Reasons for Optimism
Fashionably Late, the Bats (May) Have Arrived
Nothing has been more dissected and analyzed than the Rockies offensive struggles this year. While I was one of the very few people out there willing to die on the “Have faith in Ian Desmond/Carlos Gonzalez” hill, even I was starting to look at this offense and wonder if it could hit the broad side of a barn. Well, just about the time I was losing hope, the bats appear to have woken up.
I’m not saying everyone’s numbers will bounce all the way back to where they were in previous seasons, but I feel safe in saying that the “Last in all of baseball”-type numbers are on the up and up. Not only have the struggling starters like Desmond, CarGo and Trevor Story begun barreling more baseballs, but the role players like David Dahl, Noel Cuevas and Ryan McMahon appear to be much more comfortable at the plate as well of late.
As mentioned earlier, no unit has been more reliable this year than the back-end of the bullpen. Adam Ottavino in the eighth and Wade Davis in the ninth have become a source of comfort in a year FULL of close games.
The Rockies have a 2.67 ERA in the eighth inning this year, a 2.85 ERA in the ninth and a 1.50 ERA in extra innings. Making it all the more impressive is knowing roughly half the games have come at altitude with the massive Coors Field outfield. A plus set-up man combined with a plus closer creates an atmosphere where if the Rockies lead after seven, you can nearly take the money to the bank. It feels like the game is in good hands, and that’s a good thing to have in your back pocket.
The Rockies have played a road-heavy schedule thus far. As of this writing, the Rockies have 58 home games remaining and just 49 road games. If Colorado continue its current pace on the road, they should go about 29-20 in those games. If the Rockies finish the home schedule on last year’s pace (since they are still below .500 this year at home), we’re looking at a 33-25 finish at home.
Adding those records to the current 30-25 overall record, the Rockies would finish with a final record of 92-70, five games better than last year.
All of this is just projecting obviously, but you can see the path the Rockies can take to achieve everything they set out to achieve, and that’s a pretty good way to start the month of June.