After an eventful day yesterday, talking heads and fans alike are excited about the direction the Denver Nuggets are going. A trade, a successful draft and rumors of a further, potentially enormous trade have left everyone feeling hopeful of future success. But how about Denver's baseball team. Is there any hope left for this season? And maybe more importantly, should fans remain hopeful about the Colorado Rockies this season?
First, why hope may be hard to come by. This season started out well, then the injuries started piling up. Starting pitchers, relievers, infielders, catchers, outfielders. Every position on the field has seen at least one injury that has cost some playing time. Those injuries include former All-Stars Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer and would-be All-Star Nolan Arenado. It's hard to keep holding on to hope when guys are dropping like… something that drops, flies maybe.
When you get passed all of the games missed from injuries, there's still the problem of pitching. Pitching in Coors Field will never be a piece of cake, but sporting a league-worst ERA is nothing but terrible. The injuries have played a part here, too, but the guys still going need to step up their game or head back down to the minors. If not, the Rockies' winning percentage will only go down from here.
With all the young guys getting some serious run right now, you might think the Rockies are in a good position to start wheeling-and-dealing when the trade deadline creeps a little closer. And you'd be right, they're in a great position to do some selling and get young talent back, but that's only if you trust GM Dan O'Dowd. Dealing Dan has made some good moves — getting CarGo back in the Matt Holliday trade — but there has also been the bad — Alex White and Drew Pomeranz. O'Dowd is a great salesman, promising fans that he is going to deliver on the talent he's bringing back, but the Rockies have only been to the postseason twice in his almost 15 year tenure. He is by far the biggest obstacle to hoping that the Rox will turn things around.
But they say hope springs eternal, so here is why fans should be a little hopeful for a turnaround. The thing about injuries is that guys get healthy. Nolan Arenado and Jordan Lyles are reportedly close to going on rehab assignments, and the rest of the boys shouldn't be all that far behind. If they can come back and resume their pre-injury form, things could seriously be looking up. And when these guys come back, the defense will improve and the pitching can only improve as well. Plus, a return to health will also serve to boost player and fan morale, something that can't be measured, but surely can't be overrated.
Really, it's up to the fans if they want to remain hopeful or not. But being a sports fan is pretty much synonymous with hope. Ask a Cubs fan. The Rockies can turn things around, they'll need a break or two here and there, but it is possible.
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