Monday Morning Shortstop: The Colorado Rockies, Baseball’s Best Team?
The Rockies have been in existence for nearly two decades, and I don’t remember ever claiming that the Rockies are the best team in the league.
Even when Rocktober enveloped downtown Denver, and the Rockies rattled off those unprecedented winning streaks, they were never regarded as the league’s best team. Even when they went to the World Series, the Rockies were always considered an underdog, and they embraced that role. They have never won their division, and never been nationally recognized as a league titan. Until now.
Although the season is still in its infancy, and the Rockies still have not played elite competition, I believe that the Rockies can currently say they are the best team in the league.
I have been a Rockies follower since their inception, and I have never been able to say that.
Here are a few reasons why I genuinely believe the Rox are the crème of the crop right now:
They have the best record in the league at 12-3. Slightly better than the upstart Indians (11-4), the defending American league champion Rangers (10-4), and the very dangerous Phillies (10-4). For the first time probably ever, the Rockies have the best record in the league, and the Red Sox (4-10) have the worst. That’s awesome.
Troy Tulowitzki is the best shortstop in the league. Point blank period. Since September 1st of last season, he is the only player in the league with more than 20 homeruns. He currently leads the league with 7 jacks. In a four game series at the New York Mets, Tulo went deep in each of the four games. Only person to ever accomplish such a thing. He makes hitting the ball on the screws look easy, and it’s not easy at all. Not only is he hitting bombs at a foolish pace, his defense is ridiculously airtight. His arm is a howitzer and his range is unmatched. He has the gold glove on lock down for years to come.
The Rockies starting pitching remains rock solid, even in the absence of the Ubaldo the Great. As a unit, the starters only have one loss, and that was two games ago, when Hammel put up the first bad performance by a starter. Chacin (3-0), De la Rosa (2-0), Rogers (2-0), Reynolds (1-0), and Hammel (1-1). Starters are 9-1 as a unit 15 games in. Keep that up and they will win 100.
Elite teams get contributions from a variety of sources, and the Rockies lineup is stellar from bottom to top. Perfect example – the offensive surge that led to the Rockies win against the Cubs in the series finale. With the game tied in the bottom of the 8th the Rockies hit around, bringing ten hitters to the plate.
Next up for the red-hot Rockies, who have yet to lose a series, is the defending champion San Francisco Giants. It will be the first series against a team with a winning record, and the first opportunity to see how the Rockies stack up against a quality opponent. It is only mid – April, but it’s a huge test for the Rockies, who are playing the best baseball in the league.