Colorado Rockies' Pitching: The Good, The Bad And The Downright Ugly

By Jim Heath
Juan Nicasio
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies‘ pitching staff needs help. To date, the Rockies’ starting rotation and bullpen have been a classic case of the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

The good may even be better categorized as great. Juan Nicasio allowed just one run on four hits with six Ks in seven innings of work for a 1.29 ERA. Tyler Chatwood, who has missed a couple of starts due to a stint on the 15-day DL, made a rehab start Tuesday night for triple-A Colorado Springs. On the night, Chatwood surrendered one run on five hits, including 8 Ks in 6.1 innings of work. Jordan Lyles, who replaced Chatwood in the Rockies starting lineup, has a very respectable 3.86 ERA in a 2-0 start for the Rockies.

The bad started with Jorge De La Rosa. Currently sporting a lofty 8.31 ERA and a 0-1 record in two games, the bad is less about his disappointing starts to date and more about his epic failure when presented the opportunity to serve as temporary Rockies ace while current ace Jhoulys Chacin spends time on the DL.

The failure was initiated by a mound visit turned heated debate between De La Rosa and catcher Wilin Rosario. The incident would be a catalyst to the proverbial wheels falling off for Colorado in a 10-1 defeat by the Miami Marlins. In his next start, Jordan Pacheco would have to catch for Colorado, taking the hot bat of Rosario out of the lineup.

The downright ugly for Colorado is Wilton Lopez. Fans across the Rocky Mountain states have to be collectively hoping Lopez’s exit from the game Tuesday will be his last walk on the diamond in Coors Field. One good outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks in a Rockies victory simply isn’t enough to make up for obvious issues in Lopez’s other appearances in 2014. Lopez currently has an 11.37 ERA, including the 0.2 innings of work Tuesday in which he surrendered six runs on eight hits, including three long balls.

Walt Weiss stands by Lopez, calling him a warrior who always wants the ball. Although Weiss’s loyalty is admirable, there comes a time when common sense and fact dictates decisions. In Colorado, that time is now.

There are big decisions on the horizon for the Rockies’ pitching staff, pivotal decisions that could dictate the long term successes or failures in the 2014 season. Do the Rockies send Lyles to Colorado Springs when Chatwood returns despite Lyles’ success? What happens when Chacin returns from the DL?

And when exactly is enough, enough? Lopez may want the ball and he may be a warrior, but it’s time for the Rockies to do the right thing and cut the Lopez strings – Blake Street followers simply cannot stand another outing.

Jim Heath is a writer for Follow him on Twitter @jim_heath, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google


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