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Can the Colorado Rockies Make Magic Happen?
The Colorado Rockies have yet again had a very interesting year. Ironically though they are just a few games under .500 at (50-52) and 9 games back from the division leading San Francisco Giants. After winning the last 7 out of 8, the streak bug has hit the Rockies and it seems they are really gaining some steam. With just 3 days before the trade deadline and with tons of rumors circulating, are the Rockies going to be buyers or sellers? This is my favorite time of the year where we all get to play GM and speculate on the future, the movers and shakers, and an opportunity to take a look around the league and lick our chops of what could be. This year could be a defining year for the Rockies being they have ended their last 6 seasons under .500. If you are Walt Weiss this is especially important because he has contributed to the Rockies being under in all four seasons that he has coached. Knowing the pressure is on, Walt Weiss and staff really have to be pushing the team hard to play their game and stick to the fundamentals.
Now with the Colorado Rockies in the meat of their season playing several playoff caliber teams, we really get to see what the Rockies are made of. In my opinion these next few weeks will define the Rockies and once and for all prove if they are ready to take the next step or not.This is a really great time to test their metal, especially after taking 2 out of three against the Baltimore Orioles who have lost just one other series at home this year. With the momentum on their side I really feel the Rockies can turn around the whole season and really make a run for the playoffs. At just 5 games back from the wild card, the Rockies are really feeling it. You never like to look at standings this early in the season but the next three games mean so much to them with the trade deadline fast approaching. As a Rockies fan we know we have made some terrible trades over the years. ( Matt Holliday, Ubaldo Jimenez, or even the most recent Troy Tulowitzki trade.)
Something the Rockies seem to always be missing from a fans point of view is pitching. Sure we have had a few greats but can we be considered up there with teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers or Chicago Cubs? It is my strong opinion that this is definitely not the case. But something seems different this year, despite what the stats or team record reflects. There is a certain comfort level I have this year though with the Rockies pitching rotation doing some amazing things on the back of Tyler Anderson, Jon Gray, and Chad Bettis. These guys have had some struggles but have seemed to really show up every game this year and give it their all. With relatively low ERA's and actually pitching into the seventh inning, it has tremendously helped the bullpen. As sad as I am to say it Jorge De La Rosa has had a terrible year with some quality starts but has found himself being moved to the bullpen. As the Rockies top winning pitcher at 84 games, it is sad to see him take such a nose dive. But even with Jorge struggling the rookie Tyler Anderson, the beard Chad Bettis, and the Okie Jon Gray have really stepped up and done a fine job.
One of the most over looked aspect of the Rockies is the defense. It is now finally this year people are talking about Nolan Arenado the way they should be. He has committed a total of three errors on the season and shows up to play every game. He rarely makes mistakes and you could almost say with 100% certainty that if the ball is hit his way, there is sure to be an out. That isn't the only story though with the rookie Trevor Story doing a great job at short stop. For his first season I would bet that he is a likely candidate for a gold glove, along with of course Nolan, and Carlos Gonzalez. The beauty of the Rockies is guys like Tyler Chatwood who have an average of the ball being hit on the ground 58% of the time. This in turn has led to many double plays and got them out of many tight spots. Overall the defense is very solid and with Reynolds, DJ, Story, and Nolan all playing the infield you know there is going to be fireworks. Also, with Charlie and Carlos out in the outfield you know there is not many gaps for hitters to drop the baseball in.
Something we have all come to know and love and expect every year is the Rockies hitting corp. Watching the Rockies hit the baseball is still as exhilarating as the first day I ever watched a baseball game. Trevor Story has been incredible this year with the most home runs for a rookie while also leading the National League. It would not come as a surprise to me if Story hits over 35 home runs this year. Although he has a high strikeout average, we have to give credit where credit is due, he is still just a rookie. This brings me to Nolan Arenado. I cannot think of enough great things to sum up what a super star Nolan is. With 26 home runs and 78 RBI's, the man is an absolute animal. He is a hitting machine and there is no doubt that he will be in the conversation for the best hitter this year. Of course we can't forget what Charlie Blackmon is doing as the lead off man with the longest hitting streak of any Rockies this year. Also, Carlos is having another spectacular year as well which we have come to expect from the slugger. There is also many honorable mentions but just know the Rockies offense is legit and means business.
This brings us full circle to what the Rockies will do this year. I have no doubt in my mind that they will finish well above .500 and without a doubt, be in the playoffs this year. As a fan we say that every year is our team's year, but like I had mentioned before, things just feel differently. After watching every game this year, through the big ups and the downs, this feels like a different team to me. They are in mid season form and are really firing on all cylinders. After being a fan for many years, I see something different in the Rockies. A fire burning that hasn't burned since the 2007 season. As I watch the Rockies with all my emotions and foul language, something is different in me. I know in the deepest part of my heart that the Rockies have a great chance of doing something spectacular this year.