Anyone that has followed baseball through the years knows that all things must be kept in perspective. Good start or poor, the length of a baseball season means you can’t get too high or too low regarding the play of your team. That is certainly the case with the Rockies, although the 5-1 beginning must be looked at a little differently than normal.
The 2012 Rockies were beset by injuries, inexperience, and bad luck on their way to the worst record in the team’s first 20 years. What is surprising, however, is the belief by most of the media—and many of the team’s fans—that last year’s results are reflective of this team from a talent perspective, especially in terms of pitching. Again, one week does not make a season that is 26 weeks long, but the quality starts by this year’s rotation is actually more reflective of their talent than what took place last year.
Jhoulys Chacin was on his way to an All-Star selection in 2011 when the impingement issue in his chest and shoulder began at mid-year and carried through most of last season. The 25-year old has the best Rockies ERA for a pitcher with at least 100 innings pitched (Jhoulys has more than 400 IP) in the team’s history, a very respectable 3.63. Shouldn’t that be a better barometer of his potential rather than the 2012 sampling? Likewise with Jorge De La Rosa who was considered one of the better LHP in the National League before his Tommy John injury. Juan Nicasio was dominant in the minors, while Jeff Francis and Jon Garland provide a veteran presence that the rotation lacked last year. The Rockies starters don’t match up to the Giants and the Dodgers, but if good health holds, this rotation will be vastly improved.
Decent starting pitching, coupled with the strength of the bullpen, looks even better when the team’s offense is added to the mix. There will be challenges for sure—on the road, especially in San Francisco and Los Angeles—but that will be handled better if the veterans stay healthy and the younger hitters keep maturing. It has only taken a week, but enthusiasm has been reborn, not only in the clubhouse, but among the Rockies fans as well. It will be fun to watch how they respond to the Giants this week in San Francisco.
My wife is happy because Mad Men has returned, and I feel the same way about season 3 of Game of Thrones. That’s my CHECK IT OUT this time, although you might want to watch some of the earlier seasons to be able to keep up with the storyline.