Injuries suck. Probably the least controversial thing anyone can ever say about sports, true, but there can be a positive to the negative. As the Colorado Rockies fight through this rash of guys going on the DL, we are watching that positive. We are, in fact, watching two separate Rockies.
The first team is the one we saw over the first couple months of the season. The team that has Brett Anderson, Tyler Chatwood and Jordan Lyles toeing the rubber. The team that has Carlos Gonzales and Michael Cuddyer at the corner outfield spots. The team that has Nolan Arenado playing the best defensive third base anyone has since Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson took his spot at the hot corner. This team is incredibly fun to watch, but more importantly, incredibly tough to beat.
The second team is the one we have right now. This version of the Rockies will struggle at times, sure, but man, are they young. Eddie Butler, Tyler Matzek and Christian Bergman are each getting their first taste of facing big league batters while Kyle Parker gets his first shot in the Bigs. Josh Rutledge, Corey Dickerson, Charlie Culberson and Ryan Wheeler are enjoying extended stays at the highest level and each is contributing plenty. Sure, this team struggles at times, but getting the young guns some experience now only bodes well for future Rockies teams.
Clearly the first team is what the Colorado Rockies can be this year. If all the recoveries and rehabs go according to plan, they can be right there in playoff contention. With the offense these guys have tucked away in their bats, just a little bit of pitching can get this team over the hump and back into the postseason. And while the second team might not be anywhere near as good as the first, they just may hold more hope for Rockies fans. The pitchers alone should have Rockies fans hope-meters on full, mostly because of the solid performances, but also the fact that Jon Gray is yet to make his inevitable debut this year. The thin air and the vast outfield at Coors Field should always lead to at least a pretty good offense each year, so seeing the new pitchers play well should be a boon to the hearts of any fan in the Rocky Mountain area.
It might not be the best of times, but neither is it the worst of times. It’s nowhere near the worst of times, in fact. Right now, with all the young bucks getting valuable playing time and exceptional veterans waiting to get off the DL just in time for a postseason push, it’s good to be a Rockies fan.
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