Nick Groke hits us with another piece that examines the mindset of this team amidst a tough road trip that, entering Tuesday, saw the Rockies fall a season high 9.5 games back of the division leading Dodgers. Groke frames this frustrating stretch of baseball with a comparison to the Mets—which is depressing in itself—but explains why the Rockies still feel good about their chances and aren’t reeling into clubhouse chaos, like New York.
Primarily, the Rockies have been in all of these games and competing well. In the four losses they just accumulated in Boston and Philadelphia, they only lost by a combined five runs. They have been losing games, but barely, and their confidence is strong despite a growing sense of urgency. The last thing they want to do is panic and make too many changes out of desperation, so patience is their mantra—for now.
Jack Etkin also takes a look at what has gone wrong for the “floundering” Rockies so far this season with a bit more scrutiny. He specifically points out how and why Kyle Freeland has struggled a year after finishing fourth in the NL Cy Young vote—and it was a bit of a surprise to me—and gives German Márquez and Jon Gray their dues. Overall, as he points out, this rotation has been a shell of its former self and a big reason for the losses piling up.
Jack also offers his critique and assessment of the offense and bullpen so far. There have been positives and negatives in both areas—the big offseason acquisition of Daniel Murphy has sputtered, while Bryan Shaw and Mike Dunn have seemingly found their groove again—and all in all it is coming out to equal a fairly mediocre season.
It is a sentiment that has been repeated consistently lately: there is still time, but time is running out. If the Rockies plan on competing deep into the season, a run of success needs to start now.
Shane Tourtellotte takes a deep dive into the science and math of the “Coors Effect,” and as it turns out—gasp—it might be overblown. Yes, there is an inherent advantage for the Rockies playing at home, but it is not that much greater than many other parks. And as Shane also points out, there are ballparks where the inverse occurs—home fields that are pitcher-friendly and reduce offensive output—at a much higher rate than Coors’ inflation of scoring.
Of course, that isn’t as “sexy” of a topic, how Citi Field puts hitters at a disadvantage more than Coors Field and other venues offers them an advantage, so you don’t hear about it. We will just keep winking, nodding, and rolling our eyes at opponents’ commentators lamenting Coors Field and it’s nonsensical style of play, but these articles from smart and informed national writers go a long way in reversing the stereotype and clichés of Rockies baseball.
Tyler Anderson just hasn’t been right, and he and the Rockies are finally going to do something about it. Tyler is set to have surgery on his ailing left knee, and Bud Black isn’t even sure if he will return this season, according to Thomas Harding.
In his absence, Jeff Hoffman is most likely to get another crack at joining the rotation despite a mixed bag of success and failure this year. If Anderson really is done for the year, this will be Jeff’s big chance to dig his heels into the roster and not look back, but Peter Lambert, Ryan Castellani, and even Rico Garcia, will be breathing down his neck.
On the farm
Riley Pint continued to pitch well out of the bullpen for the Tourists yesterday when he pitched a perfect inning (13 pitches, 11 for strikes!) and struck out two batters.
Yonathan Daza also kept his hot streak up with a multi-hit game, and Dom Nuñez had a double for the ‘Topes. Dom is quietly putting together a solid season behind the plate in Triple-A, slashing .288/.396/.625 for Albuquerque as of Tuesday.