HomeTeamsRockiesAre the Rockies Ready to Start Yet?

Are the Rockies Ready to Start Yet?

In the top of the sixth, Charlie Blackmon sent a hit right up the middle over the centerfielder’s head off the middle of the wall for a lead-off double. Next Brendan Rodgers pops out to the second baseman for an out, followed by Nolan Jones striking out swinging. Then to end the inning, Kris Bryant grounded out down the third-base line for the third out. The Colorado Rockies stranded another runner on the bags and continue a 19-inning dry streak without scoring a run. It is predictable at this point to talk about the disappointing performance of Kyle Freeland on the mound, but the truth is that the Rockies are failing in the field and at the plate too. The team that showed up in 2024 Spring Training is not the team that is kicking off this regular season except for a few players.

First, Blackmon has been showing why he is the Rockies’ lead-off man with consistent performances at the plate. Chuck Nazty is doing what he is expected to do with a .368/.400/.579, but Colorado cannot win if there are no batters to bring Blackmon home. In the top half of the lineup in Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Cubs, Blackmon got three hits out of four at bats, but no hits were recorded in this game by Rodgers, Jones, nor Bryant. Blackmon has yet to record a homerun this season, but that is not what is expected from him.  Fans can hope that his consistent performance at the plate continues long enough for the others in the top of the order to start getting hits as well.

A good performer coming from the bullpen again is Victor Vodnik. In 5.2 innings pitched, Vodnik has given up three hits and no runs. That kind of performance, along with the 0.0 ERA showings by Jalen Beeks and Nick Mears thus far, points to the Rockies pitching strength being in their bullpen’s middle relievers. Unfortunately, the Rockies starting rotation has not yet given great starts to the games, but these three middle relievers have made good contribution by breaking the opposing team’s hitting momentum after the starters put the team behind. The Rockies are dealing with a pitching rotation that gets behind early and puts the team into a chase-survival mode for much of the game. Bud Black reminded reporters in the post-game interview that Freeland will most likely pitch 33 games this year, and that he is bound to have some rough starts; it is just unexpected to see these very rough starts in his first two mound appearances of the season.

Another highlight from Tuesday’s game was Michael Toglia’s homerun on a 3 – 2 pitch to put the Rockies on the board in the 7th. Toglia is another player who is showing more and more potential at the plate.  He is currently slashing .250/.333/.625, but Toglia returned Jose Cuas’ four-seam fastball with commanding power at 108mph for 421ft homer, which is a big improvement over his abilities last year.

With these numbers showing what they do six games into the season, it looks like the 6-man 1B/RF/DH platoon just has two players (Blackmon and Toglia) carrying the other four right now. The season just started, but this is not a trend the Rockies want to keep going if they expect to improve on last year’s losing season.


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