Colorado Rockies: Being in first place doesn’t matter right now
The Colorado Rockies have overtaken the Arizona Diamondbacks and are now first in the National League West. The Rockies haven’t been in first place since June 20th, 2017. Every Rockies fan is, of course, happy that they have not only been able to surpass the Dbacks and even the Dodgers thus far. Now that’s all fine and good, but here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter right now.
Of course, everyone is still going to keep celebrating that Colorado is finally the top team. However, there are still a plethora of problems that have yet to be addressed. For instance, Ian Desmond is the elephant in the room we talk about quite a lot at Rox Pile. He’s an underperforming starter and the Rockies don’t show any intentions on changing his dynamic anytime soon. Having a guy like Desmond who has a current slashline of .181/.234/.374 isn’t really helping the team. Because of this, it’s hard to not see him being even more a liability later down the road if he doesn’t have a turn around.
Ian Desmond isn’t the only guy the Colorado Rockies should be worried about. Carlos Gonzalez is another as his redemption tour isn’t going too well with his stats. If you want to go more in-depth with his struggles, you can read my article about it right here. Essentially, he’s in the same boat as Desmond meaning that he is another older guy on the team that isn’t meeting team expectations, but there will be no consequences to his actions or, in this case, inactions.
Now these are things that could hold back the Colorado Rockies from not only holding off the Dbacks, but they have plenty of options to help them do so. First and foremost, the guys on their bench such as David Dahl and Noel Cuevas deserve to have playing time, as our own Luke Mullins discussed in this article earlier today.
Both guys have been great additions to the bench thus far and are performing at a higher level than some starters. These young guys are exceeding expectations and have yet to receive a reward for that.
Keeping on the pace of the youthful bench, adding Raimel Tapia and maybe even bringing back up Ryan McMahon could be very beneficial to the Rockies performance as they get deeper into the season.
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One thing to point out is that the pitching staff has seriously up their game since the beginning of the season. We’re starting to see more solid quality starts out of the Colorado Rockies rotation. For example, Kyle Freeland had his sixth straight quality start last night in the team’s loss to the Dodgers. Along with that, they now have the bullpen still being as “super” as advertise before the season’s start, with a few outliers in the bullpen.
Such as newly signed Bryan Shaw who has a high ERA of 5.92 in just 24.1 innings pitched. The other stragglers would be Mike Dunn with his 7.30 ERA has been missing his mark for quite a while. The rest of the Rockies bullpen makes up for these relievers, though.
The offense has been better so far in May. They have a slash line of .236/.307/.416 in May compared to .223/.300/.376 entering March and April. However, the Colorado Rockies still seem to depend upon Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado to come through. It isn’t as bad this season due to Trevor Story upping his game with a nice slashline of .240/.325/.486 with 10 homers and 35 RBI. As stated earlier, Dahl and Cuevas are truly helping with at-bats off the bench. Once the team starts to get deeper in the season perhaps the rest of the bats will pick up.
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The Colorado Rockies are on track to having a solid season if they can stay in first place. But being in first right now isn’t a big deal. They not only have to fight off the Dbacks, but also still need a good record to compete with the NL Wild Card teams, such as the Phillies, Braves, and Cardinals. If the Rockies are able to form a solid union, that is when we will truly be able to celebrate the Rockies being in first place. Until then take what we see right now with a grain of salt as the Rockies try to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.