The Rockies have some noticeably tough decisions to make. With the MVP-caliber Nolan Arenado down with a sore shoulder, the team has to weigh the cost of winning now or getting their star player healthy. Only one game behind the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Rockies are in a great position to take the elusive NL west title. However, Patrick Sauders argues that the team should be very cautious with the gold glover. Arenado has a great chance to be the named the most valuable player in the National League, but the Rockies need to be on the safe side when it comes to Nolan’s health. If it means sitting out an extra couple of days, the Rockies will definitely consider sidelining him until he is back to full strength.
The stakes are high and the race for the NL West will most likely come down to a photo finnish. With Kenley Jansen out of the picture for now for the Dodgers, it appears that the only real competition for the West lies with the D-Backs. The road ahead looks good for the Rockies. If they can hold out just a little while Nolan gets back to full strength, the Rockies have a legitimate shot at winning the division.
The Rockies had some truly impressive wins in the past week. The walk-offs are fun to watch, but there are still some issues the Rockies should address. One major issue remains the offense. Yes, the Rockies have been able to win games, but their number of runs in wins is below six per game. Hopefully Garrett Hampson, who got called back up as Scott Oberg went on paternity, can have some luck at the plate. It would be also be great to see Raimel Tapia gain some more confidence at the plate. There are a few others that Colin Gaiser at Rox Pile has pointed out that the Rockies would benefit from seeing improved at bats, like prospect Brendan Rodgers and eventually Matt Holliday. In the meantime, the bullpen needs to be able to save the team a little bit more than they have lately. As the offense lags, there is the expectation that pitching can help get the job done.
Patrick Saunders reaches into the mailbag once again, answering fan questions about the Rockies. First, he talks about pitching, as the Rockies are yet to have a complete game by a pitcher. They’ve come pretty close, but it hasn’t happened in 2018. Especially with the struggles the bullpen has had, it’s a bit surprising that Bud Black hasn’t kept a starter in for the whole game. To be fair, there haven’t been many complete games this year, so the Rockies aren’t alone in the practice of giving starters a break. This includes Jon Gray, who has shown some real improvement but hasn’t gone very deep into games. However, Bud Black knows he can rely on Gray while he’s in there, and that’s what really seems to matter for them. He also addresses potential new nicknames for Nolan Arenado for Player’s Weekend (Ninja), and why the Rockies signed Matt Holliday again. There’s some well-deserved praise for Carlos Gonzalez, and talk of potentially moving some of the better bullpen pitchers to a starting position to see how it goes. There’s also talk of walk-up songs and Jake McGee’s woes this year. Saunders has some great questions from fans in this mailbag, and he handles them with some stellar answers.