Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Day After: How Much Does Jeff Francis Have Left?


Everybody recovered was last night's insanity?

Hopefully the Cardinals aren't over it yet and I hope they don't get over it until Friday at the earliest.

Blog: We Have Angry Cardinals Fans Tweets 

As amazing as last night's comeback was, there were still 8 1/2 innings of less than satisfying baseball played by the Rockies. Yes, they wiped it all away; but yes, it can't be ignored entirely either.

Jeff Francis

Turns out my overreaction to Jeff Francis' last awful outing probably wasn't really much of an overreaction.

Maybe he's just going through that period all pitchers go through.


Maybe he isn't though.

I'm concerned about him. Last start he was afraid to challenge hitters. That cost him. Last night he may have showed why he didn't want to challenge hitters. His stuff was flat. Just about everything was hit hard against him.

He was able to work around it for a couple innings, because he's still a professinal, but again, he hit the wall early. He seems to hit that wall a little earlier each time out. Cardinals batters were able to do pretty much anything they wanted to him in those 3rd and 4th innings.

That can't keep happening to the Rockies every 5th day. The loss in San Diego could have been demoralizing. Thankfully it wasn't. Last night's game could end up being the symbolic win of the season, but the bottom line is you need more from your 5th starter.

This isn't me questioning anything Jeff Francis has in his mind or his heart, he's proven to have everything you need in both those departments. I just really question what he has left in his left arm/shoulder.

After his excruciating comeback that lasted 18 months, maybe Francis has already given all he can give.

Jhoulys Chacin

Deserves to be in the Rockies rotation, not their bullpen. He's not cut out to be a reliever.

I love that he wants to help the team any way he possibly can, but the fact is he doesn't belong in the bullpen. If the Rockies are determined to roll with Francis, which I'm sure they are, then allow Chacin to continue his growth and progress as a starter in the minors.


This may be an extreme comparison, but I really don't want to risk another Franklin Morales type situation where you take a young starter and turn him into reliever out of necessity. All the sudden you're forcing him to do something he's neither good at or comfortable with, and now you're just hoping you can restore something resembling the old Franklin Morales.

I also don't trust Jim Tracy to use Chacin properly in the bullpen.

So again, I beg the Rockies to put Chacin back in their rotation or allow his growth to continue in AAA. There's no gain for anybody having in the bullpen.

13 LOB

That pretty much speaks for itself. 20 LOB in the 15 inning game, but 12 of those came after the 8th inning. Thankfully the floodgates opening in the 9th last night.

It would be nice if that inning led to much better and more relaxed ABs with RISP. A comeback like that should tell Rockies hitters they don't need to press in those spots early in the game. Just give the good AB, hopefully it works, but don't go in with the mindset you have to do too much.

Then again, maybe this team doesn't know to win when they're relaxed.  Don't change a thing!