Barring another 2007 “Rocktober” miracle, the Colorado Rockies will not be making the playoffs this year, ending their two-year streak. With a month and a half left in the season, what should the Rockies do with the remaining 37 games? Here are some items that should be the focus going forward.
The Rockies do not want to risk any more injuries to their starting core of players. In the past few weeks, they lost David Dahl and Scott Oberg. Dahl suffered a high ankle sprain on August 3, and there is currently no time table for his return. He would like to return, but the smart thing would be to let him rest until next season. Oberg went on the 60-day injured list after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot in his throwing arm. The surgery effectively ends his season. The Rockies would be wise to ensure there are no further injuries going into the offseason.
Let the Kids Play
The young players on the roster are getting their reps in, and flashing signs of what’s to come. After catcher Chris Iannetta was designated for assignment, Dom Nunez was given his chance in the Big Leagues. His first hit was a home run. At 24 years old, he could be the catcher of the future for the Rockies. With the injury to Dahl, Raimel Tapia has been given another chance to show his talents. He has responded by hitting .357 for the month of August and made two spectacular catches in the outfield, one a robbing of a for-sure home run off the bat of Lewis Brinson. Other young stars getting an opportunity are Garrett Hampson, who hit a game-winning single against the Marlins on Sunday, and Yonathan Daza, who was leading the Pacific Coast League in hitting with a .364 batting average before his call-up.
Mile highway robbery. 😱 pic.twitter.com/Z2BUj7MQsQ
— MLB (@MLB) August 18, 2019
If there is one area of the team that has been a sore spot all season long it is the bullpen. Nothing has gone right, and no combination of relievers have been dominant. Wade Davis struggled mightily all season, and was demoted from his closer role in early August. His ERA sits at a 7.43 and he gave up another home run on Monday. Bryan Shaw has had a bounce-back season from an awful 2018 campaign, while Jake McGee started nicely but has given up 14 earned runs in his last 30 appearances. This is an opportunity for Colorado to give their younger relievers a chance as well. Pitchers like Carlos Estevez, Jesus Tinoco, and Jairo Diaz should be seeing lots of playing time as they prepare for next season. Estevez has only given up four earned runs in his last ten appearances, while Diaz has given up two in his last seven games.
The rotation is another area that could see young players of the future get their chance to show what they have. Peter Lambert has had a roller-coaster first season, but has shown signs of being a really good pitcher. Chi Chi Gonzalez had a no-hitter entering the sixth inning on Monday, and finished with giving up only two runs in a non-decision. Jon Gray has returned to his dominating ways, throwing eight shutout innings against the Marlins on Friday, while German Marquez has settled down in August after an erratic July. The Rockies need Kyle Freeland to return to his dominating 2018 form as they head in to next season. Some strong performances from the rotation down the stretch could be nice signal for next year.
With the postseason out of reach this year, the Rockies would be wise in starting to prep for next season. This will give them an idea of what young talent they have, and what they will need to look for during the offseason.
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images
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