Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Links: Rockies News 5/5


If you wanted to pick a knit with the Colorado Rockies and their solid start to the 2014 season, you might point out their inability to sweep their opponents. As far as complaints go, however, that is a welcome one.

The Rockies’ offense was shut down on Sunday afternoon and Jhoulys Chacin struggled as they fell 5-1 in the series finale. The other little bit of bad news came when Wilin Rosario was placed on the disabled list as the team tries to prevent any larger issues with a spreading viral infection in the locker room. Thankfully those blips did not ruin an exciting weekend in which Troy Tulowitzki recorded his 1,000th hit and Charlie Culberson delivered a totally unexpected walk-off home run.

Here’s what else is happening with the Rockies and around the rest of the league:

From Nick Groke: Tyler Matzek’s pro journey pitching a call-up to Colorado Rockies (Denver Post)

He was on the verge of the yips, a half-baked term that’s grown to mythic proportions in baseball. The game’s history is lined with players whose careers were hobbled by the yips — Pittsburgh’s Steve Blass in the 1970s, St. Louis’ Rick Ankiel more recently — a mental block that suddenly, somehow prohibits a pitcher from finding the strike zone.

“‘I was 18 years old and going against guys who were 22, so I started getting beat up a little bit,’ Matzek said. ‘And it slowly went downhill from there. I had to pick myself back up.’

From David Schoenfield: Giants best in West with room to improve (ESPN)

This year? They’re second in the majors behind only the Coors-inflated Rockies. With 41 home runs, the Giants have as many as NL rest rivals Arizona and San Diego combined. The team is hitting only .238, but that’s maybe why the rest of the NL West should be worried about this 20-11 start. Yes, Crawford and Pagan are playing well, Michael Morse has been in full beast mode and Tim Hudson has been doing his best Greg Maddux impersonation (4-1, 2.17, two walks in 45 2/3 innings) but Sandoval is hitting .170, Brandon Belt has a .279 OBP, Hunter Pence is slugging just .400 and Posey was hitting .224 a week ago. There is room for this offense improve, given good health.”

From Timmy Kennedy: Best of the West: Key players in the National League West (Call to the Pen)

Not only has Troy Tulowitzki been the best player for the Colorado Rockies, the shortstop has been the best player in the National League by a wide margin.

With seven home runs and 26 runs batted in, Tulowitzki leads the Rockies offense, and has guided them to a cool 18-13 record, good enough for second in the West. Tulo also owns a .385/.487/.729 slashline, with a 17.6% walk percentage compared to a 11.8% strikeout percentage. He also has a 81% contact percentage, making him a dangerous batter to face. When the Rockies offense is hot, they can carry their below-par rotation, and April is living proof.”

Tags: Colorado Rockies