The Colorado Rockies play their 50th game of the season as they near the 1/3 post in the season long race in the NL West. Once again it can be arguably a critical rubber game when they take on the Atlanta Braves. The depth of the team is making the Rockies resilient. They are in about the same position as Memorial Day weekend 2013 when they played at AT&T Park. They started that weekend with a bang playing their best game of the season before their season began to unravel because they had no depth to stop the bleeding. Angel Pagan started the slide with a walkoff inside-the-park home run. Then Jon Garland (remember him???) kept the team snowballing downhill. The Memorial weekend disaster was punctuated by using the infamous Sunday lineup (no depth on the team) on Memorial Day against the worst MLB team in which they took a walkoff spanking. That pretty much ended the season when Colorado lost their confidence and folded their tents.
The 2014 version of the team is unlikely to repeat the free fall due to depth and confidence playing behind Troy Tulowitzki who is having a MVP-type season and an improved rotation despite losing Tyler Chatwood and Brett Anderson until at least the All-Star break. Our main concern other than Nolan Arenado’s injury is the rotation. Unlike the 2013 team, Colorado has a lot of options regarding the rotation. Even Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla had an idea of his own on how to improve the Rockies by suggesting Jon Gray become a closer. He suggests it is for this year only, not on a permanent basis and there is history in it; see David Price and Adam Wainwright. Apparently most outsiders forgot about another pitcher capable of closing – Nick Massett. There is a good article about Nick Massett in today’s Denver Post by Adam Dater. I cannot provide a link at this moment. In other news on the injury front, it looks like Charlie Culberson will have the first shot to take the third baseman job and run with it. Manager Walt Weiss says he will mix and match D.J. LeMahieu, Josh Rutledge, and Culberson. All the fans can ask for is not to have the third base position go “Chris Nelson” on us. I have my own idea – move Tulo to third base temporarily so Rutledge and LeMahieu can both play.
Franklin Morales (3-3, 5.30 ERA) takes on Atlanta’s ace Julio Teheran (3-3, 1.92 ERA) in the rubber game today. Morales have been teasing the team and fans alike whether he should be in the rotation or be in the bullpen. When the chorus gets loud to replace him, he steps up to buy himself a little more time. Colorado can only hope he can repeat the performance in his last start. Anderson is scheduled to have his pins removed this week while both CarGo and Arenado are making appointments with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Thomas Graham in Cleveland later this week. CarGo wants to know why his finger keeps swelling up.
Sunday 5/25, 3:10 PM MT at Turner Field
Radio: COL: KOA 850 ATL: WCNN 680/WYAY 106.7, Braves Radio Network, WLBA 1130
TV: COL: ROOT SPORTS ATL: FSSO