Colorado Rockies: How the National League West can be won

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LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: David Dahl #26 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates his solo homerun in front of Yasmani Grandal #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers to take a 3-2 lead during the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: David Dahl #26 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates his solo homerun in front of Yasmani Grandal #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers to take a 3-2 lead during the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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PHOENIX, AZ – OCTOBER 04: Raimel Tapia. Getty Images.
PHOENIX, AZ – OCTOBER 04: Raimel Tapia. Getty Images. /

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Beyond Dahl, the pieces for a productive offensive lineup are there. As fellow Rox Pile contributor Olivia Greene pointed out in her May 12 piece, “The Colorado Rockies have what it takes to be a winning team.”

Guys like Ryan McMahon, Raimel Tapia and Tom Murphy have nothing left to prove in AAA. McMahon made the opening-day roster but never received consistent playing time, so is raking in the Pacific Coast League instead (he hit two home runs last night using Mike Tauchman‘s bat). Murphy is .286/.358/.622 with 10 home runs.

Meanwhile, Pat Valaika — who is slashing an abysmal .115/.194/.164 over 68 plate appearances — has no business being on a major league roster right now. I don’t care how much utility he has as an infielder, it’s baffling to see him playing instead of McMahon.

Tapia deserves another shot with the Rockies. Yes, that’s yet another left-handed bat in the outfield, but he provided the offense with a much-needed boost in 2017. He should get another chance to ignite this tepid lineup.

Any one of these guys could help fill this lineup’s black hole — the fifth spot. The Rockies’ fifth batter is batting dead last in nearly every offensive category, slashing .152/.218/.285. This is suffocating rallies. Put one of the young guys in this spot — Dahl, McMahon, Tapia, etc. — and see what happens. If we have to play Ian Desmond, bat him eighth.

Next: Remembering the day Jordan Lyles almost no-hit the Colorado Rockies

I hate to be hyperbolic, but the next month will probably make or break the Colorado Rockies’ 2018 campaign. We have the pieces for a title run. It just depends on if the front office can — or is willing to — solve the puzzle.

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