Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Three Thoughts On Rockies Opening Day Loss To Brewers

1. Give Wilton Lopez a fair shake: Denver sports fans aren’t the most forgiving people when professional athletes struggle wearing their team’s uniform or decide to skip town for greener pastures, but it’s only one outing. Ugly, horrendous and disastrous, yes, but still only one outing. The Rockies brought Lopez in to be their 8th inning guy (if you hate set roles in the bullpen, I understand but we'll have to cover that later) and one magnified bad outing on opening day isn’t going to change that. Nor should it. 

2. It wasn’t Walt’s fault: Yes, Matt Belisle only threw one pitch in the game. (It was a damn fine pitch, too.) But when you spend all spring establishing roles you don’t just change them on opening day for no reason. Belisle did his job. The 8th inning is entrusted to Lopez. Everyone on the team knows this. Why would you then change that for the sake of changing it on opening day? There’s no logic in that. Lopez had done nothing yet to lose the role coming in, so you roll with him as planned.

Did Weiss stick with him too long? Maybe. Maybe he should have had Rafael Betancourt or someone else ready. That could have worked. And maybe next time he will. But you can’t panic and stray from the gameplan on Day 1. Especially when you're a BRAND new manager just establishing yourself. That’s not an impression you want to leave on players because they‘ll start second guessing him quickly.

When Walt Weiss feels like he needs to change a player's role, I don't think he'll hesitate to do it. It's just not going to happen in the middle of Game 1.

3. Jhoulys Chacin: The offense packed a nice punch. That was encouraging. Of course we also had a lot of the same lousy base running and poor execution in run scoring situations, but the potential to score runs in bunches will be there. I have little doubt about that.

As good as that was though, I think we all had to be pretty pleased and encouraged by Jhoulys Chacin’s performance. Granted, it could have ended up a lot different had Milwaukee not made three strange outs on the bases, but he looked great once he settled down and those middle innings into the 7th were fun to watch. If we could just get him to bottle that up and hold on to it, we’d had no worries at the top of the rotation.

But it’s one step at a time, so we’ll say he moved forward here and leave it at that.

More Rockies thoughts await you if you follow me on Twitter: @Townie813 & @HeavenHelton