Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why Franklin Morales deserves a chance

Saw the name Franklin Morales a lot on Twitter again yesterday. Not sure why. It shouldn't come as news to anyone that he's getting another opportunity to make the Rockies squad. And quite honestly, he deserves that chance.

Yeah, he was a complete train wreck last season. Got that.

The Rockies were foolish to keep running him out there time after time when it was obvious he didn't have any answers. Got that too. No one could possibly deny it.

That said, why not allow him to come to camp to see if he's figured something out? Why is that such a crime? The release Morales sentiment I often hear from fans drives me crazy. It's nonsense. Nobody seems to remember that this kid saved the Rockies ass in two different playoff seasons.

In 2007: The Rockies went 6-2 in his 8 starts. All of them coming in August and September. I'd say that was pretty important... right or wrong?

In 2009: Morales converted all 7 of his save opportunities. Each of them coming when Huston Street was injured in the month of September. He saved the Rockies ass one more time. No one could possibly deny that either.

To me that earns him at least one more chance. If he struggles and somehow clears waivers, I'd be willing to give him one more chance after that. What the heck does it hurt?

I'm not saying you hand him a roster spot in 2011 or force feed him down our throats. I'm not telling you he's going to be good again in a Rockies uniform. I'm saying he's twenty-freaking-four, he made a major impact at the big league level in the two most successful seasons the Rockies have ever had, and he did so at the age of 21 and 23. Why would you even consider pulling the plug now? That's a kid you give chances to.

Just imagine if the Cleveland Indians had pulled the plug on Cliff Lee after his dreadful 2007 season. That would have lost their opportunity to restock their minor leagues after the 2009. I'm not putting Morales on Lee's level. Please don't twist my words to say that. It's just an example of a situation where a talented guy completely lost it for a whole season but managed to recover it and became an elite player.

It happens.

A thought or two on Tebow

Don't worry, this is still a baseball blog. I just realize 90% of the readers here are Denver Broncos fans and have thoughts on Tim Tebow. 

I also have thoughts on Tim Tebow.

As does Brandon Lloyd, who was quoted as saying...

"I don't want to be a lab rat for a guy learning to play...going across the middle"

That says all you really need to know. There has to be a reason the Broncos aren't willing to run Tebow on the field, and not having the trust of his receivers would be a very valid one. I don't think Lloyd says that unless he's witnessed some serious accuracy issues with Tebow in practice.

"Oh but you have to see what you have in Tebow" you might be saying.

You don't HAVE to. It would be really nice if you could, but if the guy isn't ready, he's not ready.

It's really not as easy as it sounds to throw a young QB into the fire. Tebow has to first learn the basics of running an NFL offense against an NFL defense. Sorry, that's a huge leap from running a gimmick college offense surrounded by elite weapons against overmatched college defenses.

That's why you don't see option QBs succeed in the NFL. That's why Troy Smith is a third stringer on a bad San Francisco team. They have to learn the very basics of running an NFL offense before they can even be considered in a game. To put Tebow in there when he's not prepared just isn't realistic, smart, or even necessary.

And who knows, he may never be prepared to do it. If he doesn't show the accuracy or arm strength necessary to make the receivers or coaches comfortable, he can't play. If he can't read defenses, he can't play. Plain and simple.

I have to believe that's the reason he's not slated to start this week. Maybe I'm giving the coaches too much credit. Maybe they're all complete fools. That's not out of the realm of possibly here. Maybe they'll eventually give in and let him start at home against Houston. And maybe he'll be just fine after all.


Or maybe this Broncos are already admitting they spent a first round pick on a goal-line running back.

PS: The name Brady Quinn should be removed from everyone's mind immediately. He's Brett Favre without the talent. What a waste of a precious roster spot.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter Meetings Tuesday Recap

First and foremost I would like to send well wishes to Rockies skipper Jim Tracy. Those were a scary couple of hours early Tuesday morning when word of his collapse at his hotel in Orlando started getting around. I'm very thankful he was able to return home on Tuesday and am hopeful the medical situation is behind him.

My best to his family as well on what had to be an incredibly stressful 12 hours.

-- The Rockies probably overpaid on Ty Wigginton. I have to wonder how many teams would have been willing to go to two years for anything close to that money. Probably not a one, but it does show me the Rockies have identified a guy they like and were aggressive in getting a deal done. That's good. Now we just have to hope their evaluation is sound and Wigginton can handle the assignment.

What's scary is the team apparently didn't do its homework on Melvin Mora last offseason when they believed he was capable of handling a utility role. A lot of people, myself included, saw that problem coming a mile away. Unfortunately we were right, and the Rockies were significantly hampered defensively for an extended period of time.

I think Jim Tracy would be wise to limit Wigginton to 1B and a little bit of 3B. 2B and OF don't seem necessary when you have Jose Lopez giving you plenty of infield flexibility and Eric Young Jr. who can also play 2B and is likely a better outfielder than Wigginton would be a middle infielder. Let EY take those emergency OF innings when needed.

-- Missing on Ronny Paulino robbed us of a potential Paulino-Paulino battery every fifth day. That novelty aside, I don't think the Rockies will regret missing him too much. I know he's a Tracy guy, and it sure is possible the Rockies end up settling for something less, but at this stage I'm not concerned.

-- Michael Young trade rumors dominated Twitter and other media outlets on Tuesday night. My official stance is that potential move would be far fetched, but that's what I would have labeled the Jayson Werth contract right until the moment he signed it. This has been a weird offseason. Teams are being aggressive, creative, and often times stupid, so it's difficult to rule anything out without having enough information.

For now, I'm saying it's unlikely.

Young may fit from a baseball standpoint, but the business side, his age, and his declining skills are all factors weighing heavily against this. The only possible scenario I can see working would involve Colorado flipping Young to a third team, possibly someone like the White Sox, in exchange for a pitcher like Gavin Floyd.

Again, the money would have to make sense, and I don't see it getting to a point where it makes enough sense for Colorado.

But what do I know? Stay tuned and we'll see what Wednesday brings us.