went out, but instead the rest of the Rockies have stepped up their game.

Now things are about to get even better: Jorge de la Rosa will rejoin the team soon.  In an already-strong rotation, it's an embarrassment of riches.  In his absence, Jhoulys Chacin has proven himself more than ready to be a major league starting pitcher; there's really no easy answer to who should go out of the rotation to make room for de la Rosa, but Chacin seems to be the most likely bet.  Why?  Well, Chacin can help the Rockies out of the bullpen, and it might ultimately be good for him to work out of the bullpen for a while.  Adam Wainwright pitched out of the bullpen during his first season, and he turned out just fine.  In fact, Wainwright is an example of why pitching out of the bullpen for a year can be very helpful: Wainwright learned to get warmed up in a shorter amount of time, meaning that when he returned to starting he didn't need to throw so many pitches to get warmed up -- and could therefore throw more pitches during the game.  And that could ultimately be the same story with Chacin -- when de la Rosa returns, the Rockies don't really need Chacin in the rotation.  So why not move him to the bullpen?  He has nothing left to learn in AAA.

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