Opinion Time: What one word describes your feelings for the Rockies this season?
What one word describes your feelings about the Colorado Rockies this season?
Sports copy editor
The Rockies are 10-6 after dropping Wednesday night’s game at Los Angeles and they are winning the most un-Rockies way — with pitching.
Colorado has already beaten Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner, the aces of two of the teams the Rockies need to beat in the NL West.
The bullpen, which was so bad last year, has been a strength in the first two weeks of the season with Greg Holland showing what an actual closer looks like.
My excitement comes from the fact that although Colorado has been winning, their star hitters have yet to get going.
The Rockies’ most consistent hitter so far has been Mark Reynolds, who signed a minor-league deal and is only playing because Ian Desmond is out with a broken hand.
Once Colorado’s big bats — Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu, Carlos Gonzalez and Trevor Story — start to heat up, the Rockies could be a formidable foe.
Providing, of course, that the starting pitching — which has been good — continues to shut down the opponents’ bats.
The season is long, but it’s starting off on the right foot for Rockies fans.
I hate to be the gloom and doom guy but I just don’t see this team being a contender. It’s been too many years of getting excited about the Rockies’ potential only to see them fade like a pair of over-washed Levis.
The potential is there, no doubt. Jon Gray looks like an ace and Greg Holland looks like a shutdown reliever. But what about the rest of the staff? A consistent starting staff is needed to be a playoff contender, along with a solid corps of relievers. I’m not sold on that being the case.
Nolan Arenado is a bona-fide star at the plate and in the field. The Rockies have a solid, if not spectacular, bunch after that. Hitting has never been the problem with the Rockies and for once, there’s some legitimate cause for excitement with the pitching. That includes the promising start by former first-round pick Kyle Freeland.
I like the addition of Bud Black as manager and I want so badly to be optimistic but I just can’t go there.
I’ve seen the Mile High club soar in the spring or get hot in the summer, but I’m not going all-in on this team to be there in late August and beyond.
One word to describe my feelings for the Rockies this season?
How about juggernaut?
This young, talented team will continue to build momentum, not only to September, but to Rocktober and beyond. Hitting, fielding, starting pitching, finally some relief pitching, and the genius of new manager Bud Black will add up to a romp through the National League West, wins over the Mets and the Cubs in the playoffs and finally a World Series romp over the Indians.
OK, that’s a bit much, isn’t it?
While talented and deep — we’ve already seen that because of spring training mishaps — the young pitching staff is not ready to march Sherman-like through the South, Midwest, East or West. The Rockies are no juggernaut yet. Improved? Sure. A contender for a playoff berth? Maybe.
So, here’s a word that works: Hopeful.
I’m hopeful this edition of the Rox can go above and slightly beyond .500 on the season and continue to improve. That would make this longtime baseball fan smile and want to continue to pay attention even in the fall months when a certain football team seems to collect all our hopes.
Thing is with the Rockies is they’ve set us all up before. We’ve seen them get off to good starts, only to have some kind of injury happen.
And it looked like it was happening at the end of spring training when David Dahl got hurt. Ian Desmond, the new first baseman, got hurt. Add in the stress fracture in Jon Gray’s foot, and the “here we go again” tune is playing.
Think about it. As soon as Trevor Story got hurt last year, the Rockies’ postseason hopes took a nosedive. Before that, it was the always-hurt Troy Tulowitzki.
Here’s the thing: Dahl, Desmond and Gray are out, and yet the Rockies are still off to a good start. Desmond’s replacement, Mark Reynolds, is among the NL’s RBI leaders.
Gray and Tyler Chatwood have proven to be legit starters, and the renovation of the Rockies bullpen is apparent. Greg Holland picked up his seventh save of the season on Sunday.
Does this mean we should all be making plans for the first legit Rocktober in a decade? Probably not. It does, however, mean the Rockies can contend for a postseason spot this season without overachieving. That’s something Rockies fans haven’t been able to say for a while.