If not for the pesky Giants having two walk off home runs in a row, the Rockies would be all alone in first place today. As the Rockies get ready to finish their series with the Rays and get ready to welcome Chris Nelson and the New York Yankees, the team bus and the bandwagon are both about to get a bit more crowded.
"It's just a flesh wound"
It's been about 15 days since Todd Helton and Jhoulys Chacin went on the disabled list and both are set to return Sunday. Walt Weiss has deemed Todd too old to go on a rehab assignment and mlb.com reports he expects to see the field Sunday. Ryan Wheeler is likely to return to Colorado Springs to make room for Helton. Chacin (3-0, 1.46 ERA) is scheduled to start Sunday's game, as reported by the Denver Post, but his return will provide a harder roster decision for the team.
When Jhoulys went on the DL, the Rockies brought up Rob Scahill to fill a short term need for a reliever and then replaced him with Tyler Chatwood who had one decent game and one excellent game. With other starters struggling (Francis, Nicasio), it will be interesting to see if the Rockies send Chatwood back down I-25 or shake things up a bit.
"Seat's taken, can't sit here"
So much for managing expectations. With their continued hot start and Nolan Arenado's blazing first week in the majors, the Rockies' bandwagon is about to get a lot more crowded. Arenado's bare hand play in last night's game was in the argument for web gem of the night on ESPN, while his grand slam to break open the game against reigning AL Cy Young winner David Price is the Rockies highlight of the night.
Other news for your Colorado Rockies on this Sunday morning:
While Helton and Chacin are getting healthy, other minor injuries are concerns for the Rockies. Troy Tulowitzki played last night after taking Friday off with 'heavy legs' and this will be something to keep an eye on. Meanwhile, Dexter Fowler was held out of Saturday night's contest after he hurt his hip on a bunt attempt Friday. From what Fowler said he could be back as early as today, but with a day off Monday, I could see Weiss giving him the extra rest.
Jack Etkin wrote a small piece on how much Josh Rutledge has been moved around the lineup. As many of you have read in various other articles here on Purple Row, Josh has been fairly unlucky so far this season and it appears that the month of May is beginning to normalize his numbers, and give him better results. With Todd Helton coming back, it will be interesting to see Weiss's batting order.
Rutledge seems to be the only viable number eight option as I don't think Helton can be put there, Arenado should not be put there, nor should Rosario or Cuddyer. Who then fills the second spot in the order, Cuddyer or maybe Arenado? It is definitely a good problem for the Rockies to have.