If the Colorado Rockies have any hope of obtaining a strong arm to take the mound in the second half, their biggest bargaining chip right now should be Tyler Colvin.
The lefty outfielder, brought to Colorado as part of the Ian Stewart and Casey Weathers trade, is their second-best batter right now, holding a .306 average and a team best .571 when up in a 2-1 count. These stats are in no way surprising when you look at his 13 homers and 40 RBIs; the stats all correlate.
At 26 years old and nearing arbitration, now would be the time to parlay his hot bat for a quality pitcher … or what the Rockies always take the bait on, prospects. Either way, Colvin has been a godsend this season – for an Ian Stewart, this was like hitting the jackpot – and for his miniscule salary (less then $500k), the Rockies wouldn’t be insane to ship him off – as long as it’s for the right price: dependable pitching.
Colvin isn’t the only player who would be good trade bait; Michael Cuddyer should draw some serious inquiries. The only thing holding back teams from wanting the services of the Cuddyman (.264 AVG with 12 homers and 50 RBIs) is his $31.5 million/three-year deal. If Dan O’Dowd wants to save some face – what’s left, that is – he would be wise to seriously consider offers for these two players and only pull the trigger if he is absolutely sure the deal will become positive. The trading of Ubaldo Jimenez (8-7 record 1.51 WHIP) is turning on the Rockies as Drew Pomeranz and Alex White have not been consistent starters. Both have struggled mightily and have generally been a disappointment. Each has had good outings, but Ubaldo still has more wins than any pitcher on the Rockies roster.
Jason Hammel would most likely not have made the team in spring training, which led to him being shipped away with Matt Lindstrom for the depressingly bad Jeremy Guthrie. Hammel, the former number-five pitcher in the Rockies rotation, is set for a career year currently with an 8-5 record and 3.47 ERA with the Orioles, the best of his career. The Rockies are stuck – for now – with Guthrie who is 3-8 with a 6.28 ERA, while batters are hitting .323 against him. Hammel has put potential no-hitters under his belt this season and made a solid case for a possible All-Star appearance, something Guthrie never had a shot at.
The Rockies have depleted their pitching depth at all levels, exposing how unreliable the organization has become at talent evaluation, and they are going to suffer the worst season in franchise history if a few tweaks are not made by trading high-value but expendable pieces such as Colvin and Cuddyer.
The Rockies could always wait it out and enjoy their number-one draft pick. I’d be looking very closely at draft prospects if I were O’Dowd. His job should very well depend on it.
Follow me on Twitter @CoryWhitmer … if you still want to talk about the Rockies.