The Rockies have placed 38-year old righty closer Rafael Betancourt on the 15-day disabled list with an appendicitis. He has pitched in 28 games (0 starts) for the Rockies so far this year and he is 2-3 with 15 saves, a 3.16 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. 25-year old lefty reliever Rex Brothers will replace Betancourt as the closer until he’s ready to return to action. Brothers has pitched in 44 games (0 starts) for the Rockies so far this year and he is 2-0 with 4 saves, a 1.11 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. The Rockies have called up 29-year old righty reliever Mitchell Boggs to replace Betancourt in the pen. Boggs pitched in 4 games (0 starts) in AA-ball for the Rockies after they acquired him from the Cardinals and he was 0-0 with 1 save, a 1.50 ERA and a 0.33 WHIP.
The Rockies have released 34-year old righty starting pitcher Aaron Cook. Cook pitched in 8 games (all starts) in AAA-ball for the Rockies this year and he was 0-5 with a 8.15 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP. Cook gave up 56 hits and 11 walks while whiffing 22 batters in his 35 1/3 innings in AAA-ball, as he got hit really, really hard. Cook pitched in 238 games (206 starts) in his 10 years with the Rockies and he was 72-68 with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. Cook is the Rockies’ all-time leader in games started (206) and wins (72), innings pitched (1,312 1/3). Cook is also #4 in ERA (4.53), #8 in WHIP (1.47), #6 in strikeouts (558), #2 in complete games (11) and he’s tied for #3 in Rockies’ history in shutouts (3). Cook is gone, but not forgotten. That being said, he won’t be missed.
The Rockies have a lot of major league ready young players that they can deal in the next couple of weeks, but they should keep their top prospects. I think they need an upgrade at 1B and I really like the idea of them buying low on Ike Davis of the Mets or giving up more for Adam Dunn of the White Sox. The Mets would probably take a pair of Jordan Pacheco, D.J. LaMahieu, Jonathan Herrera, Tyler Colvin, Charlie Blackmon or Ryan Wheeler. The Rockies might be able to convince the Mets to throw LaTroy Hawkins in with Davis for a couple of the guys mentioned above. I just would love to see Adam Dunn hitting at Coors Field. The Rockies also like Jesse Crain and Matt Lindstrom of the White Sox, so I could see one of them packaged with Dunn in a deal. The Rockies will also likely be looking at righty relievers Luke Gregerson (Padres), Jared Burton (Twins) and Dale Thayer (Padres). I could also see the Rockies targeting a #5 type starter with Phil Hughes (Yankees), Roberto Hernandez (Rays), Kevin Slowey (Marlins) and Erik Bedard (Astros) being possible targets.
The Rockies finished up in the first half with a 46-50 (47.9%) record, which has them in 3rd place in the N.L. West, 4.5 games behind the Diamondbacks. The Rockies are also 7.5 games behind the Reds for the final Wild Card spot in the N.L. Here is a look at the players who had the biggest impacts in the first half of the 2013 season for the Rockies, in my opinion:
TEAM MVP: Carlos Gonzalez - 27-year old lefty swinging outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is putting up monster numbers for the Rockies so far in 2013. Gonzalez has played in 91 games for the Rockies so far this year and he is 107 of 354 (.302 avg, .980 OPS) with 68 runs scored, 25 homers, 64 RBIs and 16 stolen bases.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Jorge De La Rosa - 32-year old lefty starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa only started 13 games combined in 2011 and 2012, due to injuries…so the Rockies didn’t have high hopes for him in 2013. He has pitched in 19 games (all starts) for the Rockies so far this year and he is 9-5 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. De La Rosa has given up 102 hits and 38 walks while whiffing 74 batters in his first 109 1/3 innings this year, which are pretty impressive numbers.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Jon Garland - 33-year old righty starting pitcher Jon Garland was supposed to give the Rockies a veteran innings eater, but it just didn’t work out. Garland pitched in 12 games (all starts) for the Rockies this year and he was 4-6 with a 5.82 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. His performance earned his release from the Rockies.
