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New Britain Rock Cats' slide continues, but David Dahl is back manning CF

Despite a terrific start to 2015, the Rock Cats can't regain momentum.

Photo Credit: SB Nation's Dan Madigan
Photo Credit: SB Nation's Dan Madigan

It's been a rough year for Rockies fans.

Between the myriad of rain delays and the lack of success between the lines in Denver, Colorado is having a pretty terrible season. The one bright spot for the first couple months was the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats, who started the season with a bang, leading the Eastern League as far and away the best team entering June. They were the first team in their league to reach 30 wins and sat in first place for nearly all of April and May -- until they took a huge slide in mid-June.

Since that 26-7 (winning percentage of .788) start to the season, the Cats are a putrid 19-43, a winning percentage of only .306.

July has not been any better; since the start of the month, New Britain is an awful 4-14 and just got swept at home in its most recent series by the first-place Binghamton Mets. New Britain currently sits in fourth place in the Eastern Division with a 45-51 record, a full eight games out of first place.

The Rock Cats have been a bit unlucky this year, having witnessed a nasty collision that sidelined top prospect centerfielder David Dahl for a month and a half. After much deliberation on the best road to recovery, Dahl decided to have his ruptured spleen removed, incredibly putting him on track to get back on the field in a rehab assignment in Short Season-A ball on July 6 -- just six weeks after the devastating injury. Dahl is back manning center field for the Cats, and will try to resume his development after a life-altering procedure.

One positive reason for the Rock Cats' difficult July is the team missing out on the production of shortstop Trevor Story, who was promoted to Triple-A Albuquerque. Story was one of the hottest hitters in the Eastern League the first two months of the season until his promotion on July 1. He had a successful 69-game stint in New Britain, during which he clearly the team's best hitter, posting a slash line of .281/.373/.523 and mashing 10 home runs, good for a 156 wRC+.

Story has hit .246/.290/.569 (through Tuesday), good for 21 percent better than the league average hitter. Wednesday afternoon he crushed two home runs en route to a ‘Topes victory over the Reno Aces (the Arizona Diamondbacks' Triple-A affiliate).

Despite rumors that Story's glove would force him to move to second (as well as a couple of jaunts manning that position), most scouts think he has the skill set to be a good-enough, if not average, defender at short.

New Britain hopes to rebound from a spiraling post-All-Star Game lull in which it is 1-6. Next up are the Reading Fightin' Phils, who are nine games over .500 and 7½ games up on the Cats.

In news off the diamond, the Hartford Yard Goats released their logo this month. The team store is experiencing such high demand that some items are backordered several weeks. Get your Yard Goats merchandise early and often!


Steven Martano is a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row and Editor and Writer at Beyond the Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano.