Colorado Rockies: Yonathan Daza’s return from injury gives them a big lift
By Duane DaPron
Maybe all the Colorado Rockies needed was a dose of energy from Yonathan Daza to change its late-season fortunes.
The Rockies’ outfielder returned to the active roster on Tuesday following a 22-game stint on the injured list due to a left shoulder separation suffered Aug. 11 while making a diving catch in center field against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Yonathan Daza has been an integral part of the Colorado Rockies’ offensive resurgence after returning from his injury.
Since his return, Yonathan Daza has been a big part of a Rockies offense that has come to life scoring 35 runs while winning four consecutive games. While Daza was on the IL, the Rox won only seven times scoring three or less runs in 10 of those contests, including six in a row at one point and eight of 10.
What has been the difference in the Colorado offense since Daza’s return? Perhaps it is the energy that the Venezuelan native brings each and every day that has helped the the team’s recent offensive resurgence.
“I think the only reason is my energy,” Daza said about any effect his return has had on his Rox teammates in an exclusive conversation with Rox Pile. “I feel like the guys are playing really loose. They are really good right now. I think we want to get some more wins.”
In four games since his return to the roster, Daza has hit .400 (6-for-15) with six runs, three doubles, one home run, and five RBI. He had multiple hits in four consecutive contests, dating back to Aug. 10.
“I feel like energy is everything,” he said. “You can do whatever you want. If you don’t have energy, it’s not going to do anything. So, I feel—with energy—we can play good. We can play loose. Teaching the young guys to have energy, have fun. That’s how it can be for us.”
Daza, who is hitting .304 this season in 94 games with a .326 average at Coors Field, made an immediate impact on his return to the lineup Tuesday night in a home contest against Milwaukee.
Batting second in the order, he socked a three-run home run—only his second of the season—during a five-run eighth inning that allowed Colorado to rebound from a 6-1 deficit to tie the contest and send the game into extra innings.
Then, after the Brewers had taken a 7-6 lead in the top of the 10th inning, Daza smacked the first pitch in the Rockies’ ensuing at bat for an RBI double to knot a contest the Rockies eventually won 10-7 on Randal Grichuk’s three-run homer.
A day later, he had leadoff hits to ignite two innings, scoring on each occasion, in Colorado’s 8-4 victory.
In the opener of a three-game series Friday night with Arizona, Daza collected two hits and drove in a run with a double as the Rox overcame a nine-run D-back fifth inning to rally for a 13-10 triumph.
Now that he is back healthy and with only 23 regular-season games remaining for the Rox (entering action Saturday night), Daza wants to continue to perform well down the stretch.
“I just want to finish strong,” he said. “I don’t care what how my numbers are, I just want to play, do the best I can every day and see what happens this season.”
Yes. Yonathan Daza is one happy member of the Colorado Rockies.
“I am happy to be back,” he said. “I am happy to be with all my teammates and I am happy to do the best I can to win games. I am a happy man.”