With the injuries mounting and the losses piling up, I have decided to torture myself and you the reader by comparing this season to the horrible 2012 campaign. For those who don't remember, that team went 64-98 on the season and was 33-52 at the break after starting off the month of April with a .500 record. Injuries, the piggyback starter idea, and the hot summer in Denver were all reasonings for why that team did so poorly. This year's team did slightly better to start the season so it may be safe from having a worse record at the end but it has been equally bad of late, with injuries as the most discussed cause.
This year's team has been in a horrendous slump since their trip to Atlanta that saw Nolan Arenado hit the disabled list. Since that game, the team has gone 11-29. The 2012 team was actually better over that same stretch of May, June and July. The 2012 team had already dug themselves a hole, they were 15-27 on the 23rd of May, and went 18-25 on their way into the All-Star break. This was despite Jorge De La Rosa having spent the entire season on the disabled list recovering from Tommy John surgery, Jhoulys Chacin joining him on the DL at the beginning of May, and Jeremy Gutherie spending three weeks starting at the end of April recovering from a shoulder sprain(I can't remember if this was the falling off the bicycle incident).
In fact, that 2012 team looked like it was coming back into form at the end of May, finishing the month 6-2. That optimism ended when Troy Tulowitzki developed a groin strain that would see him leave the active roster on the 31st of May and not return for the rest of the season. Troy was followed closely thereafter by Juan Nicasio on the 3rd of June for a knee problem that would see him miss the rest of the season. There were several other role players that were already hurt as well. Here is the list of 2012 Rockies hurt prior to the All-Star break that year, their time on the DL, and the reason.
|Name||Date On||# of Days||Reason|
|Jorge De La Rosa||3 April||170||TJ surgery|
|Charlie Blackmon||3 April||11||Turf Toe|
|Josh Outman||3 April||39||Oblique strain|
|Jeremy Guthrie||23 April||22||Shoulder inflammation|
|Jhoulys Chacin||2 May||111||Shoulder inflammation|
|Chris Nelson||15 May||16||Wrist inflammation|
|Jonathan Herrera||23 May||30||Hamstring strain|
|Ramon Hernandez||24 May||50||Hand strain|
|Troy Tulowitzki||31 May||127||Groin strain|
|Juan Nicasio||3 June||122||Knee strain|
|Wil Nieves||9 July*||23||turf toe|
|Todd Helton||9 July*||18||hip inflammation|
*=went on DL at All-Star break
As a comparison, this year's Rockies currently have eight players on the disabled list. The 2014 team has already had more players hit the disabled list and they are still a week away from the All-Star break. Here is the 2014 list:
|Name||Date On||# of Days|
|Boone Logan||21 March||15|
|Jhoulys Chacin||29 March||35|
|Tyler Chatwood||29 March||15|
|Brett Anderson||13 April||84+|
|Michael Cuddyer||18 April||32|
|Josh Rutledge||28 April||25|
|Tyler Chatwood||30 April||67+|
|Wilin Rosario||3 May||15|
|Nolan Arenado||24 May||39|
|Carlos Gonzalez||4 June||33+|
|Boone Logan||5 June||30|
|Jordan Lyles||5 June||32+|
|Michael Cuddyer||6 June||31+|
|Eddie Butler||7 June||30+|
|Christian Bergman||25 June||12+|
|Jhoulys Chacin||29 June||8+|
|Nick Masset||6 July||1+|
+=still on DL
This season's team has every right to fall off the face of the Earth. It includes six starting pitchers, two of them twice, along with two thirds of the starting outfield who are still out and have combined to miss 96 days, and the starting third baseman. If this team is to do better the rest of the way, many of these players will need to return to health.
The 2012 team went 31-46 after the All-Star break, still getting crippled from the injury bug. Along with the already mentioned Jhoulys Chacin, Troy Tulowitzki, and Juan Nicasio missing the rest of the season with Jorge De La Rosa coming back just for a three game cameo, the team endured these injuries in the second half:
|Name||Date On||# of Days||Reason|
|Chris Nelson||16 July||21||heart irregularities|
|Jonathan Herrera||16 July||15||wrist inflammation|
|Jason Giambi||21 July||42||viral syndrome|
|Christian Fredrich||29 July||66||fractured spine|
|Michael Cuddyer||1 August||15||oblique strain|
|Jonathan Sanchez||4 August||60||bicep tendinitis|
|Todd Helton||6 August||58||hip tear|
|Edgmer Escalona||6 August||27||elbow inflammation|
|Michael Cuddyer||19 August||47||oblique strain|
|Eric Young||20 August||46||intercostal strain|
That list includes five players that would not play again that season, bring the total lost for the season to nine if you count Jorge. The 2014 team has been luckier in this aspect up to this point with only a couple of injuries jeopardizing the player's season. However, the 2012 team only used 14 starting pitchers the entire season, only 1 more than the 2014 team has already needed in the first 88 games.
This team has proved unlucky with injuries in at least two of the last three years. Is it just luck or can the organization be blamed in some way? The team has brought in some injury concerns in pitchers recently to include Tyler Chatwood, Brett Anderson, and Boone Logan. The team also has had issues with diagnosing and treating injuries. The re-injury of his oblique by Michael Cuddyer in 2012, the misdiagnosis of Brett Anderson and Michael Cuddyer this year, and a tumor growing in Carlos Gonzalez's finger without the team's knowledge are a few examples. Whatever the issue, the team management needs to find a way to keep its best players healthier if it wants to be in contention with a low budget. Unlike the Dodgers and Yankees, the Rockies do not have the financial wherewithal to replace these valuable players.
Two wins this week are twice as many as last week. This team could easily have gone 4-3 if the taxed bullpen had not given up ties/leads late in two of the games and looked much more competitive throughout the week.
Troy Tulowitzki tweaked his hamstring in Thursday's game but somehow talked Walt Weiss into letting him stay in the game. A hurting Tulo then popped up late in a tie game with a runner on third and one out. While popping out killed the chance for the Rockies to take the lead, it was almost better than him getting a hit and hurting himself worse. That tweak has now had him out of the last two games. Anything that bad should have got him out of the game on Thursday and Weiss needs to learn to be the manager instead of giving into Tulo.
While I excused the bullpen for giving up two close games this week, nothing can excuse the five run inning they allowed yesterday when they almost gave up the lead in an 8-2 game. The manager needs to know who to call on to get an out and the bullpen can't give up more runs than outs in an inning.