Series Q&A (Game 2): Royals (70-55) at Rockies (49-76)


Last night despite allowing runs late Kansas City held on for a 7-4 victory at Coors Field against Colorado. We reached out to Hayden Kane who’s the edition over at the Rox Pile to find out more about the Rockies.

We checked in with the Rox Pile who cover the Colorado Rockies before game two against the Royals tonight at Coors Field. Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the answers from our Q & A exchange –

Kings of Kauffman – Outside of injuries, what’s been the central cause of trouble since May when these team last met?
Rox Pile – The pitching staff, and specifically the bullpen. As far as the starting pitching is concerned, you could make the case that we don’t know what this rotation would have actually looked like if they had stayed healthy. The bullpen stunk from day one, and it’s not because of injuries.

KOK – Is Walt Weiss job in trouble due to this season?
RP – The sense I get is that those who talk about the Rockies are pointing more to the front office than to Walt Weiss. I believe that the Rockies are approaching the level of ineptitude where you are forced to make at least some changes. That said, Rockies’ ownership and the front office are nothing if not loyal. I could see Weiss being gone after the season, but not necessarily because he got “fired” in the traditional sense. I don’t think this front office has the stomach to fire one of their guys like that.

KOK – Forecast the future and should Rockies fans be excited?
RP – Not much to be excited about here, to be honest. The Rockies inexplicably stood pat at the trade deadline, signaling a willingness on the part of the front office to chalk this season up to injuries and pretty much enter next season with the same group and try again.

You don’t fall close to 30 games below .500 strictly due to injuries. That would seem obvious to most people, but the fact that it isn’t obvious to the front office leaves little in terms of hopefulness for the seasons that lie ahead.

KOK – Reason behind Jorge De La Rosa‘s success this season is what?
RP – He’s consistently been a good pitcher throughout his career when he’s been healthy, so this season is not an outlier. He has a wipeout slider so that he can miss a bat if he has to. Otherwise he has become increasingly efficient over the course of his career, getting groundballs and understanding that your stats are going to have some warts if you pitch half your games at Coors Field and you can still be successful.

That said, I think there are some signs that the next few seasons will not be as successful as 2013 or 2014 for De La Rosa. He has a 4.32 FIP in 2014 and he is going to be 34 next season. That’s not going to stop the Rockies from issuing him a qualifying offer and trying to re-sign him, because like I said, they are loyal to a fault. I’m just not sure it’s a good plan.

KOK – The bullpen obviously factored in game one, why has this been such a issue for Colorado in 2014?
RP – Lack of talent. The list is too long of guys who simply aren’t very good, and then the one guy who has plus stuff, Rex Brothers, has just been an absolute mess all season.

The Rockies signed LaTroy Hawkins at age 41 to be their closer. He has been their best reliever, somehow. When it comes to the bullpen, the Rockies truly are the exact opposite of the Royals.

KOK – Game prediction
RP – The Royals will win and the Rockies bullpen will surrender some runs. Whether that means the Royals come back or that means that they tack on insurance runs, that’s my prediction.