Analysis

You Just Know They’re Gonna Win: The Rockies’ First Half in Review

 

The Colorado Rockies’ 1st half was a very very large roller-coaster: the kind I would try to ride, but vomit multiple times throughout the various ups and downs. This season was seen as the Rockies best chance to win; their core was here, and the additions to the bullpen were seen as a sign that the team wanted to win badly. This did not really pan out, as the Rockies bullpen has had countless meltdowns. Bryan Shaw did NOT pan out and spent some time on the DL with “badpitchitis”, and pretty much every regular pitcher in that bullpen has had their struggles (except Adam Ottavino, who should’ve been an All-Star).

The team itself did not really click until the end of June/early July. Before then, the team seemed dreadfully mediocre, but having gone 10–3 so far in July is a very good sign for the Rockies. They failed to capitalize on multiple times where the Diamondbacks and/or Dodgers struggled, and as a result of this they sit 2.5 games out of first place with a 51–45 record. This is a vast improvement from when they were 4 games under .500 on June 27th.

The starting rotation has probably been the bright spot of the Rockies, something that has never been said in the history of the franchise. Kyle Freeland is pitching like an ace, German Marquez has been getting better as of late, and Tyler Anderson has only given up 3 ER in his last 28 IP. Then there is the curious case of Jon Gray, who should be the best pitcher on this staff, especially according to stats like FIP, but is currently playing in AAA. However, Antonio Senzatela has done a fairly good job filling in the rotation.

The offense has been interesting, Charlie Blackmon has been getting very hot, posting a 1.131 OPS with 5 HR in July. Along with Nolan Arenado producing another MVP-caliber season and Trevor Story finally hitting well consistently, the offense is scary again. Even Ian Desmond — yes, the one who at one point was on pace to have one of the worst seasons in baseball history — has picked it up to be somewhat serviceable at 1B.

The three biggest holes still remain First Base, Catcher, and of course the bullpen. Whether or not it makes sense to add to the bullpen is up for debate, since they have been improving as of late. But, Chris Iannetta and Ian Desmond have left much to be desired. I think it would be logical to give up some of the farm system for controllable players like Jose Abreu and JT Realmuto, as they will contribute not just for this season but for the coming seasons. This would mean there will be less of a need for another massive rebuild in the near future.

Overall, there have been times I was so angry at this team I completely disconnected from social media for hours — which says something as a teenager — but there were also some occasions where this team had me giddy like a child. I am expecting more of the same as the baseball season rolls on! My heart says the Rockies can win the NL West and the Dodgers acquiring Manny Machado will not change much, but the team is most likely destined to be in the dogfight for a Wild Card spot. It will be an uphill battle with their difficult schedule, when all but 7 games in the second half are against teams at or above .500 as of July 17 (HOU, OAK, LAD, SF, WSH, PHI, STL, LAA, ARI). The Rockies arguably have the most difficult path to the playoffs out of any NL contender right now.

Ilan C.S

I am a freshman at Cleveland State University. I was born and raised in New York City, though I adopted the Rockies as my team after having a fondness for them throughout my childhood thanks to Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez. As much as Rockies fandom is painful, I love to represent the purple pinstripes!

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