Someone reminded me I didn’t give the team as a whole a grade. Based on the starters, relievers, offense, defense and bench/intangibles, what score for our 19-13 Rockies. Do they get to earn a scholarship/keep their spot on the honor role?
I have the advantage of now knowing they won that 32nd game, in a way I don’t think I have to look-up to remember. The starters, especially at home (aside from a 2 stinkers by Morales, one my Nicasio, and one by Chatwood) have done what people say cannot be done. To get an A you have to pitch well. Check. To get an A you have to hit well. While the Coors numbers are Atari 2600 level (I could always get a homer past those three “players” made entirely of bricks), they have after the first 6 games on the road, been able to get timely hits and make team’s pay. So check. To get an A, you have to field well. At this point someone needs to start a website made entirely of Rockies web-gems, because that site will have no problem with finding content. Bench/intangible, maybe a check. We are all frustrated with Walt Weiss’s pen management, but at the end of the day those guys have to get outs, and looking back I see that while I had other ideas, there was only 2X all season where he made a move that I simply went….”Why are you thinking?!?”and when you see this team have big homers from bench guys like Stubbs (against a righty) and Culberson, you have to say “Check” to the bench.
Which brings us to the two areas of weakness keeping this team from a solid A at the 20% point: relief and injuries. On paper this remains a good pen that can compete against any other pen when they are filling their roles (and we at roxwalkoff have our perfect 7th, 8th and 9th set of relievers). There have been too many bumps in the road it appears….except this team is 19-13 and their pen ERA, while the 25th overall, isn’t bad. That takes into account both that this team pithes at Coors and the 4.35 isnt that far off of the median pen, 3.80. That is a .5 of a run, but the median team is the Dodgers and think of their pen, where they play, and the fact that we just out penned them in LA 2 out of 3.
The injuries…here is the big issue. We think we know now that Tyler Chatwood is not going to need the 2nd TJ surgery, but he will probably miss a month like last year and he wasn’t as good after missing that month in 2013 as he was before. We know that Brett Anderson is still about a month from returning to start his re-hab, but he will be back (how well his body holds up we still don’t know). Then there is the Cuddy hammy, the Rutledge viral infection (is Rosario going to join him), and CarGo’s knee and finger, which he has played through mostly. Small market teams struggle with injuries, and this team’s depth is “weird,” where it has depth and where it doesn’t. OF injuries we can cover for example. Starting pitcher injuries, like Chacin, we have had enough depth to cover as well. An injury to Morneau or Tulo, can we cover those?
So…how does the world’s most optimistic Rockies fan grade this team at the end of the 20% mark:
Grade A-. I wanted to give them an A since they have their best 20% record ever and have really been a good team after the bad opening in Miami. They are though just short of a A. They could be 24-8. They should be at least 22-10. But, 19-13 is still the best Rockies record in history and were it not for the fact the Giants have played out of their heads in 1-run games, we would be in 1st place. And it should be added they were rated as having one of the 5 toughest schedules to start the season by ESPN because of who they have played, the large # of road games (17 on the road and 15 at home so far), and the entire lack of off-days (2, really, 2 in the first 42 days!) So….A- Rockies (see, I can be objective), now go get first place and lets have a big lead by the 30% mark and bury the Giants, Dodgers and Padres.