The following things all happened Thursday in Colorado’s 5-4 loss to the Washington Nationals:
Carlos Gonzalez left the game with an injury.
Dexter Fowler left the game with an injury.
Matt Belisle surrendered two runs and took the loss.
Troy Tulowitzki left the game with an injury.
Seriously, all of those things happened in the same game. As far as 2013 goes, that is the Rockies’ worst nightmare.
The biggest blow is the injury to Tulowitzki: a broken rib will keep the star shortstop out for 4-6 weeks. If the past has taught us anything it is to ere on the longer side of those time estimates when it comes to any injuries to the middle section of a baseball player. I’ll be shocked if Tulo isn’t out for more than a month.
CarGo injured his foot when Jordan Pacheco fouled a ball off in his direction in the on-deck circle. Thankfully those x-rays were negative, though it would not be a surprise if he still had to miss a game or two. As for Fowler, he injured himself when a pitch hit his hand while he tried to lay down a bunt. For now let’s just all agree that it’s time for Dex to ditch the idea of bunting for a hit altogether and just frickin’ swing away.
This series of events places immense pressure on a number of young players. Tyler Colvin goes from frustrated minor league player to an absolutely key figure as the Rockies try to replace Tulowitzki’s production on offense. Josh Rutledge will be called back up earlier than expected to show what he has learned while tweaking his approach in Colorado Springs. Depending on the situations for Fowler and CarGo we might also see Charlie Blackmon getting some more chances to play in the outfield as well. Nolan Arenado and Wilin Rosario will be asked to grow up in a hurry and become more consistent for a suddenly depleted lineup.
The recipe for success for the Rockies always starts with: “As long as CarGo and Tulo stay healthy…” Now there will be a month where they aren’t both healthy, and this team will have to find a way to stay afloat in what appears to be a winnable National League West. Tulo has been MVP-quality good, so it will be darned difficult to get by without him in the middle of the lineup.