Hoping you all had a safe and enjoyable Easter weekend. If you are already sick of hearing Pitbull rap about the NBA Playoffs (excuse me, PLAYOFFS!) like I am, then I have just the cure: let’s do a mailbag. As always, any inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or @Purple_Mondays.
With that said, let’s jump right into it.
Dylan from Stockton, Calif. writes: Being in the NL West where some of the best pitching staffs in baseball exist (and that being a glaring weakness for the Rockies), do you see Colorado making any significant moves to help them compete?
Cody Voga: Great question, Dylan. I think the biggest thing holding the Rockies back is not having a bona fide ace. Young, power arms such as Jordan Lyles, Jonathan Gray and Eddie Butler should develop into solid rotation pitchers, but all have a few knocks on their game. Jhoulys Chacin, currently the best arm on the staff, is rehabbing a shoulder injury that he injured early in Spring Training.
As for potential moves? I see one that would cost a pretty penny. Chris Sale of the White Sox would be the best option. The hard-throwing, deceptive southpaw is only 25 and has a career ERA of 2.93 in the AL. He has also lowered his WHIP the past three seasons to an astounding .841 which is fourth in the AL and 10th in the MLB.
Chris Sale would look really good in a Rockies uniform by the end of the season. (Creative Commons)
He is stuck in an unfortunate situation as his team is a few years from competing. In order to get him the Rockies would need to unload at least two of their top five prospects. That can include any combination of Gray, Butler or shortstop Rosell Herrera who has shown flashes of brilliance.
Ron from Norfolk, Neb. writes: It’s early in the season, but do you think CarGo has a legit shot to be the NL MVP?
Cody Voga: Wouldn’t that be nice, Ron? If he can get back to 2010 form, I don’t see any doubt at all. His biggest competition may be his own teammate, Charlie Blackmon. Blackmon has emerged since the Dexter Fowler trade, hitting .426 with 10 RBI already on the season from the leadoff spot. Are you kidding me?! This guy needs some love!
Getting back to CarGo, he has had some tough luck as of late. He had multiple hits taken away from him by some outstanding defense from the Padres and Giants on the last six-day road trip. CarGo still owns a .286 batting average, which should improve after a few more games inside the friendly confines of Coors Field. He is coming off of back-to-back seasons in which he won a Gold Glove and was voted an All-Star, so I think the voting is out there. Just waiting for him to break out.
Kelsey from Arvada, Colo. writes: When Jonathan Gray gets the call-up, who from the rotation will get bounced?
Cody Voga: That is a tough one, Kelsey. Due to the Chacin injury, there have been two spots that have been at stake so far this season. When it is all said and done, I believe the rotation will be Chacin, Anderson, Chatwood, Lyles and Gray.
Gray will have to get it figured out as he has struggled mightily in Double-A ball for the Tulsa Drillers. The No. 12 overall prospect according to Baseball America is 1-1 with an ERA of 6.57. He has a devastating slider and can heat it up to 100 miles per hour, but has struggled with his command. Once he gets it all together, the rest of baseball had better watch out.
The odd men out would be Franklin Morales, Jorge De La Rosa and Juan Nicasio. Morales would serve as a great long relief pitcher out of the ‘pen, while de la Rosa and Nicasio would most likely be used as trade chips. It’s hard to imagine either of them being bullpen specialties, but it would give the Rockies the best chance to win.