Colorado Rockies: Mid-Season Report Card
Team: Colorado Rockies
Record: 46-50 (4.5 GB)
Biggest Surprise of First Half: The Colorado Rockies, despite being 4 games below .500 for the season, actually have been exceeding everyone’s expectations through the first half of the 2013 season. We all know that the Rockies have a good offense, but despite the amazing seasons being put forth from Michael Cuddyer, Carlos Gonzalez, and Troy Tulowitzki (before DL stint), the biggest surprise of the 1st half has been the strength of the pitching rotation. The Rockies rotation was the worst in all of baseball last season and it has been a massive surprise that they have turned things around so rapidly. Ace of the staff, Jhoulys Chacin who has been healthy all year, has been a major reason for that. Chacin is currently 8-4 with a 3.62 ERA, which is awesome for playing in Colorado. Chacin has truly stabilized the rotation. Jorge De La Rosa is also having a great year and providing a nice 1-2 punch with Chacin. De La Rosa is currently 9-5 with a 3.21 ERA. Tyler Chatwood has been the biggest surprise out of them all. Chatwood sits at 5-2 with a 2.74 ERA. The starting staff has easily been the biggest surprise of the first half of 2013.
Biggest Disappointment of First Half: The Rockies were rolling right along until Troy Tulowitzki spent one of his annual stints on the DL. He returned from the disabled list on the 11th of July and will be taking part in the All-Star game next Tuesday. The reason why Tulowtizki on the disabled list is such a disappointment is because it took the steam right out of the surprising Rockies. When you remove Tulowitzki from the lineup, the offense looks lost aside from Cuddyer and Gonzalez. The leader of the team missing time messed with the chemistry the Rockies had and they suffered. If Tulowtizki can stay healthy for the 2nd half, expect the Rockies to get rolling again.
Team MVP: While Michael Cuddyer could easily be the Team MVP, it’s hard to ignore Carlos Gonzalez. CarGo truly brings the Rockies everything you could ask for in a player. He hits for power (25 home runs, 64 RBI to date), he can hits for average (.304), steal bases (15 steals, only caught once), and he brings a nice glove in left field. When Tulowtizki went on the DL, it had little effect on CarGo’s production. He still kept playing up to his capabilities, which makes him easily in the top 10 or top 15 hitters in all of baseball. Carlos Gonzalez has been the team MVP. Runner Up: Michael Cuddyer/Troy Tulowitzki.
Prospect Ready to Make an Impact: There are two Rockies prospects who are already with the club contributing to their surprising seasons thus far. The first is Nolan Arenado. Arenado is only 22 years old but he handles the hot corner like a veteran. His defense has been stellar to this point and his bat is coming along. He can bring some power, a decent average, but not much speed. Arenado has stabilized the hot corner and has and will continue to stop a revolving door of 3rd basemen for Colorado. The second is Tyler Chatwood. Chatwood as mentioned earlier, is having himself a season. Albeit, only in 10 starts, to have an ERA under 3 playing games at Coors Field is impressive. Chatwood has contributed nicely and has formed a very formidable front of the rotation with Chacin and De La Rosa.
Contender of Pretender: Considering how well the Rockies played earlier in the year and how hit and miss they were without Tulowtizki, to be 4 games under .500, 4.5 games back of division leading Arizona Diamondbacks, I actually think the Rockies could be contenders, but that depends on a few things, to be outlined in my overall analysis of the team.
Overall Team Analysis: The first key to contending is to continue pitching well. If Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa, and Tyler Chatwood continue throwing the way they are, it will make up for some of the poor outings from Juan Nicasio. They are an arm away from being one of the quietest, good rotations around. Roy Oswalt did not seem to be a good answer as a 5th starter and will need an arm after the all-star break. The second condition on being a contender is to continue getting elite production from the big 3 (Tulowitzki, Cuddyer, Gonzalez) but also getting secondary production from guys like Arenado, Wilin Rosario, Dexter Fowler, and Todd Helton. If the Rockies offense keeps firing, they will win some ball games in the second half. If the pitching continues to throw the ball well the Rockies may quickly jump back into an intense playoff race with Arizona. The Rockies are not far from returning to “Rocktober“.