If someone was considering giving up on the Colorado Rockies, they may want to put that on hold for now.
The team won its fifth straight contest on Sunday, sweeping the division leading San Francisco Giants on the road no less. Don’t look now, but the team is merely two games back of a wild card spot, trailing the defending NL Champion St. Louis Cardinals and defending NL West Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The 8-game skid at the end of May and into June did not do the team any favors, but it looks like it’s going to take a lot more than that to knock them out of it.
Of course, it all starts with Troy Tulowitzki, who possibly could be the NL MVP even if the Rockies fail to qualify for the postseason. It’s not often the MVP goes to someone other than a member of a playoff team, but Tulowitzki has been swinging a hot bat all season long. There’s a huge possibility the baseball world is looking at a future Hall of Famer in Tulo, and this just may be his signature season. Sometimes the best trade is the one that isn’t made. Ken Rosenthal wrote this past November of the possibility of trading him to the St. Louis Cardinals, but clearly Colorado made the correct decision in keeping him.
While Tulowitzki could possibly win his first MVP of his career, it would be grotesquely unfair to say it’s been all him. Justin Morneau knows about MVP awards and on Sunday he helped Colorado deliver the sweep to San Francisco. He’s having his best season in a few years and is hitting for average more. Morneau is 33, which may not be 21 or 22, but still has a nice chunk of his career left in him. As long as he stays healthy, there’s no reason he can’t be the man who drove in 100 RBI for four straight seasons from 2006-2009. Certainly Morneau has been a big catalyst as to why the team is where they’re at.
Charlie Blackmon is also coming into form this season. He showed last season the potential he carries. Now it’s happening in 2014 in the games he is playing. His power and speed are things to keep in mind when watching him. He’s not a kid, he’ll be 28 in a little more than two weeks. Yet he is someone who is quickly making a name for himself.
Michael Cuddyer has not been healthy that much this season, but in the time he has played, he has not been a fluke like his batting title season a year ago. Getting Cuddyer back healthy and him playing the rest of the season could only help this team moving forward. He, Morneau, Blackmon and Tulowitzki all could bode bad news for opposing pitchers. Health concerns also surround Nolan Arrenado, but his bat has also put people on notice when he has played.
The rotation could use work. If this team is going to be buyers at the trade deadline, then it may want to turn its attention to pitching. Juan Nicasio and Franklin Morales both have had their struggles. Getting a starter to help this team down the stretch could do wonders with how deadly this lineup has shown itself to be.
Winning the NL West is certainly a challenge at this point because of how well the Giants have been this season despite the sweep. The Dodgers won’t go down easy either and is capable of doing many good things. However, the Rockies qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2009, is absolutely possible at this point.