From the final game at Pittsburgh on the 18th through the Cubs and San Diego games ending on the 23rd, Colorado looked like a dumpster fire. They lost 2-10, 5-16, 7-9, and 5-13 with one victory thrown in there. There were no pitching and no offense and the Rockies were still looking for a rhythm. Finally with Kyle Freeland and Jon Gray throwing their best games of the season, they got impressive 8-0 and 5-2 wins over the stupid Friars on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, respectively.
Gerrardo Parra served his suspension from Sunday through Wednesday. He flew to Miami ahead of the team to prepare for the Marlins series this weekend. Chris Rusin went on the DL with his annual intercostal strain. CarGo is still on the DL while Mike Tauchman has been virtually oh-for on the season. All this activities forced the Rockies to shake up their roster. David Dahl traded places with Tauchman and Noel Cuevas replaced CarGo on the roster. Brooks Pounders swapped locations with Scott Oberg. Harrison Musgrave was selected to the 40-man roster while Zach Jemiola was designated to make room for Musgrave. Carlos Estevez was moved to the 60-day DL to make room for Pounders on the 40-man roster.
Pounders and Musgrave each pitched one inning this week without giving up a run. They are not expected to be a major part of the bullpen but nice starts to the call ups. Dahl hasn’t missed a beat and he is already boosting the offense exponentially while playing excellent outfield defense. Ryan McMahon over the past two weeks is starting to find his swing and taking his walks. He is still a ways away from Dahl-like production level.
Colorado is now 14-12, in second place four games back of Arizona. But they are still ahead of the Dodgers, Giants, and the stupid Padres. The current record tells who the Rockies are: yo-yo team that can get hot and cold in an instant. Gray always had the one big bad inning that doomed his starts until the recent one. Tyler Anderson was uncharacteristically inconsistent with his command throwing a ton of pitches in few innings. German Marquez looked great at the outset of the game against the Cubs last Sunday until his fastball spun Kris Bryant’s helmet around. Bryant had to leave the game, but it turned out that he was ok. It definitely made Marquez a very passive pitcher and he proceeded to give up a parade of two-out hits. Chettis has done well except for the first inning against the Padres when he gave up four runs in the first inning. But the Rockies handed a 5-4 lead to the bullpen. But the bullpen starring B-Shaw and Oberg had a historical meltdown in the nine-run seventh inning that gave San Diego a 13-5 rout. If the rotation can put together consistent six innings of quality starts, that will ease the burden on the bullpen.
On the other side of the ball, the Rockies have scored at least five runs in eight of the last ten games which is not very noticeable due to some disastrous pitching. With DJLM finding his comfort zone as a leadoff hitter and Chuck Nazty settling into the third spot, the Rockies are a threat from the top four night in and night out. No more shuffling to find the output they need. Even better if they find a steady two-hole hitter to go between DJLM and Nazty. Dahl has helped the lineup tremendously adding a bat in the middle of the order with speed to boot. It is the six thru ninth slots that are really killing any momentum in the early going. McMahon is finally settling in and if Ianetta can get back to average, that helps the bottom half especially when CarGo and Ian Desmond can get their swings going. Sabermetrics say that’s not going to happen.
Colorado begin a nine-game trip east of the Mississippi River for three games each against Miami, Chicago (Cubs), and New York (Mets). They are an impressive 9-5 away from Coors Field and have yet to lose a road series sans the opening series against Arizona. But they have been a total flop at home sporting a 5-7 mark at altitude. If they can find consistency on both sides of the ball, they can throw the yo-yo toy in the dumpster fire and start competing.
In other news, Bob K pointed out that Dan Winkler has stuck with the Braves and the Braves do not have to return the Rule 5 pick to the Rockies. Lesson learned – even if the injury is a long-term one, you still have to protect him from Rule 5 since the complex injury rules allow the selecting team to stash a Rule 5 pick on the DL long term. At least we have pitchers coming up the pipeline such as Jesus Tinoco, Peter Lambert, Sam Howard, Yency Almonte, Ryan Castellani, etc.