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Blake Street Stroll: Taking inventory

The Rockies are about one third of the way into the season. They have already experienced some unique highs and lows. As the season progresses, will the Rockies contend into October?


Now that the calendar has turned to June and the Rockies have played roughly one third of their schedule, I think it's an appropriate time to take stock of where the team is at, mainly focusing on the offense in this piece.

The Rockies went 16-11 in April and 12-16 in May. The pitching in both months was comparable: April yielded a 3.75 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP, in May the staff had a 4.02 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. The pitching has been up and down a bit of late, but in large part the Rockies struggles have been related to the offense.

The Rockies scored 21 less runs in May, walked less, struck out more, had a lower average, OBP, SLG and so on and so forth. We get it! The Rockies hit worse in May. There were a number of contributing factors, such as facing great pitching, team-wide slumps, and a DL stint for Michael Cuddyer to name a few. So, is the Rockies offense more like its April or May offense?

Let's look at track records and use the good 'ol fashioned eye test:

Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Michael Cuddyer and Todd Helton all have track records that certainly speak for themselves. I know Helton is getting old, but if he says he feels fine and he's supposedly taking great BPs I don't see how he can't turn it around at some point. CarGo, Tulo and Cuddy are all raking and as long as they stay off the DL they will continue to produce. So, how about the guys on the team that don't have significant and proven big league track records?

You could argue that Dexter Fowler has a proven track record and he does to a degree. In Fowler's case though I would assert that he is starting to come into his prime and his past statistics are not what he is capable of producing. He is a far better hitter now than in past years and I wouldn't be surprised to see him continue to improve. The eye test then comes into play with the remaining regulars in the Rockies lineup as they do not have proven MLB track records; Nolan Arenado, Wilin Rosario and at this point DJ LeMahieu.

Watching Arenado play, he has the poise of a veteran and clearly has the ability to be elite. He's just 22 years old and still has a lot of learning to do in the bigs. However, watching most of his at-bats, Arenado deserves a higher average than the.229 he had coming into Saturday afternoon's contest. He's had his fair share of loud outs and seems to square the ball up right at someone more then most guys. His BABIP is .227 and that's virtually guaranteed to come up quite a bit. My gut feeling is that Arenado will start to see that average climb considerably.

Wilin Rosario has legit power, seriously legit. He seems to be a free swinger and get a bit pull happy sometimes. When he is on he can mash, when he's not he can look pretty weak flailing at off-speed stuff in the dirt. I think Rosario will continue to be streaky, but when it's all said and done he will finish right around 30 HRs and a .270-.300 average. If that's the production the Rockies get from their starting catcher they will have nothing to worry about.

I like LeMahieu's tools. He's fantastic defensively and generally puts the ball in play on offense. The problem with him seems to be adjusting to pitchers busting him inside. He goes the other way well, but hasn't shown the ability to really turn on that inside pitch. If he plays great defense and hits around .280 with little or no pop, I think the Rockies would take that until Rutledge is deemed ready to return.

The main reason for the Rockies recent offensive struggles has been an inability to hit in the clutch and the obvious streakiness of their offense. Manager Walt Weiss has taken the "sit back and let things work out approach", believing that his team has the talent and the ability and it's simply a matter of time before things turn around. I completely agree with Weiss. This lineup is loaded and every team goes through stretches where they can't buy a hit. If the pitching continues to pitch at or around the level they have been at so far, this team will be in contention all season long.