Apr 16, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies senior vice president and assistant general manager Bill Geivett (center) shovels snow before the start of the game the New York Mets at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Rockies General Manager Dan O’Dowd and Vice President of Major League Operations Bill Geivett have each resigned from their posts with the organization, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
And so ends one of the stranger experiments in the history of player development.
You see, while O’Dowd has held the title of GM since 1999, in practice he hasn’t been in that position since 2012. That year, as the team tottered towards a last place finish, Colorado ownership instituted a never-before-seen front office alignment. They promoted Geivett to his most recent title, giving him control of the major league ballclub, while having O’Dowd, the GM, take control of the team’s minor league branch. It appeared to be the first time since Branch Rickey pioneered the modern farm system that a team’s big league club and minor league affiliates were not under the direction of a single executive.
It was controversial at the time, but it was a time when the Rockies were doing controversial things. That was the year they instituted the infamous four-man, 75 pitch rotation. They scrapped that after two months. This lasted two years.
Although the major league club is still miring in the trenches – they finished this season with the second worst record in the game (66-94) – it could be argued that the dichotomous front office paid dividends in player development. Entering the 2012 season, the Rockies farm system ranked 17th in Baseball America’s annual organizational talent rankings. Now their system is arguably among the game’s best. They’re set with three upper echelon pitching prospects in Jon Gray, Eddie Butler and Kyle Freeland, and outfielders David Dahl and Raimel Tapia both rank among the MLB.com’s top 100.
Of course, that might just be a symptom of the poor major league club. Having a top ten draft pick three years ago certainly helped.
Rosenthal indicated Geivett would leave the organization, but that O’Dowd might stay in a different capacity