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Colorado Rockies need more from top of rotation

The pitchers at the top of the Colorado Rockies’ rotation have not performed in their first two appearances.

Both Jorge De La Rosa and Brett Anderson have started the season slow. The Rockies are 1-3 in their starts and the one win was Saturday when Colorado came back from a 4-0 deficit after De La Rosa couldn’t get out of the fifth inning.

If the Rockies are going to be in any kind of playoff race, these two have to come up big the rest of the season.

Last season the top of the Rockies rotation was great. Jhoulys Chacin, Tyler Chatwood and De La Rosa always gave the Rockies a chance to win. The No. 4 and 5 spot were the problem but this year it is the opposite.

Neither Chacin or Chatwood have thrown an inning this year so the pressure mounts on Anderson and De La Rosa. Top-line starts step up to that burden but so far the Rockies have not.

De La Rosa has been mind-boggling this season. In the opener against the Florida Marlins, he was dominant for the first three innings. The wheels fell off after that. He got in a screaming match with catcher Wilin Rosario and gave up five earned runs 4 1/3 innings. His second start was not much better. Another short outing with 4 1/3 innings pitched and had to throw 101 pitches. So the team’s ace is yet to get out of the fifth inning.

Anderson has pitched a bit better but is still sitting at 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA. The lefty was Colorado’s big pickup in the offseason and Rockies owner Dick Monfort compared him to the Denver Broncos signing of quarterback Peyton Manning. If that comparison is out there, Anderson needs to bring more. And it is pretty easy to see the two are not the same.

The season is only seven games old and both of these pitchers have talent. They can very easily turn it around. The Rockies need them to or it will be another last-place finish.

The rotation could look a lot different in May. Chatwood is on his way back and Chacin’s return from shoulder problems is slated for May. There won’t be so much pressure on De La Rosa and Anderson then,.

But top pitchers are supposed to deal with pressure and especially De La Rosa seems to be cracking. Sometimes it is hard to imagine the lefty as the team’s ace due to his fragile, emotional state at times.

The Rockies are built as an offensive team that’s pitching just needs to keep them in the game. Right now, De La Rosa and Anderson are putting the team in  hole early and that can be tough to recover from.

The season still depends on the team’s pitching. There are some games were the Rockies’ offense will be shut down and limited to a couple runs. Those are the games that the top pitchers need to step. Colorado is still waiting to see that.

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisSchmaedeke


Tags: Brett Anderson Colorado Rockies Jhoulys Chacin Jorge De La Rosa Tyler Chatwood

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