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June 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm ET
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Jordan Pacheco: Free

Woulda, coulda and shoulda: Pacheco, Colvin and Fowler

What does it say about Jordan Pacheco’s disappearing act that some of us, ahem, didn’t even realize he was finally gone? Probably says more about a fan’s loss of faith than anything.

How did this guy not make it with the Colorado Rockies? I loved him. He’d shown he could hit, though we’re now a couple of seasons removed from that demonstration. He played anywhere he was asked: first base, third base, second base, outfield, and this year he became the backup catcher, doing a serviceable job in all of these roles. (He was best at third, in my opinion.)

Gap hitter. Doubles guy. in 2012, he hit .309 with 32 doubles, five homers and 54 RBI in 132 games. He was poised for a breakout. We kept thinking the power numbers would come, but nope. And even the outfield gaps were now mostly beyond his reach. His patience at the plate simply vanished–easy pickings for the slider throwers who knew he couldn’t hit the pitch and wouldn’t adjust his approach. So wary of the breaking ball that he couldn’t catch up to a good fastball anymore. He hit .239 last season and was at .236 this year. In two years, from the answer to a question mark. Unbelievable.

Pacheco’s 28 now, and he’s been lapped by newer dudes the Rockies have developed or acquired … Charlie Blackmon (finally? is it real?), Charlie Culberson, Brendan Barnes, Corey Dickerson, guys who’ll do anything for the team, even hit. Pacheco couldn’t, or wouldn’t, do that anymore.

It is a good sign, perhaps, that the Rockies are through “living with” never-will-be types: Eric Young Jr., Jonathan Herrera (currently just as unwatchable with the Red Sox), Tyler Colvin, Ubaldo Jimenez. Chris Nelson, Dexter Fowler. None ever more than an occasional tease. All gone and mostly forgotten. And Pacheco too had maxed out his options and opportunities in Denver.

Maybe Pacheco was stuck in a rut. Maybe he’d become disenchanted with being a “rover” and a bench guy. Maybe he’ll use this wakeup call to become the guy for the Arizona Diamondbacks (who just grabbed him off waivers) that he probably should have been for the Rox.

If not, there’s a long, long list of — and usually a job somewhere for — backup catchers who can’t hit a lick. It’s just a shame Jordan Pacheco might end up on it.

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