In the Rockpile: Starters are killing team momentum

Jhoulys Chacin has been a disappointment for the Colorado Rockies so far this season. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

At this point, it is safe to say if there’s one glaring issue to attribute the Rockies not making the postseason this year, it will be the starting rotation. Of the 24 games played this season, the Rockies starters have won a paltry five. The bullpen has been the savior of games, owning seven wins.

That’s two more wins than the starting rotation, if anyone isn’t counting.

Chief culprit to this pain in the club’s ass is Jhoulys Chacin (0-3) and Jeremy Guthrie (2-1). Chacin is in the worst way because, unlike Guthrie, he has been here awhile, shown some promise and has been in the crosshairs of management since the offseason. Questioned during the Rockies’ FanFest about his lack of training, Chacin said he would be ready for the season. He isn’t. If having a 7.30 ERA and the worst stat line on the team is being “ready,” then yes, he is ready … for a trip to Ian Stewart‘s former home, Colorado Springs.

I will give Guthrie a slight pass, but I won’t give the organization a pass because I saw this coming and knew management would be ambivalent to both parties. “Guthrie is an innings eater.” Yeah, because you leave him out there longer than you should, which doesn’t make him any better of a pitcher. The club seems stuck on stupid when they say they are just going to let guys work through their slumps — “they’ll come around” is the company line thrown out this week.

They aren’t coming around, and the faster the Rockies realize it the better.

It was nice that the Rox beat L.A. 2-1 in the series, but Chacin gave up four runs in his first inning of work, two  home runs and the Rockies lost 7-6, with Chacin being responsible for all seven runs. That could have been a sweep, and the bats were more than present.

Colorado’s two best starters are a young guy who had neck surgery last season and another who is half way to 100. Good stories, but the entire year won’t be one of them if the season summary is “Great lineup that did everything it could behind a bullpen that was forced to clean up daily, but both were failed by starters who we all waited on to ‘come around’.”

Chacin isn’t the same guy he was at the beginning of last season, and to tell the truth, I don’t think this year will get better for him. Guthrie is being Jeremy Guthrie and could be on pace for a losing record with the most innings pitched, something that doesn’t matter if they don’t produce wins.

The Rockies need to make a trade or dig from their “homegrown” pool, with the latter being the most likely scenario. This rotation is going to kill a lineup that is hitting damn well and a bullpen that is doing a fine job given the circumstances. I was worried that the starters would struggle and boy have I been right.

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