May 20, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies catcher Ramon Hernandez (55) and relief pitcher Rafael Betancourt (63) celebrate their 3-1 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Let's get this out of the way first: barring a stretch of competent baseball that we haven't seen from this team since April, the Rockies are going to lose over 100 games this year (they are 40-68). Okay, so maybe competent is overstating it: Colorado only needs to go 23-31 down the stretch. Then again, over their last 54 games the Rockies are 16-38. Of course the expansion Rockies, who this team uncomfortably reminds me of, were 36-72 through 108 games, and they had a finishing kick of 29-25 to finish at 67-95.
In any case, before last night's win I was significantly more skeptical of Colorado's chances to avoid 3 digit losses this season. As I've said before, baseball is weird. It clinched not only the Rockies' first series win against the Dodgers in LA since September 2010, but it was also the first series win of any kind by the Rockies in over a month*. These last two games have been a peak into a fantasy world in which the four man rotation works and Colorado has competent pitching. It's certainly a nice vision, but to date it has yet to come anywhere close to fruition. More performances like this will be required to avoid 100 losses. Many more.
*Fun fact: Colorado hasn't won a home series since June 1-3 against the Dodgers. It stands to reason that in the worst year in franchise history the Rockies have finally decided to play well against the Dodgers. LA is one of four teams that the Rockies are over .500 against this season -- the Nationals and the Astros, the best and the worst teams in MLB by record are two of the others.
I remain doubtful that Project 5,183 is the right way to attack the Coors problem (and Yahoo's Steve Henson is too), but at the least Alex White has shown some quantum leaps from the pitcher he was earlier this year. Drew Pomeranz looks like a useful piece too. There's good news about Jhoulys Chacin and Jorge De La Rosa too. While those four would comprise a rotation that is well below league average, it's a rotation whose true talent level is much closer to mediocre than what Colorado is getting this season.
And while we're on the topic of hope, the Rutlegend wrote another verse in his epic saga last night with a 3 double, 3 RBI night. Jon Sickels of Minor League Ball has a favorable writeup on Josh Rutledge's career prospects.
At the very least, the Rockies are not the Astros. The play really is better to watch with Yakety Sax playing in the background. The hyperlink of the article is precious.
Dexter Fowler is ascendant, entering the prime of his career. He is 10th in fWAR this year among center fielders, though the Coors effect led David Schoenfield to rank him 14th on his list. I would argue that the disadvantages posed by Coors Field with respect to defensive metric scores would mitigate that effect somewhat on fWAR.