The Rockies have acquired 31-year old righty starting pitcher Armando Galarraga from the Cincinnati Reds for 24-year old righty starter/reliever Parker Frazier. Galarraga pitched in 16 games (all starts) for the Reds in AAA-ball this year and he was 6-6 with a 2.98 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. Galarraga last pitched in the majors in 2012 with the Houston Astros. He has pitched in 100 games (91 starts) in his first six years in the majors and he is 26-34 with a 4.78 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. Frazier pitched in 25 games (4 starts) in AA+AAA-ball for the Rockies this year and he was 1-2 with a 4.93 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP. Frazier pitched in 147 games (120 starts) in his seven years in the minors for the Rockies and he was 38-49 with a 4.75 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. Frazier came into this season as the Rockies’ #30 prospect according to Baseball America. This was a good move for the Rockies as Galarraga might be able to help them in the rotation in the second half of the 2013 season.
27-year old lefty swinging outfielder Charlie Blackmon could be trade bait for the Rockies later this month. Blackmon has played in 15 games for the Rockies so far this year and he is 8 for 35 (.229 avg, .621 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 1 homer, 4 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He has also played in 68 games in AAA-ball for the Rockies so far this year and he is 74 of 257 (.288 avg, .804 OPS) with 56 runs scored, 3 homers, 40 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. He has now played in 84 games in his first three years with the Rockies and he is 65 of 246 (.264 avg, .653 OPS) with 28 runs scored, 4 homers, 21 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. The Rockies could package Blackmon with some other players for a starting pitcher or an improvement at 1B or 2B.
The Rockies have acquired 29-year old righty reliever Mitchell Boggs from the Cardinals for cash considerations. Boggs pitched in 18 games (0 starts) for the Cardinals this year and he was 0-3 with a 11.05 ERA and a 2.46 WHIP. He has given up 21 hits (3 homers) and 15 walks while walking 11 batters in his first 14 2/3 innings for the Cardinals this year, as he has had his issues in 2013. Boggs has now pitched in 232 games (15 starts) in his first six years in the majors and he is 13-15 with 6 saves, a 4.15 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. Boggs will begin his career with the Rockies in AA-ball. Maybe a change of scenery will help spark Boggs to get back to the pitcher he used to be earlier in his career. This was a nice low risk/high reward move for the Cardinals.
The Rockies have designated 25-year old righty reliever Joe Gardner for assignment. Gardner pitched in 13 games (0 starts) in AA-ball for the Rockies this year and he was 3-2 with a 7.01 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP. Gardner has now pitched in 94 games (76 starts) in his first four years in the minors and he is 34-27 with 1 save, a 3.84 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. Gardner was part of the return the Rockies got from the Indians a couple of years ago in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal. This just didn’t work out for the Rockies and they won’t miss Gardner too much moving forward.
UPDATE: (7/12/2013) - Joe Gardner has cleared waivers and he has accepted an outright assignment to AAA.
The Rockies have placed 35-year old righty starting pitcher Roy Oswalt on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained left hamstring. Oswalt has pitched in 4 games (all starts) for the Rockies this year and he is 0-4 with a 7.64 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP. Oswalt has given up 29 hits and he has walked only 2 batters in his first 17 2/3 innings while whiffing 23 batters. Oswalt has been replaced on the active roster by 27-year old lefty swinging outfielder Charlie Blackmon. Blackmon played in 13 games earlier this year for the Rockies and he was 6 for 26 (.231 avg, .605 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 1 homer, 2 RBIs and 1 stolen base.
28-year old righty swinging SS Troy Tulowitzki and 27-year old lefty swinging outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has been elected as starters for the N.L. All-Star Team by the fans. Tulowitzki has played in 61 games so far this year and he is 77 for 222 (.347 avg, 1.048 OPS) with 41 runs scored, 16 homers and 51 RBIs. Gonzalez has played in 86 games for the Rockies so far this year and he is 102 of 336 (.304 avg, .988 OPS) with 66 runs scored, 24 homers, 63 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. Gonzlaez leads the National League in runs scored (66), homers (24), slugging percentage (.619) and OPS (.988) so far in 2013. 34-year old righty swinging Michael Cuddyer has been picked as a N.L. reserve. He has played in 68 games for the Rockies so far this year and he is 89 of 264 (.337 avg, .975 OPS) with 42 runs scored, 15 homers, 52 RBIs and 6 stolen bases.