by Larry Patrick
The first month of the baseball season was not kind to the Colorado Rockies. As defending National League Champs, everyone, including the Rockies expected to do much better. The truth is that they aren’t doing any better than April of last year.
Already, the Rockies have disposed of their rookie second baseman, Jayson Nix because of a lack of hitting. They paid 31 million dollars for their popular shortstop of last year only to see Troy Tulowitzki batting in the .150 range. The Rockies closer, Manny Corpas, has been replaced by the previous closer, Brian Fuentes. Willy Taveras can’t seem to buy a bunt single this season after having so many last year. What is going on?
The Rockies have scored 3 or fewer runs in 15 of their 25 games through Monday. Hitting was supposed to be their strength. Aside from Matt Holliday, Garret Atkins and Todd Helton, it isn’t happening. The starting pitching has been mostly poor and it has caused the bullpen to become burned out from overuse this early in the season. The key injury to reliever, Luis Vizcaino, has been tough for Colorado but good teams handle such problems. The Rockies are not a good team right now.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have already won 20 games while the Rockies have won 11 as of last Tuesday. They were already 8 games out, further than any time last season. The good news is that the season is early and all of the problems discussed above could turn around quickly, but the Rox are in a tough division and can’t dally. The fans, exhuberant from last years late run, will begin losing patience and quit going to games if the team doesn’t start winning. The beauty of a 162 game season is that all teams have their ups and downs.
It is a new month and by the end of May, I could be writing about how the Rockies are tearing up the division and leading the pack. A lot of things have to happen quickly but the Rockies do have the talent and the ability to get things done.