Colorado Rockies: Don't Panic, They Struggled Early Last Year Too

Ben CummingsContributor IMay 17, 2008

Rockies fans have no reason to worry!

I know it has been hard to swallow the Rockies's poor performance through the first quarter of the 162-game MLB season. The good news is that there is still 120 games to go. Even better news, anyone that has followed the Rockies knows that this poor performance is no shock. Last year, at the present spot in the season, the Rockies had 17 wins. That is two more than they have this year. 


Many major sporting-networks such as ESPN and Fox Sports have analysts that predicted the Rockies to win the West at the beginning of the season.

Two things are wrong with this.

1) Why should we even listen to anyone predicting how a team is going to finish before the season starts? The game isn't played on paper. Who expected the Rays to be leading the division? The divisions and championships can belong to any given team.


2) The analysts also said the Cubs were going to be in the World Series, and some believed they were going to win it all. We all know how that goes.

As a quarter of the season has passed, it is not fair to say a team is a disappointment. Like stated above, there is still 120 games left in the season.  Teams can start to lose and teams can start to win. As it is with all sports, injuries can drastically affect a team. The Rockies have lost second-year phenom Troy Tulowitzki to a leg injury. Starting pitcher Jason Hirsh is also sidelined. 

Having said this, the Rockies still need to figure some things out and quick.  Rockies' ace Jeff Francis is yet to get a win. His ERA is higher than the altitude at which he pitches. The only starting pitcher that is putting up respectable numbers is Aaron Cook.

The bullpen is not nearly as solid as it was last year, and Manny Corpas is far from clutch. Brian Fuentes is now the closer again, and even he is having mild problems. In Fuentes's defense, it is hard to go into a game in which you are losing and have a quality outing. Fuentes is good when the game is on the line.  When he is in a save situation, Fuentes is one of the best in the business in slamming the door shut. Corpas is still trying to find his role.

As I did with Fuentes, I will defend Corpas as well. He has been put in situations lately in which he did not have the lead, much less a close game. Hurdle is putting in Corpas and Fuentes during the late innings of a game to get their work in, because the offense isn't providing them with a quality chance to show their work in the clutch situations. The Rockies total staff ERA is far from spectacular. However, once Francis gets his first win, watch out opposing batters. Francis will go on a tear and win 15 games this year.

The Rockies high-power offense is far from high power. As of late, Garrett Atkins is the only bat in the lineup that has any consistancy. Chris Ianetta went on a streak of hitting the cover off the ball before striking out three times in a game.  The numbers in the Rockies' lineup are not anything to turn on the TV for. The lineup's runs are way down from last year, as are the hits and extra-base hits. 

The lack of offense is the reason for the Rockies' struggles. It is hard to win a game when the bats only provide two or three runs. The pitching staff has been allowing runs, but these runs are not extremely high. The Rockies are losing because of a lack of offense.

As it was last year, the Rockies defense has been very solid early on.

Rockies fans have no reason to worry. With 120 games left in the season, we should not be disappointed with the Rockies' effort. This is the team we have loved over the years. The Rockies will start to hit more and pitch better.  However, we the fans need to keep faith, because the world is not ready for what the Rockies are capable of doing.