Two weeks ago the Colorado Rockies first third of the season could have been described as promising. Even one week ago the Rockies first third of the season could be considered adequate. But, a 1- 9 record over the last ten games along with several unwelcome injuries find the Rockies sitting at an underwhelming 28-30 mark and third in the NL West division.
Moreover, the Rockies first third of the season seems to be similar to their 2013 start. On May10th , the Rockies were 23-16 and second in the NL West. Fast forward nearly a month to today and the Rockies are 28-30. Clearly, they have cooled off after their hot start. Given their recent struggles and declining play the Rockies first quarter of the season performance should be rated as a C+.
Aside from their recent troubles the Rockies first third of the season has been enjoyable. Rockies fans have seen the emergence of both Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson in the Coors field outfield. Troy Tulowitzki has reminded everyone in baseball that he is the best shortstop in the game. Nolan Arenado electrified baseball with his 28 game hit streak (a new franchise record). Justin Morneau has slid almost seamlessly into Todd Helton’s first base job, and Adam Ottavino has been one of the best NL setup pitchers.
Offense has once again been the Rockies calling card behind their success. Currently, the Rockies are third in baseball in runs scored, first in batting and slugging percentage and second in on base percentage. Tulowitzki’s 15 home runs and 40 RBI’s along with his baseball leading .354 batting average have him as an early MVP frontrunner. Both Blackmon and Morneau have provided unexpected power with 10 home runs each. So far the only missing piece to the Rockies offensive jugernaut has been the play of Carlos Gonzalez. Cargo was hitting a measly .255 with 8 home runs and 31 RBI’s before being placed on the 15-Day DL yesterday with a finger injury. Compound Cargo’s injury with Nolan Arendo’s broken finger and the Rockies are missing two key bats in their lineup. However, if both are able to return within the next few weeks the Rockies offense should be fine given their depth.
Just as characteristically the Rockies have been mediocre when it comes to pitching. Their pitching staff ranks near the bottom in ERA, quality starts, WHIP and opposing batting average. Jorge De La Rosa, Jordan Lyles and Juan Nicasio have all been solid so far this season, with each of their ERA’s under 4.10 (a very respectable ERA for any Rockies pitcher). Ottavino has been the Rockies most dependable bullpen arm with 11 holds and a very impressive 2.10 ERA. Latroy Hawkins has been up and down as the Rockies closer this season, but his 11 saves and 3.60 ERA most likely exceed what fans expected of the 41 year old at the beginning of the season (mine as well).
Rex Brothers has easily been the Rockies most disappointing player this season. Last year at this point in the season Brothers ERA stood at an unbelievable 0.35. After last nights debacle in which he gave up 5 earned runs on 4 hits without recording an out, his ERA rose to 5.47.
All together the Rockies first third of the season consisted of several great highs and a few lows. Currently, the Rockies are mired in a low. Only time will tell if the Rockies can weather the recent storm of injuries and whether or not their offense can continue to carry the team. If so, the Rockies will stay in contentions all summer.