The Colorado Rockies started this season with a deep lineup that was studded with high-profile names. The middle of the order contained Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Helton, and the newly acquired Michael Cuddyer. Those four men hold a handful of accolades among them, including high finishes in MVP voting, batting titles, All Star appearances, and one potential Hall of Famer. Any glimmer of legitimate hopefulness lied in the fact that those four are capable of driving a potent offensive team.
With the news that Carlos Gonzalez will be out for a while and possibly be shut down for the rest of the season due to a troublesome left hamstring, injuries have officially transformed the Rockies into a big-name-less team. No disrespect to the likes of Jordan Pacheco and Josh Rutledge, but to most people the Rockies are now a highly talented minor league team.
Over the last couple months, CarGo had fallen into a situation similar to that which Cuddyer faced last season in Minnesota. Once his slugging teammates went down, he was the only scary name in an otherwise unknown and/or unintimidating lineup. Cuddy was forced into that position when Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer both went down in Minnesota last season. While CarGo’s ability far exceeds Cuddyer’s, I have to believe both men would tell you that their respective situations grew more and more burdensome over time.
The competition for next year’s 5th outfielder started a while ago and will continue in Colorado’s remaining games, with Andrew Brown, Charlie Blackmon, and Matt McBride vying with the injured Eric Young Jr. for a leg up going into next season.