On the heels of an abysmal 1-9 road trip that saw the Colorado Rockies get obliterated by the Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, and New York Mets, the team returns home to take on the team with the best record in all of Major League Baseball. That would be the aforementioned Pirates.
Injuries have been in the news lately, with the Rockies placing Carlos Gonzalez and Tyler Chatwood on the 15 day DL. They also moved Christian Friedrich to the 60 day DL to make room for emergency starting pitcher Jeff Manship on Thursday. Here’s what else is happening with the Rockies and around the rest of the league:
Despite a trip that dropped the Rockies to 12 games under .500 and 12 1/2 games behind in the National League West, Weiss has been happy to see his team keep pressing.
‘I think these guys have competed very well,” Weiss said. “I haven’t sensed they’re letting their guard down or they’re taking their foot off the gas or any of that stuff. I feel like they’re grinding through some tough stuff right now.’”
Sitting seven-and-a-half games back in the division, GM Dan O’Dowd was faced with the decision to buy, bolstering a roster in an attempt to fight for a division crown and a playoff berth; to sell, dumping names like Michael Cuddyer and Dexter Fowler to reinforce the farm system; or to remain stagnant.
The Rockies chose to stay put, holding on to their top prospects and hoping the team could compete with what they have. It was a safe move by an organization that traditionally doesn’t make too much noise at the deadline.
The Rockies made a big free agent splash, signing Walker away from the Expos after the players’ strike ended in 1995, signing him to a lucrative four-year contract. He re-paid them by helping lead the team to the playoffs, hitting .306 with a .988 OPS, 36 home runs and 101 RBI.
After struggling with injuries in 1996, Walker won the 1997 NL MVP with the single highest fWAR a Rockies hitter has ever posted in a season (with 9.1), which is no small feat. Walker hit .366 in ’97, with a 1.172 OPS, 49 home runs and 130 RBI. He had 409 total bases in 1997, tied for the 18 most in a season in MLB history, bolstered by 99 extra-base hits. For good measure, he stole 33 bases and won a Gold Glove.
Rodriguez’s camp appealed the record 211-game suspension, and arbitrator Frederic Horowitz isn’t expected to rule on the appeal until November or December. That means Alex Rodriguez will play the rest of this season. If the Yankees were to make the playoffs (a scenario that’s looking unlikely here on August 7), Rodriguez would be able to suit up for that as well.
The other 12 players, suspended for 50 games for their first violation, accepted their punishment, and will sit out the rest of the regular season. A-Rod, supposedly the most egregious violator of the league’s drug policy, will be allowed to play the rest of the season.