Face it, the Colorado Rockies are struggling heavily of late as the disabled list continues to get filled up with players that played key roles in the teams early success. Recently, all-star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was placed on the 15-day DL after aggravating the same finger injury that landed him on the disabled list last season. Key starters such as Brett Anderson (finger) and Tyler Chatwood (elbow) have also been on the DL for quite some time now, but one player has played a more important role in their success season. That player would be third baseman Nolan Arenado.
Arenado was making plays left and right for the Rockies at the hot corner as his bat was coming around in year two of his professional career. Nolan collected a 28-game hit streak which broke teammate Michael Cuddyer‘s club record of 27 which was set last season. However, the third baseman went down against the Atlanta Braves on May 23rd with a broken finger after sliding into head first into second base after recording a double in the second inning of a 3-2 loss.
Since losing Arenado, Colorado has played flat-out terrible and I’m not afraid to say it. Since May 23rd (Arenado’s injury), the Rockies have won just two games, collecting a record of 2-11. Could one player have that much of an impact on a team? Quite possibly. Colorado’s bullpen has been flat-out terrible as well but what’s new? But that’s another story.
Arenado was hitting at a solid clip — .305/.333/.489 with 17 doubles, 6 home runs, 28 RBI’s while showing some patience at the plate with 9 walks. As you may have noticed, Colorado has been terrible with runners in scoring position, where the 23-year-old Arenado excels.
Runners On: 28-for-81, .346 average, 6 2B’s, 2 HR”s, 24 RBI’s.
RISP: 18-for-47, .383 average 5 2B’s, 2 HR’s, 24 RBIs.
RISP w/ 2 Outs: 8-for-19, .421 average, 2 2B’s, 10 RBI’s.
Speaking of home/road splits, Colorado as a team has been scuffling on the road as a team but here is where Arenado excelled at again.
Home: 26-for-96, 6 2B’s, 6 HR’s, 21 RBI’s. .271/.305/.521.
Road: 32-for-94, 11 2B’s, 0 HR’s, 7 RBI’s. .340/.364/.457.
Charlie Culberson has done a good job defensively replacing the injured Arenado, but you and I know he can’t make the plays Nolan makes. Culberson’s bat has also been a weak link in the lineup where he is posting an average of .203 with 16 hits in 78 plate appearances, collecting just 7 RBI’s.
Just the other night, Colorado tried placing outfielder Michael Cuddyer at third base where he hasn’t played since 2010. Cuddy would get eaten alive in a 12-7 loss vs. the D’Backs. Although he didn’t record an error, there were a couple of balls where Nolan Arenado could have made the play and make it look absolutely easy.
Colorado desperately misses both Arenado’s bat and glove, but they will have to stick it out until their all-star hopeful third baseman returns. Of course Arenado’s injury doesn’t reflect the pitching staff, but he was a huge part of Colorado’s success and Colorado needs him back ASAP.