Thursday’s Colorado Rockies Double-Play: Jordan Lyles and the Home-Opener

Jordan Lyles Promising Early

Jordan Lyles struck out five in his first start for the Colorado Rockies. Is this a sign of things to come for Lyles and the Rox?

With Tyler Chatwood resting a bum hamstring, the Colorado Rockies turned to Jordan Lyles to fill the void in the starting rotation. Lyles didn’t disappoint. Although it is early, there are glimpses of a great opportunity for Jordan Lyles in a Rockies uniform.

Major league success hasn’t come consistently for Lyles. Having been with the Houston Astros, a team notorious for lack of scoring, Lyles was under pressure to deliver top-notch outings every time he took the mound. The pressure was too much as he struggled to keep his ERA under five and strikeout to base-on-balls ratio of under three.

Coming over in the Dexter Fowler trade, Jordan Lyles was provided with a fresh start. And despite Coors Field being infamously cruel to pitchers, Lyles has a real chance to grow into the prospect he was supposed to be.

Early indications are promising even though Lyles gave up four runs in just five innings pitched; a minor problem for a Rockies offense that should consistently provide him with run support in the future. The biggest surprise out of Lyles’ start was his control. Posting five strikeouts and only one walk, Lyles exhibited the type of control that has been expected of him since he was drafted in 2008.

He was also able to get nearly half of his recorded outs via the ground ball. There is no park in baseball that ground ball outs are more important than Coors Field. It is widely publicized that fly balls in the Mile High City have a tendency to carry, which makes ground balls key to a pitcher’s success in Colorado.

Yes it early, and yes Jordan Lyles is in the rotation as a result of the injury to Tyler Chatwood. Despite the promising start, Lyles isn’t about to take the place of Tyler Chatwood in the immediate future. After all, Chatwood was one of Colorado’s most reliable starters last season. If Lyles can continue to trim his ERA and the Rockies offense can support him as he does, he’s got the stuff to be successful. Furthermore, if the improvements shown by Jordan Lyles against Miami are here to stay, his place as a start for the Rockies might become permanent.

Opening at Home the Right Way

The Rockies went 45-36 at Coors Field last season and are hoping for continued success this weekend.

Today the Rox will look to steal another victory out of South Beach before returning home to face division-rival Arizona in their home opener this weekend. Last season the Rockies jumped out of the gates and surprised many with their early success. Yes baseball’s a marathon, and that was never more evident than the 2013 Rockies campaign; but it is critical Colorado wins their weekend series with the D’Backs.

Last year the Rockies went 45-36 at home, but managed just a 7-12 record against the Diamondbacks; the NL West’s biggest surprise in 2013. With Juan Nicasio, Jorge De La Rosa, and Brett Anderson slated to make starts against Arizona this weekend, the Rockies will have their most reliable arms leading the charge.

Coming home also gives Troy Tulowitzki and Nolan Arenado a chance to get their season’s going. As of this morning they are combined three for twenty-four at the plate. The friendly confines of Coors Field provide Tulo and Nolan the chance to get it going at the plate.

Look for the Rox to take two of three from the D’Backs at home this weekend and continue their recent success at Coors Field.