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Rockies Shuffle The Deck

The Colorado Rockies got swept by the San Francisco Giants in their first series away after their winning streak at home. Everyone knew the streak would end, but the question is can the Rockies return to a more balanced season, or are they destined to continue to careen toward a 100-loss season? The answer may be found in what happens when the starters come back from the injured list.

It is unfortunate to see Sean Bouchard sent back to the Albuquerque Isotopes for his third season in a row. Bouchard played in just 18 games this year, which was three less than last year, but he managed a .222/.333/.370 after 54 at bats. Fielding wise, Bouchard had two errors, 29 Pos, and 1 assist off 135 innings played. Bouchard even took a turn at designated hitter, but someone had to go to make room for the return of Kris Bryant.

Jordan Beck was the other likely candidate to be sent down when Bryant returned; however, Beck has managed to hold on for a little longer. Beck did not hold his spot by being a superior to Bouchard in the batter’s box. Beck’s slash was .226/.226/.371 after 18 games and 62 at bats. One thing to note is Beck seems to have a bit less plate discipline than Bouchard as evidenced by Beck’s zero walks and 24 strikeouts. Beck has been a solid addition to left field with zero errors after 149.2 innings played. Unfortunately, the clock is already ticking a countdown on Beck’s time in leftfield as Nolan Jones continues to rehabilitate on assignment with the Isotopes.

Jake Bird was placed on the 15-day injury list this week for elbow inflammation, which made room for Matt Koch to come up as a new middle reliever righty. Koch pitched a career-high 38.2 innings last year for the Rockies and gave up 41 hits, 9 walks, and 27 strikeouts. Bird leaves the bullpen with a WHIP of 1.74 and an average of .269 despite not throwing any strikeouts in his last three outings. Koch will get his chance against the Oakland A’s to show that he can do something impressive to replace the consistency that Bird has shown this season.

Fans might be wondering of the cards that must be played from the Rockies’ hand, why discard Bouchard and keep Hunter Goodman? The hitting streak that Goodman was on in the minors has clearly cooled. Maybe it is because Goodman is taking turns at first base in addition to right field, so he is thus a better fit with the platoon rotation the Rockies keep alluding to.  Either way, Goodman’s .143/.226/.393 seems to point to him being the next to be returned to the minors when Jones makes his way back to the Colorado dugout soon. Beck seems to be providing more to appreciate with his hustle to make catches, but he will need to develop more patience in the box if he wants to stay passed Goodman.

With the reshuffle of players, what will Bryant’s return do for the for the team on the road? Can the Rockies reignite the magic they had in front of their hometown fans, or will they return to being the disappointing team that showed up at the start of the season?


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