There is the old saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder. As the Colorado Rockies are off to their worst 15-game start in franchise history and have the worst record in the National League at 3-12 heading into Sunday’s matinee in San Francisco, there are plenty of Rocky Mountain eyes on the Bronx and Kansas City today.
Why those two American League cities? Because that’s where DJ LeMahieu and Carlos Gonzalez will be playing today. It’s also where some of the biggest “what ifs” from Colorado Rockies fans will be taking the field as well.
CarGo officially had his contract selected by the Cleveland Indians ahead of Sunday’s game with the Royals in Kansas City and his will bring his sweet swing to an American League team for the first time since 2008, either today or in the very near future.
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When the Rockies chose not to bring back Gonzalez, there were plenty of fans who wondered if that was the right move. In fact, in our unofficial Twitter poll back in February, 63 percent of the more than 600 respondents said they would like to see CarGo back in a Rockies uniform in 2019. Well, we know that didn’t happen … and there is plenty of second-guessing about the move.
And maybe it’s not even so much about CarGo’s swing and defensive abilities but more about what he could bring to the clubhouse in terms of calm and chemistry. Some of the comments back in February even discussed the important of CarGo to Colorado’s demeanor. Maybe that is missed more than the Rockies realized when Opening Day dawned.
LeMahieu, meanwhile, is off to a sizzling start with the New York Yankees, posting a .432 average in 44 at-bats heading into Sunday. We know of LeMahieu’s close relationship with Charlie Blackmon and we know the 30-year-old to also be a player who rarely shows his emotions. Maybe that calm nature could’ve helped a frustrated team searching for answers at seemingly every stage of the game right now?
Look, we know why those two players (along with Gerardo Parra) weren’t re-signed this offseason. It was time for the Rockies to let young players like Ryan McMahon, David Dahl, Garrett Hampson and Raimel Tapia show what they can do. However, the first two are currently on the injured list and the latter two are both hitting south of .200.
It’s likely that the money that could’ve brought LeMahieu back to Denver was also used for extensions for Nolan Arenado and German Marquez. No one will argue those two players are critical to Colorado’s long-term success but there are plenty who are missing LeMahieu’s bat in the order at the moment.
Sure, there is a lot that has gone into Colorado’s slow start, including plenty of injuries. However, that 3-12 record and futility at the plate certainly has Rockies fans looking to two old favorites playing in the American League right now and what wondering what might have happened in a parallel universe where they were still wearing purple.