Aaron Cook and Huston Street returning, but how much did we really miss them?

Sometimes I don't get the way the mainstream looks at the Rockies, or sports in general, actually. I look and see Colorado as a combination of many wonderful parts working more or less in sync with each other, where players come and go with injuries or what have you but the team as a whole keeps on chugging along, while they seem to find these little day to day injuries as more crucially important. This afternoon I was looking at our new SBNation.com portal site to see if their StoryStream was saying anything about the Rockies and the NL playoffs in general, and indeed it was, but the other big Rockies related bit they're following is the story that Aaron Cook returns to the rotation Friday, along with Huston "not Houston" Street's return from three weeks off with biceps tendinitis last night.

Yeah, Purple Row rides the short bus of baseball blogging for not making a full front page story about these returns sooner to get some search engine love, but we're not entirely to blame here, by winning at the same pace they were before the injuries, the Rockies have been making it look like both players are pretty extraneous to the team.

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Aaron Cook 10-6 26 25 1 1 0 0 145.0 167 75 72 18 46 75 4.47 1.47

Despite his 10-6 won/loss record, the Rockies are only 12-13 in Aaron Cook starts in 2009. Given the amount of innings he pitches, however, the team is more more than happy to welcome him back this Friday. Since he last started on August 21st, the Rockies have switched to a 4.1 man rotation, with replacement starters Josh Fogg and Jose Contreras picking up just three starts while the other four members of the starting staff have started the team's other 26 games. While this strategy has worked (the Rockies have gone 18-11 in that time frame) recent poor starts (such as the 2.1 inning debacle by Jorge De La Rosa last night have shown cracks in the dam and that the Rockies really could use their workhorse to pick up some innings slack and keep the other four starters sharp heading into the playoffs. Nonetheless, the Rockies gained one game on Atlanta, two and a half on Florida, and four games on the Giants in the wild card chase while Cook was absent.

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Huston Street 3-1 59 0 0 0 33 1 55.1 39 19 18 6 11 63 2.93 .90

Street, meanwhile seems poised to return to his closer's role and many Rockies fans will say not a moment too soon. Again, however, while the Rockies have missed him, it hasn't exactly shown up in the standings yet, with Colorado having an NL best record of 13-6 since he went down with his arm issues on September 1st. Again, this isn't to say that the Rockies aren't a better team with Street, they most certainly are, and the same absolutely holds true with Cook, but in 2009 they are showing themselves to be a team that can absorb minor injury losses very well.

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