Tuesday Rockpile: Patience Critical with Hobbled Stars

ATLANTA - JULY 4: Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Colorado Rockies leaves the game after being injured against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on July 4, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

The Rockies may be 6.5 games out of first place in the division this morning, but many fans and analysts outside our state could still be heard saying "Don't bet against the Rockies.  They always seem to have a second half run.  They have three players capable of carrying the team."

Of course, those three players have to be healthy, and now all three are suffering from lingering or potential lingering injuries.  We have known since April of Ubaldo Jimenez' perpetual confidence injury, which he has shown a reprieve from in fits and starts.

Carlos Gonzalez is going to avoid the disabled list after bruising his wrists colliding into the center field wall Sunday.  He is in too much pain to complete the follow through on his swing, and the Rockies will take him day-to-day, but he should return to the line-up by this weekend in Washington.  CarGo just has a motor that doesn't slow down, but this injury may do so.  Tulo's last September notwithstanding, wrist injuries can linger and sap power, and that is one area of Gonzalez' game that was lagging a little as is.  

To provide an extra outfield bat, the Rockies called up Cole Garner for the first time.  The 2003 draft pick was a minor league free agent after the 2009 season and returned to the Rockies, so it is great to see all his hard work and loyalty pay off.  He flew out to right field against Jonny Venters last night as a pinch hitter in his MLB debut.

If CarGo's injury wasn't enough, Troy Tulowitzki left last night's game with a quad injury, a game in which Ubaldo Jimenez earned his 8th loss of the season at the site of last season's no-hitter.  Yes, it was Tulo's right quad that forced him to miss 46 games in 2008, sabotaging his already disappointing sophomore season.  Apparently, the Rockies' shortstop heeded warning signs he ignored three seasons ago, so we ought to feel better.

But with all three of the Big O's and Jhoulys Chacin hobbled and humbled a bit, one wishes today was the All-Star Game instead.  At any rate, caution absolutely must be utilized with both sluggers.  78 games at 80% is not better than 70 games at 100%.



Long-tenured teammate touts Helton's case | ColoradoRockies.com: News  Aaron Cook believes Todd Helton deserves an All-Star spot.  He is currently in third place, behind Shane Victorino and Andre Ethier, who have the benefits of a large home city.  Vote for Helton here.

Beyond the Box Score Power Rankings: Week 14 - Beyond the Box Score  The rankings stubbornly refuse to believe in the Rockies' mediocrity, keeping them steady at #9.  The note on the Rockies is a bit depressing.

Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: Tuesday-Morning Ten-Pack for 7/5/11  Those feeling glum about Tyler Matzek's career turns this season should brighten up if misery indeed loves company.  Kevin Goldstein details the path of last year's Cubs first-rounder, sent to Chicago's spring training complex in Mesa, Arizona after struggling significantly this season.

Also, did anyone notice how the Rockies scored their lone run last night?  Mark Ellis broke up the perfect game with a walk, stole second base and scored on a single.  Keep it up Mr. Ellis.

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