Thursday Rockpile: Losing streak snapped, Rockies now search for clues on how to win

May 21, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Colorado Rockies second baseman Marco Scutaro (19) before a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Jorge De La Rosa is on target to pitch this coming Sunday for the Sky Sox. The utility shuffle continues as well, as Chris Nelson should also return soon. In other third base/UT news, Jordan Pacheco's hitting streak reached nine games, as the note on the bottom of the above link indicates, but not mentioned there is that Pacheco's gone 15 games without a walk, making for a very empty average and an OBP that continues to hover below the .300 level.

The Rockies remain a very uneven team as far as getting on base goes, as while they have a few slots in the batting order that have been successful at it (third through fifth, mostly) and are overall the third best team in the NL in OBP, they also have several batting order slots near the bottom of the league (notably the first and second,) which helps explain the relative lack of crooked number innings and long rallies that we've seen this year. Innings like yesterday's fourth and fifth are needed in greater supply, particularly on the road. Both started with walks, and all three times the Rockies scored, Marco Scutaro got on base. Prior to yesterday's game, the Rockies had been 15th out of 16 in the NL in OBP from the second slot in the lineup.

Jim Tracy wants fans to be patient, which is actually probably decent advice as far as the pitching is concerned. The Rockies young pitchers simply aren't ready to be MLB competitive yet, and the two current veteran starters aren't good enough to make up for that. As for the offense, however, there are enough veterans with enough skill that the patience excuse doesn't hold as well. Here's hoping that yesterday's game is a sign that one of the season's biggest disappointments on that front, Scutaro, will finally get going.

The starting pitching remains the most critical issue for Troy Renck, albeit not critical enough to ask Tracy to put a timeline on how long it was going to take for it to gel into place. Despite the obvious setbacks this month, I'd argue that the Rockies pitchers are getting closer to that point, albeit, a brutal .365 BABIP given up by Rockies starters in the month of May may be obfuscating our ability to fairly gauge that. Some of that out of bounds BABIP will be the unreadiness for the MLB I mentioned, some will be Coors Field, and some will be in other variables (luck, weather, psychology, etc..,) that figures to rebound closer to normal levels at some point.

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