Watching Thursday night’s dramatic 5-3 come-from-behind victory over the Atlanta Braves, there are some painstakingly obvious decisions that the Colorado Rockies need to make: Ian Desmond, Gerardo Parra, and Tony Wolters should not be in the everyday starting lineup.
The Colorado Rockies offense is a mess right now. For eight innings Thursday night, the Rockies mustered only four total hits and a two runs. In those innings, Desmond, Parra, and Wolters were 0-for-7 at the plate with only a sacrifice fly RBI by Desmond. The ninth-inning rally that included the game-tying RBI single by Ryan McMahon and the go-ahead two-run single by David Dahl shows that that the Rockies desperately need to go with their youngsters in the starting lineup.
Let’s start with first base. I have written several articles (including this one) on Desmond’s struggles so I am not going to bore you with another one … but when I consider him striking out instead of not grounding into a double play in the ninth a successful at-bat, something needs to change.
McMahon, on the other hand, has almost single-handedly kept the Rockies in the playoff race this past week. He has hit two enormous home runs, including a walk-off against the Dodgers on Saturday, to go along with his RBI on Thursday. McMahon needs to be starting at first base and Desmond should be riding the bench.
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At catcher, I don’t know what Wolters has on Bud Black but, for some reason, Wolters is still on the roster and continues to get regular starts. Wolters get a lot of praise for his defense and his preparation but he is a complete black hole with the bat. Post-All-Star break, he is hitting .118/.348/.176 with two RBI and five walks.
Tom Murphy was sent back down to Triple-A Albuquerque on August 7 after slumping at the plate and having a disastrous inning defensively against the Seattle Mariners. However, he is a huge upgrade offensively over Wolters. He has only hit 2-for-19 since being sent down but the Rockies should seriously consider recalling Murphy and sending Wolters down in order to boost the offense at the catcher position.
Last, but definitely not least, it’s “Better Call Dahl time” in Colorado. Parra is the emotional spark plug in the Rockies’ dugout but he has been inept when he has been in the lineup. Since the break, he is hitting .226/.333/.258 with five RBI and only two extra-base hits.
On the flip side, Dahl, like McMahon, has been critical to the Rockies’ success lately. His slash line hasn’t been the greatest since coming of the disabled list on August 5 (.258/.343/.484), but he is providing the threat of power and speed that this lineup undoubtedly needs. If he can manage to finally stay healthy, he is the Rockies’ future in center field.
The Rockies continue to find ways to squeak out wins … but sooner or later that will catch up to them. They need to find a way to put more runs on the board if they plan on reaching the playoffs and these moves may just be the ticket to do just that. It’s time to make some changes.