Blake Street Stroll: Week 1

Is Dexter Fowler an all star this year? - Dustin Bradford

The Rockies are off to a hot start. What is real and what is an illusion?

It's a week into the young season. Our beloved Rockies are 4-1 and could easily be 5-0. They appear to be firing on all cylinders. The offense is mashing, the pitching has been very solid and the defense has been spectacular. So, in the spirit of all the good things that are going on I thought it would be a good time to evaluate what has happened so far with a series of statements. These statements will either be an overreaction or an underreaction and can also serve as a brief recap of what the Rockies have done in the previous week. Without further ado,

Dexter Fowler leads the team with 3 HRs. He will lead the club in HRs this season.

Overreaction

Dexter Fowler is off to a blistering start. He certainly showed improved discipline and power at the plate last season as he popped a career high 13 HRs. His career numbers suggest that he does not posses big time power as his previous high at any level was 8 HRs at Double A Tulsa in 2008. However, he clearly has developed into a much more consistent hitter and should be past those mid-season demotions that used to plague him. I don't think his power surge is a fluke and I would not be surprised at all to see him in the 20-25 range at the end of the season. With guys like Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Wilin Rosario, and Michael Cuddyer though, Fowler will be lucky to finish 4th on the team in HRs.

The Rockies starting pitching has been solid, but it won't continue.

Underreaction

The Rockies starting pitching has been outstanding outside of a mediocre start by Jorge De La Rosa. Jhoulys Chacin, who pitches again today, is only 25 and when healthy has shown that he can be a good starter - just look at his numbers from 2010 and 2011. The same goes for De La Rosa. I would not be surprised if De La Rosa needs a couple starts to find his groove though.

Jeff Francis seems to have really figured out how to be a successful finesse pitcher. He locates extremely well and carried forward his dominate spring training into the regular season. Jon Garland is another case of "he can pitch when healthy" again look at his past healthy seasons. Outside of Juan Nicasio the Rockies have a staff of guys that have good big league track records and Nicasio has a high ceiling just based on his stuff alone.

Todd Helton is off to a slow start, it's time to realize he is a bench player at this stage of his career.

Overreaction

Helton is off to a slow start, but he had a strong spring and claims to be feeling healthy. In last night's game Helton put together one if his vintage 11 pitch at bats. It ended with a rollover to first, but it was a key at bat in driving up starting pitcher Tyson Ross' pitch count. Helton is a career .298 hitter in April his worst of any month. If Helton is still scuffling in a couple weeks I may begin to worry, but as long as his health holds his numbers should come up.

The Rockies are playoff bound.

Overreaction

Let's not forget that they have played the Brewers and Padres so far. Things are clearly on the up and up, but leap frogging the Giants, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks will be tough. With that being said I believe it could happen. The Rockies can compete offensively with any team in the division, but when they go up against the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Ian Kennedy they likely won't produce quite like they have.

When the pitching staff faces less anemic offenses then the Padres they also could struggle. BUT I am not saying the Rockies can't find a way, they just have a very tall task ahead of them. As I have said all along and will continue to say until proven wrong, the Rockies can compete if they can avoid big injuries.

The Rockies as a team are playing out of their minds offensively and they will not be this good of an offensive club.

Underreaction

The Rockies could have 4 All-Stars in CarGo, Tulo, Rosario and Fowler. I don't expect 2 HRs a game from the offense and .400 batting averages all season, but this is an extremely loaded lineup. All 8 position players could hit at least 15 HRs given a full season of PAs. On the days that the HR ball isn't working the offense has good speed that can manufacture offense with Fowler, Josh Rutledge, and CarGo. EY Jr. also brings ridiculous speed and can be a huge spark plug when he gets on base.

Maybe I'm drinking the purple Kool-Aid and getting to excited too early, but I really like this team's potential. It's one of those lineups that you look at and think "how can they not compete with that lineup?" The pitching just has to be average for this team to be good. If the pitching is a little above average you may be looking at a playoff team.

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