Thursday, May 20, 2010

First Quarter Report Card: Pitching

Rotation -- Grade: C+

Without Ubaldo Jimenez, probably a D+.  He's worth a whole letter grade himself.

The last week or so though the rotation would get an A.  It's possible they're hitting their stride heading into June, which would be further aided by Greg Smith's exit from the regular rotation after his emergency start last night.

Then again, it's difficult to be all in on guys like Jeff Francis, Jason Hammel and Jhoulys Chacin at the moment.  Too many ifs involved with each for different reasons.  All we can do is cross our fingers and hope for the best there.

Bullpen -- Grade: B-

Overall I'm okay with what the bullpen has done.  I'm very excited by their prospects when all healthy, I just don't know if that day will ever come.

Grading on what I've seen, I can't go higher than this when the 9th inning situation was such a mess for over a month.  I believed in Morales, I still do to a far lesser extent, but he was terrible.  And Jim Tracy just kept going to the well, and the well was dry the whole time.  Even I could admit that a few appearances before Tracy could.

Rafael Betancourt has also been up and down.  That's too be expected as he battled shoulder tightness in Arizona and a really awful flu early in May.  He'll turn the corner shortly and be what he's being paid to be.

The three guys who have really saved the Rockies from major disaster are Manny Corpas, Matt Belisle and Joe Beimel.  They have absorbed (Corpas and Belisle especially) many critical innings in varying roles which has allowed the team to stay in a position they haven't played well enough to be in.

I'm just holding my breath on each because that type of workload is what leads to relievers crashing and  burning down the stretch.  That would be bad.