The Rockies need some positives in the first two weeks of the season to help them set the stage for a good season. In the first 10 games of the season, it’s about finding players that can provide hope this season.
After 10 games, they may have found some that helped them be 5-5 after a 10-4 victory over the White Sox yesterday afternoon.
Here’s what we know about the Rockies: They have two difference makers that play a role in Rockies’ wins in Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez as long as they are healthy. Their great start is why the Rockies have pulled out wins in the early going.
No one questions the talent of the Rockies’ two stars. When they play, they are one of the top 10 players in baseball. Their performance that correlates to wins speak for itself. Tulowitzki’s WAR of 5.3 and Gonzalez’s WAR of 4.8 exemplify their value of what they meant to the club last season. Any player that has a 4 to 6 WAR means he has a high value to the team.
Even if fans don’t grasp the WAR meaning, they don’t need to understand to know how valuable Gonzalez and Tulowitkzi are when they are playing. Their performance stands out to the fans.
The trick is having them healthy. The Rockies know that as much as anyone, and that’s why they are going to give their stars rest when the opportunity presents itself. They know they have to exercise caution with them. Already, Tulowitzki has quad issues. One has to wonder when he is going to be on the disabled list after looking at his injury history over the last six seasons.
The Rockies can only hope for the best with those two when it comes to their health.
Another thing that stands out is their role players. Nolan Arenado should continue to improve offensively. If Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau do their job as role players, the lineup will be even better. It seems Walt Weiss may have found something in Charlie Blackmon, who has taken good at-bats and getting on base often.
The Rockies may be better with their situational hitting this season. Their hitters have grinded out good at-bats, and they have driven in runs in this homestand. Now, it’s early, but with experience, hitters like DJ LeMahieu and Blackmon can be better in situational hitting.
The Rockies lineup is going to be tough for pitchers to get out if the Rockies can continue to execute at the plate in the games they have played so far.
The bullpen is a question mark. There are questions about relievers outside of Rex Brothers, but maybe the Rockies could find someone that can build a bridge to Brothers and Latroy Hawkins. Matt Belisle has pitched well, and Adam Ottavino has been effective.
It’s no secret the Rockies need someone that can build a bridge to Brothers and Hawkins. Their bullpen blew leads, especially middle relief last season. The Rockies hope Belisle still has something left and Ottavino can be that seventh inning guy after both pitched well in this homestand. If that scenario happens, the Rockies could be in business when it comes to have a winning season or being a playoff team.
The starting pitching has been okay. The Rockies wished Jorge De La Rosa and Brett Anderson pitched better than they have showed, but being the good proven veterans they are, they should be okay eventually. With Tyler Chatwood and Jhoulys Chacin coming back soon, the starting rotation should take off.
If nothing else, the Rockies have depth in the starting rotation. Jordan Lyles can make the rotation better if he keeps it up after two starts. His performance is what stood out in the first 10 games. The Rockies need to find someone who can do better as a fifth starter, and Lyles could do that.
Juan Nicasio is a battler, but the truth of the matter is that he is nothing special. Not when he is only good enough to go five or six innings at best. The Rockies should find someone who can do better. If Lyles is that guy, let him start over Nicasio.
If Lyles can’t hack it, the Rockies can wait to get by and call up Jonathan Gray or Eddie Butler this summer if they choose to.
If nothing else, these 10 games have been about development. There could be guys like Blackmon, Lyles, Ottavino and LeMahieu that could be valuable to the Rockies this season. If they keep this up, the Rockies may do something.
The season comes down to how healthy Tulowitzki and Gonzalez are. If they are healthy, this summer and fall can be fun.
To summarize the start the Rockies have, the best way to say it is there is hope.
Contact or follow Leslie Monteiro at @LightRodWriter