Denver, CO. The Colorado Rockies will embark on the second half of the 2012 season Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies. What Rockies team will we see? The hard playing team we say against the Washington Nationals or the sorry excuse for a Major League Baseball team we saw for most of the first half?
There were a few positive aspects of the Rockies we saw in the first half of the season. They reacquired Jeff Francis to bring some veteran Coors Field tested pitching into a very young group of pitchers. Francis is not the dominating force he was back in 2007 but he has the chops at Coors Field and can help mentor young lefties Drew Pomerantz and Christian Friedrich on the nuances of the launching pad that is once again Coors Field. With the four man rotations dominated by left handed pitchers maybe they can turn around their play at home.
The emergence of Tyler Colvin has raised some questions as to the future of Todd Helton. Colvin has “good” defensive skills at first and can play a number of different positions including all the outfield positions and first. Tyler has been the hottest hitter on the Colorado Rockies for the past month and has raised his average to .305 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI. Those numbers are huge if you compare his numbers to 2011 with the Chicago Cubs where he hit well below .200 and showed little power. Look for Colvin to continue to push for playing time as Todd Helton fights a nagging right hip injury.
Carlos Gonzalez was the only All Star selection from the Colorado Rockies and continues to rake at the plate despite a home run drought over the last couple of weeks. Gonzalez is a line drive hitter and eats up the huge gaps at Coors Field. Going into the All Star break Gonzalez is hitting .330 with 17 home runs and 58 RBI. Gonzalez should easily surpass 100 RBI and should push for 35 home runs. Also, with 11 stolen bases, Gonzalez should be able to hit the 20/20 club for home runs and stolen bases. Once Troy Tulowitzki is back in the lineup, Carlos Gonzalez should be able to rapidly increase his numbers and try to push for another Silver Slugger award.
Troy Tulowitzki will be back some time in August unless there is an unforeseen set back in his recovery from groin surgery. Even if Tulowitzki is a little slow to get back into the swing of things he will return a feisty mentality to the team and challenge players who are not giving their all. Troy will also help to sew up what has otherwise been a leaky defense. Way too many errors from the Rockies so far in 2012.
Although the Colorado Rockies will miss the playoffs again this season, let’s at least demand some better baseball from this team. The eventual firing of Dan O’Dowd should be set aside and the players need to take over this team and demand performance from each other. Major League players should not be looking like Single A college kids.
Denver Sports Chat – Kris Loco