Colorado Rockies: Grading the first third of the season

With such an unbelievably hot start to the 2014 Major League Baseball season, the Colorado Rockies had a head of steam and were rapidly gaining fan support. Through the months of April and May they were in the top 3 in all offensive team categories. With a stacked lineup and adequate pitching, the only thing on the Rockies mind early in the year is their health for a potential push at a division title or wild card birth at the end of the season. Troy Tulowitzki, without a doubt the Rockies best player, has been on a tear and is playing like the best player in the majors thus far. Although everything started so well, since late May and early June the Colorado Rockies have been plagued with injuries and hit a major rough patch. If it weren’t for the current losing streak the Rockies find themselves in they would receive a higher grade but because of such drastic slumping as of late, the Rockies receive a C+ for their grade through the first third of the season.

Troy Tulowitzki looks to keep the Rockies in the hunt

Troy Tulowitzki looks to keep the Rockies in the hunt

As the Rockies look to wrap up a series with the star-studded Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend they are still tops in the majors in batting average and slugging percentage and sitting third in the majors in total runs and on base percentage. Before coming into Saturday’s game at Coors Field the Rockies have lost 8 straight and are clinging on in the NL West. One sign the Rockies are slumping is the recent call up of pitcher Eddie Butler from Double-A Tulsa. There is obvious concern for a weak, and now ailing pitching staff if they are looking for prospects to make an impact this early in the year. Two weeks ago they were only a couple games back of San Francisco for the division lead but since losing a couple key pieces to the puzzle, they have fallen to 11 games back of the Giants and are currently third in the NL West.

Two huge injuries that could hurt the Rockies in the near future are outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and third baseman Nolan Arenado. Both of these players are impact guys for the team and their absence on the field, and more importantly the batting order, will surely be felt.  Nolan Arenado won the gold glove last year for his impeccable performance as a rookie and through the first third of this season he was looking like a potential all star. One weird slide into second base later and Arenado is placed on the DL with a broken finger, terrible luck. Gonzalez is so important to the Rockies plans moving forward because of the stress he takes away from Tulowitzki in the lineup and his ability to drive in runs and help the pitching out. Gonzalez is a five-tool player that can only help in a lineup that has been mixed and matched recently due to injury. With an odd finger injury to Carlos Gonzalez, like Arenado, the Rockies faithful can only wait and watch as their team free falls for the time being.

If the Rockies can stay in the hunt while they are getting a couple pieces back from the DL then they can keep hope for a quickly declining season. If they fall deeper and deeper behind the pack while they are waiting for players to return then the Rockies will most likely find themselves at the bottom of the totem pole once again. At this point Rockies fans have to hope that Troy Tulowitzki and a collaged pitching staff stay strong and keep them in it until Colorado sees the team they got so accustomed to in late April.