The Colorado Rockies have the ingredients to be a postseason team this season. The offense is one of the best in baseball, the defense is solid, starting pitching is coming around and the bullpen looks better than average on paper. Most of the teams that Colorado is looking up at in the standings are not as good as the Rockies. Yes, really. the Mets, Pirates, Cardinals and Dodgers are all underachieving badly this season. So what seems to be the problem?
Manager Walt Weiss has done a solid job keeping the Rockies together this season in good times and bad. Weiss has legitimately led Colorado to give their best effort in nearly every game this season and the players seem to enjoy playing for him. However, Weiss’s decision-making should be called into question if the Rockies fall short of the playoffs.
Up until this recent home stand, the biggest complaints that I had about Weiss were his unnecessary gambles at times and the fact that he rarely shows any urgency in his temperament.
Rockies players are never criticized by their skipper. It would be nice to see Weiss show a little bit of anger once in a while, whether it is at a player in a press conference or an umpire on the field. As for the unnecessary gambles, the Rockies are not a particularly fast team and continue to run themselves out of situations on the base paths. It is a terrible trend that has been happening all season long.
The really disturbing thing about Weiss lately is that he is sending out the wrong late-inning pitchers at the wrong time. It has been happening frequently since the end of Colorado’s series at the Mets. Games are simply too important at this point to see the same horrific results without making any adjustments.
Weiss finally made the decision now to go with Adam Ottavino as Colorado’s closer. This after a full 15 appearances for Ottavino not giving up a single run. What took so long? The Rockies are in playoff contention and Weiss did not make this decision until Carlos Estevez had blown two saves in a row. Unfortunately, there is simply not enough time at this point in the season to keep giving guys chances when you have a player in Ottavino that has shown he can get the job done.
The MLB season is very long, but three blown games in a little more then a week is a crucial hit to a team with postseason hopes. It is the reason why Colorado is not above the .500 mark right now. If Weiss hopes to stay around, he needs to show that he can manage a contending team not just a poor one.
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