Colorado went through the month of June without a swoon. The attendance reflected the fans’ confidence in the team as they are ranked sixth in the majors. Their actions on the field had mixed results, but they avoided their annual June Swoon. They are 44-42 and one game out of WC1 spot. That’s a pretty good spot to be in considering that they played seven vs. the Dodgers (2-5) and two vs. the Astros (0-2) in the last couple of weeks. Before that, Colorado split the season series (3-3) vs. the Cubs.
The Rockies hasn’t quite measured up to the top tier teams as hoped for due to inconsistent rotation and faltering bullpen. The offense has been hitting well, but they have often been on the short end of the slugfest. Teams with strong bullpens often stopped the Rockies dead in their tracks late in the game.
Tonight, they open a three-game series at Coors vs. the D-backs. Antonio Senzatela will open the series to be followed by Jon Gray and German Marquez. K-Free’s replacement Chi Chi Gonzalez was thrown into the fire against top tier teams and had shown some flashes. But he can’t hold them down over five or six innings. Peter Lambert had to grow up fast pitching against the best teams twice each. He had no trouble with teams that were aggressive hitting the ball, but seemed to have problems with teams that have great plate discipline and made him throw over the middle of the plate.
The offense has been slugging like the Blake Street Bombers, but only at Coors. The biggest problem is that they probably lead the major leagues in chase rate (meaning swinging at balls out of the zone) when away from LoDo. If the Rockies are to perform well after the ASB, they need to get everything together at the same time. K-Free last start was 7 innings of one-run ball, but that was after a string of games when he pitched like a Little Leaguer. Mark Reynolds and Pat Valaika have been cutout cardboard in the batter’s box. EdTheUmp and I have been waiting for two-months to DFA those two bench players. Raimel Tapia needs to stop being a wildly unpredictable player day-to-day. One day he would have great plate discipline, and then the next day he swings at anything from head to toe as well as far off the plate.
The offense is starting to gel with the four All-Stars (Blackmon, Story, Arenado, and Dahl) in the top four of the line up. Dan Murphy is now swinging the bat well that we paid him to do. Ian Desmond has had a great month of June and he needs to keep that going the rest of the year. RyMac is still learning as a rookie; he is deadly if you throw knee or belt level, but he cannot hit the ball at the top of the strike zone. Tony Wolters need to play everyday so he can graduate from the Growing Pains University before the post season starts.
We need help from Antonio Senzatela, K-Free, and Peter Lambert to stabilize the back of the rotation. The bullpen with the exception of Scott Oberg has been a pile of cow manure. Some of the high-powered arms are showing flashes of potential but hasn’t proven to be lock down pitchers. Buddy Black must move Wade Davis out of the closer role because he has a 6 BB/9 walk rate. That’s not even close to major league quality.