Tag: Rockies

Jim Tracy

Rockies owner says Tracy, O’Dowd not fall guys


Remember when the Colorado Rockies went to the World Series? That was only five years ago, but it seems like 500 the way the Rockies play these days.

Only the Chicago Cubs (15-28) have a worse record than Colorado (15-27), which lost its sixth straight game on Tuesday.

Nonetheless, club owner Dick Monfort isn’t preparing to make any big changes, and expressed his full support for both manager Jim Tracy and general manager Dan O’Dowd in an interview with Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post .

“I have had people get in my face and say, ‘You’ve got to do this and do that.’ And believe me, I understand the fans’ frustration,” Monfort told The Denver Post on Tuesday. “I know everybody wants a fall guy and everybody wants blood. I just don’t think it’s appropriate to do.”

Monfort went on to say that if there is anyone to blame, it’s him, and it’s possible he became too in love with his own players, though “I don’t believe that’s the case.”

The Rockies are a franchise that prides itself in fostering a culture of strong character. But maybe this franchise is simply too nice from the top down, when it could use some tough decisions both with management and with player personnel.

Then again, the Rockies are 4-16 this month. Maybe this is the dreaded vote of confidence.

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Troy Tulowitzki admits defensive struggles are ‘in my head’

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While discussing his defense during spring training of 2011, this is what Troy Tulowitzki had to say:

“I definitely take pride in playing great defense. Now that I’ve won by my first Gold Glove and my second Fielding Bible award, people who have questioned that I was too big to play shortstop, I think I’ve kinda put those people to sleep. Now they realize I can play the position.

It certainly isn’t easy being this big of a guy, 200-plus pounds, playing shortstop. I think guys like Cal (Ripken), A-Rod and Derek (Jeter) obviously, the bigger shortstops kind of changed things. They’re letting guys actually try out there now, if they’re athletic enough.”

Tulowitzki pays attention to UZR ratings (though he doesn’t necessarily trust them) as well as Gold Gloves and Fielding Bible Awards, and covets defensive honors as much as Silver Sluggers and All-Star appearances. So you know that his struggles in the field so far this season are bothering him.

The All-Star shortstop has made six errors already this season, including a pair of two-error games within a span of four nights. He made just six errors in all of 2011, and insists that he is healthy. Nonetheless, Tulo sat out Wednesday night’s victory over the Padres.

Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy said the day off was pre-planned, but it seems likely that the move was made to give Tulo a chance to relax and get a handle on his scuffling. In fact, Tulowitzki admitted to Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post that his defensive miscues were getting into his head:

“I think about it … Yeah, it’s in my head,” he said. “I’m taking the field and thinking about it. I never thought about defense. I just go out there and play, and if I make an error, I made an error. But I wasn’t worried about it. So, yeah, I think about it. It’s in my head. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t in my head. I think about it because I care.”

It’s a pretty open assessment from Tulowitzki, who is also hitting just .244 so far this season. You would hope that the rest helps him clear his head. The last thing you want to see is one of the game’s great defensive players suddenly turn into Chuck Knoblauch.
Rockies veteran Jason Giambi has done his part to help his friend, showing Tulowitzki a highlight reel of some of his top plays.

“People, fans, media, teammates, we all have to realize the Tulo is human,” Giambi said.

That may be true, but the superhero version (see below) is much more enjoyable to watch. Here’s hoping he hurries back.

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Rockies sign reliever Sean White to minor league contract


Colorado has at least five and possibly six bullpen spots locked in already, but the Rockies added some more relief depth yesterday by signing right-hander Sean White to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training.

White struggled last season, but has a 4.16 ERA in 134 career innings spent with the Mariners and has succeeded despite a terrible 59/51 K/BB ratio because he’s a sinker-ball pitcher who’s allowed just nine homers in 500 at-bats.

Continuing to keep the ball on the ground would make White a good fit for Coors Field, but he’s nowhere near an extreme enough ground-ball pitcher to thrive long term without significantly improving his strikeout rate or control.

Carlos Gonzalez expected to finalize $80 million contract today

Carlos Gonzalez rockies
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Carlos Gonzalez and the Rockies agreed to a seven-year, $80 million contract extension last week and the two sides are expected to finalize the deal today after Gonzalez undergoes a physical exam in Colorado.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Gonzalez flew in from Venezuela yesterday and will visit a doctor today, with a press conference “likely” for tomorrow.

Gonzalez wouldn’t have been eligible for arbitration until 2012, so the seven-year contract will cover his final season of pre-arbitration, all three seasons of arbitration, and his first three seasons of free agency. By comparison the six-year, $119 million extension teammate Troy Tulowitzki signed recently covers only free agent seasons, which is why Gonzalez’s deal is $39 million cheaper despite being one year longer.