In the Rockpile: 10-game homestand crucial to Rockies


 

Colorado Rockies column banner: In the Rockpile -- Roy Oswalt

Michael Cuddyer connects during the Home Run Derby.
Michael Cuddyer’s third-place finish in the Home Run Derby may draw even more scouts to Rockies games if Colorado blows their next 10 games. (Bruce Bennett, Getty Images)

With the lackluster All-Star week now in the rearview mirror for Michael Cuddyer, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, the Colorado Rockies kick off the second half of their waning season. Teetering in the middle of the NL West at 46-50, the Rockies begin the final run to October with a 10-game homestand against the Chicago Cubs, Miami Marlins and Milwaukee Brewers — three incredibly important series they must come away from positively: series wins, no injuries.

Collectively, the Cubs, Marlins and Brewers have worse records than the Rockies, but they also round out the bottom three teams of the National League. The next 10 days are the most important games the Rockies could play the rest of the season. If Walt Weiss and his Rockies want to be in the hunt for the division lead, they have to capitalize now.

The Rockies got off to a hot start in April only rivaled by the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox have continued on as contenders while the Rockies were exposed as pretenders, dropping game after game, going from series sweeps to piling up series losses.

The next 10 days also may be inundated with folks looking at Michael Cuddyer, the third-place winner of the Home Run Derby. As the trade deadline approaches, if anyone may be poached — and signal the day the front office quit — Michael Cuddyer would be the most likely target. The Rockies may still acquire a pitcher, and some at the Denver Post have pushed for a first baseman, but the Rockies aren’t known for shoring up their roster at this stage of the season. Also, they may not be interested in dealing prospects for a rental pitcher for the remainder of the 2013 campaign.

But, if the Rockies can clean up these next 10 days, maybe, just maybe, they will stand a chance to increase their odds in the NL West. The Rockies have to be a better team than they were in the first half and, hopefully, the multiple days off will see them return with more vigor.

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