Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Huston Street Will Remain Closed

Discourging news indeed out of Rockies camp earlier today, though not unexpected news to me. The red flags were raised early, and when you think back to how Huston was used (possibly abused) last season, this setback almost seemed inevitable.

Now it's just a matter of hoping there's nothing significantly wrong with the ailing shoulder... a shoulder and arm that cost the Rockies a ton of money.

Now we can see why teams, especially teams like the Rockies, are relunctant to hand out big money contracts. Especially long-term, big money contracts to pitchers. Double especially long-term, big money contracts to relievers. More times than not, they end up bad business decisions.

This isn't a bad business decision yet. I hate to guess what it'll look like a month from... or a year from now.

But staying in the here and now...should Rockies fans being panicking at this point?

I honestly don't think so. Obviously it'll be tough to replace (short or long-term) what Street was able to accomplish during to the 2009 season, bot that would have been tough even for a healthy Huston Street to duplicate. For 26 years old, Street has had an up and down career so far, so to just assume he was going to repeat or come close to that productivity was a risky mindset to begin with.

The Rockies have options. Maybe not rock solid options, but they have a Manny Corpas. Remember Manny? When we lost him last season it looked like the team was finished. They bounced back in his absence, thanks largely to Huston. Maybe this year Manny returns the favor.

Franklin Morales is out there. Not the safest choice for the 9th inning, but had his moments last season. David Martin from Rockies Review made a case for Matt Daley. I'm not totally opposed to him giving that chance, though he's far from my first choice.

I'm rather intrigued by what Matt Belisle is doing this spring. Can that carry over? Maybe not. He's been around awhile, though. He knows what it's like to be bounced up and down between the majors and minors. That takes more mental toughness than we could ever give credit for... at least from a professional baseball standpoint. He's not a likely long-term answer, but hopefully that's not needed.

I'm not intrigued by Rafael Betancourt as a closer because of his comfort in the 8th. Just keep him there, let him do his thing there. No sense reshuffling the entire deck.

Again, none of these are rock solid, lights out options, but it could be worse. And who's to say one or all of them wouldn't have a better season than Street? It's a crapshoot when you're dealing with relievers. We should know that better than anyone. In 2007, our all-star closer was demoted mid-season. How did that work out?