Coming to the end of the 2016 MLB season, the Rockies had once again finished with a losing record for their sixth straight season. The team, who has struggled since the 2010 season, has had lots of controversy about their roster, coaching staff, and members of the front office. Within the last six seasons, the Rockies fired manager Jim Tracy, general manager Dan O’Dowd, and they traded shortstop Troy Tulowitzki which most call the biggest trade in the organization’s history. Now, just after one day of their season finale, Walt Weiss has decided to step down as the team’s manager. So, what does this mean?
Personally, when Walt Weiss was hired in 2013, I was stunned that the Rockies had hired a manager who managed a high school varsity baseball team. Walt had played 13 seasons of professional baseball, but he had lacked knowledge of how to manage a professional team. At the time, I didn’t think the Rockies would improve with the addition of a high school coach on their coaching staff.
However, he did make a few positive strides for the club. He has helped developed third baseman Nolan Arenado into a franchise player along with second baseman DJ Lemahieu. Both have won numerous defensive and batting titles under Weiss’s management. He has recalled some of the Rockies minor league players too. Bringing up Trevor Story was a huge decision that helped the club’s batting average, but most of all, it helped them win games. He also recalled additional rookies such as David Dahl and Ramiel Tapia who helped the team as well.
But, in the game of baseball, you can’t win many games with merely a hitting team. You also need a pitching rotation that can stop the opposing team from scoring runs. Weiss failed to establish a strong bullpen for the club. Out of the four seasons he coached, the team’s earned run average (ERA) was 4.81. In two of those seasons, the team has lead the league in the highest ERA. That’s something that a baseball team should be ashamed of.
Overall, Walt Weiss’s resignation was for the good of him and the organization. He could not find a way to fix and strengthen the bullpen which should be the Rockies number one priority at this moment in time. Adding a new manager to the club with pitching knowledge should not only help strengthen the Rockies bullpen, but it will hopefully increase their winning percentage in future seasons. Let’s just hope Jeff Bridich makes a wise choice before Spring Training rolls around.