Figured I’d get in here for a quick take since I’ve been pretty engrossed in the final weeks of the semester and the Stanley Cup playoffs to get much sports-related writing done.
Watching the Rockies, I have been more impressed with the hitting, and I’m becoming encouraged by the starting rotation. Colorado had managed to win three series before dropping their last to the woeful Pittsburgh Pirates.
Nothing says “we can’t wait to go home” like losing to a team whose own fans don’t care to come and see.
The bats have warmed up more, and the early season MVP has to be Michael Cuddyer and his .303 AVG, .879 OPS and 11 RBIs. I am more and more impressed with this pick-up every game, and it is even more encouraging to see not only Cuddyer producing but Todd Helton making solid contact and Ramon Hernandez doing likewise. If only the first two hitters could get their stuff together, the Rockies could be a very formidable threat to pitchers. Marco Scutaro and Dexter Fowler have got to get it going, and soon. Scutaro has some leeway due to his veteran status, but Fowler has to be on a shorter leash. Fowler is a couple of missed catches from getting benched.
The pitching rotation has begun to stop playing the victim on the mound with the starters putting together longer starts. Unfortunately, it hasn’t led to many wins for the rotation and has led to much work for the bullpen early on, something that is going to be regrettable when the pen wears out. Luckily, Rafael Betancourt has cashed in his saves, and other options in the bullpen have picked up wins, such as Matt Reynolds and Matt Belisle. Belisle had a bad outing though this last week, as did Edgmer Escalona and Rex Brothers. I have faith that Brothers can rebound well enough, but Escalona was a late addition out of spring training and has to make better use of his next appearances to prevent a trip to the Springs.
I’m liking what I’m seeing, but the consistency needs to be more solid and the starters have to start picking up wins. The lineup needs to pick up the starting pitcher, something the Rockies struggle to do traditionally. There isn’t much of an excuse for the Rox always dropping a series against Pittsburgh: home of champions … and the Pirates.
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