around the blogosphere was the Pirates made an offer for Jorge De La Rosa. It was fair. It was for a lot of money. Great. Now shake off those goose bumps and put your thinking cap on for a minute. We want you to think about this scenario.
So why didn’t De La Rosa take the offer? It certainly had something to do with loyalty. It seems to a lot of us that De La Rosa played the Pirates and some other teams. Maybe so. But it always feels that way when it comes time for someone to make a decision. A player can only put on one uniform—someone is going to get their feelings hurt. It’s how free agency works.
We have a hunch this had a lot to do with his pitching coach in Colorado. And rightfully so. Look at the Pirates pitching coach and then look at the Rockies pitching coach. Bob Apodaca has a list of pitchers he has ‘healed.’ Why in the world would De La Rosa want to leave that all behind for some nice money from the Pirates–a team with a first year pitching coach? Sure the Pirates money was good, but Apodaca saved his career. Would you be scared to leave that guy?
When the Rockies got De La Rosa off the heap, the statistics from two poor teams showed a pitcher who was lost. Looking over those stats isn’t a pretty thing. But oh my, look at that left-hander now! He is a swing and miss, ground ball inducing, multi-millionare putting up solid numbers in, of all places, Colorado.
Who says coaching doesn’t make a difference?
Some people are thinking that maybe the Pirates hired the wrong man? Apodaca has been the Rockies pitching coach since 2003. No, that’s not fair, after all a strong hitting coach like Clint Hurdle was in Colorado will trump a pitching first organization any day of the week. ….right? Enough with the bad jokes.
Unless some trades can be made, it appears the Pirates are left to sign starting pitching candidates that are on the rebound. The names of pitchers on the mend like Brandon Webb are being thrown around the City of Champions today.
As Pirates fans we can only trust these pitchers aren’t just chasing more dollar signs. We have to believe that the next starting pitcher on the rebound the Pirates sign is either confident in their own abilities to make the comeback, or they can appreciate the expertise of Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage to mentor their return to glory like Apodaca has done for pitchers in Colorado.
I’m curious if Clint Hurdle is happy with his choice of a pitching coach today, but the bottom line is unless Hurdle was able to hire Apodaca, there wasn’t a shot the Pirates could land De La Rosa. And no other team in baseball could either.
So can Searage help pitchers return to glory like Apodaca has done? It would certainly be nice for Searage to help turn a few careers around. Then it would be even cooler for those players to remain loyal to the Pirates when it’s time for a new deal and the Pirates could be looking to contend.
Follow RumBunter on Twitter because we can’t heal Major League pitchers but we certainly pay a lot of cash to watch others try.