In the Rockpile: Colorado Rockies rolling through April

Colorado Rockies column banner: In the Rockpile

Colorado Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer swings his bat.
Michael Cuddyer adds another hit to the Colorado Rockies April hit parade. (Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

It’s almost May, the first month of the MLB season is drawing to a close and the Colorado Rockies have maintained hold of first place in the NL West for the majority of April. Not many expected this, including myself. My first reaction after they lost their season opener in Milwaukee: “They’re now in last place and won’t make it back out.”

I was wrong.

The Colorado Rockies are by no means a complete team, but new manager Walt Weiss has them playing like contenders with what they have. Behind an at times shaky rotation of starting pitchers and a dangerous batting lineup, Weiss has guided his ballclub out to a very good start, 15-8 as of Saturday afternoon. There are still question marks, and the team has been bit by injury already, so their grip on the division lead is no surety.

Pitcher Jhoulys Chacin had to leave a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks last week due to a back problem, but he won the game and improved to 3-0 on the year with a 1.46 ERA. Taking his place while Chacin rehabs on the 15-day DL is Tyler Chatwood, who picked up a no-decision in his only start of the season, giving up four runs in the Colorado Rockies lone win of the series against the Atlanta Braves.

Todd Helton also found himself back on the DL for 15 days for forearm inflammation. Helton has taken a more reduced role this season playing in only 13 games but has been productive batting .268 with 10 RBIs and one home run. Helton isn’t the same as he used to, his power has diminished and his general health has become problematic, but he is still one of the leaders of the club.

With May a few days around the corner, the Colorado Rockies have put themselves in a favorable position by owning a tidy record, a strong core of batters not entirely reliant upon just Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, and starting pitchers who are doing their best this season to pull their weight. The 2013 season feels a world better than 2012 or 2011.

The Colorado Rockies look like a solid team that can play on any night, a far cry from the walking disaster they had been just a season ago with a similar roster.


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