It turns out our expectations for the Colorado Rockies may have been quite a bit exaggerated after dismal outings against Tampa Bay and Los Angeles.
Since taking the first two games of the season in Miami, the Colorado Rockies have been outscored 50-19 and have posted a record of 1-7. We rag on the hitting, rightfully but the offense showed signs of life in a weekend series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The pitching has been as unsteady as it was to end last season. In fact, lots of this Rockies season feels like how last season ended. Stranding runners and unreliable pitching. It’s hard to watch these guys, currently.
Charlie Blackmon is in an extended RBI funk, Ian Desmond is hitting .088. We were super unhappy with Desmond last year when he was hitting .150. I honestly thought that the Rox would have worked a couple of things out and were ready to make a run in 2019. It’s early but it feels like I did not take the end of last season seriously enough. Two runs in the entire series against Milwaukee, got it.
It’s not all bad news, Kyle Freeland is on the mound to open a three-game set in the friendly confines of Coors against the Atlanta Braves. Freeland comes in 1-1 on the season with a 2.31 ERA, 15 strikeouts and a .119 opponent batting average. Four walks in his last start at Tampa Bay proved his undoing but he still struck out 10 in just 4-2/3 innings. Kyle is fine, he should give the Rockies a fair opportunity to take the opener with Atlanta.
Also, any early season rust looks to have shaken off Nolan Arenado. The Rockies star third-baseman had a ho-hum stat line on Sunday versus Los Angeles. Three hits in five at bats, a walk, a run scored and two RBI. Nolan had a triple in the third that plated Trevor Story who himself had just driven in Blackmon, fresh off of his own triple?
Maybe but it’s a welcome sight to see the Rockies score runs. What we are seeing, in a nutshell is that the Rox are either absent scoring runs or Chad Bettis or Tyler Anderson are letting the opposition blow up for insurmountable early inning leads.
Freeland and German Marquez have held up their end in the early going. Jon Gray has split his starts, doing well in Florida but fizzling against the Dodgers in Colorado. Bettis and Anderson have been simply atrocious. With just two starts each on the young season, nothing is written in stone for the duo but the Rockies can ill afford those kinds of performances from 40% of their starting pitching.
Jorge De La Rosa signed a minor-league contract with the Rockies this week, don’t be surprised if the longtime Rox lefty gets some run with the big club.
Something needs to shake loose for these Rockies, it’s become an extended time, over two seasons that they’ve looked similar to how they look now. It may be too early to panic but it’s at least a huge disappointment that the Colorado Rockies have seemed to regress.